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Sources of Windows Directory Bloat

October 22, 2009

In preparing one of our home laptop PC’s from its Windows 7 upgrade yesterday, I was surprised to discover that it had less than 20GB remaining on its 80GB hard drive. I was surprised because: almost all data is kept on our server not each PC; and this PC this had not had that many applications installed even though it has been operating since around the time Vista came out.

A common explanation for such bloat is log files (on our Media Center PC, I recently discovered that Orb had left 80GB of log files), but that was not the case here.

There were about 6 GB of system restores (which I would delete using the More Options tab of Vista’s Disk Cleanup.

However, most surprising were the WinSXS and CSC subdirectories of the Windows directory. Each had about 10GB worth of files. They keep, respectively, alternate copies of DLLs and offline files. I decided not to touch the WinSXS directory. As this PC no longer uses offline files (cached copies of files available elsewehere on the network) I elected to delete this directory—but with only limited success due to file security constraints that became a pain to override.

 

Clubhouse Tags: Windows, bloat, WinSXS, CSC

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