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  1. #1
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    I've cloned 2 Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit) systems now and it took the second for this fact to finally register.

    Initially the installs consisted of roughly 160,000 files totaling about 25 GB. The first system took me around 3 weeks to figure out the details of getting a clone to boot and I missed the fact that the system was adjusting it's self down in size over the first few weeks. I did notice it but was too involved in the cloning process to pursue this other aspect at the time. After a month it settled down at closer to 90,000 files and about 2 GB smaller overall. No kidding.

    The second only took about 4 days to get built & configured, so it could be compared to the first. And sure enough, this one was 160,000 files and back up to over 25 GB. However, no specific different major chunks were apparent. Whatever it is must be spread out pretty well? After the first week 28,000 files vanished. A week or so later another 70,000 files disappeared, putting #2 then very close to #1 in over all size. I've got a list of the last 70,000 files to go but take my word, the file names won't help with what's going on!

    I don't know what this is, and it's probably academic. Everything still works fine. All the initial Windows updates are installed with no apparent problems. There's just a Lot of initial installation stuff going away apparently on a schedule?

    This kind of stuff bothers me because obviously someone has forgotten exactly who these computers, and Everything on them, belong to? No doubt the Windows EULA has something in it to the effect they can manipulate it at will? But maybe some of the Gurus here can comment on what's going on?

    DES

  2. #2
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    Did you ever run the disk cleanup tool? That removes temporary and other such files.

    Also, the system restore capability retains copies of old files, and restore points are usually taken when patches are installed. The system maintains only a certain maximum number of restore points and as new ones are taken old ones get removed. I imagine that the first restore point taken when the first set of patches is applies to the clean OS install is probably the largest since it has the most number of patches to apply (everything since Windows 7 was released).

    Of course, those are just guesses. You would actually have to take an inventory of which files "disappeared" to know exactly what happened.

    But the moral of the story is this: there are always a lot of junk files on your disk taking up space that you can safely delete. The Disk Cleanup tool will usually find most of them. But you should also limit the amount of space allocated to System Restore and to the Recycle Bin - the defaults are usually too large (10% of a 2TB drive is 200GB, way too much room!).

  3. #3
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    My math left something to be desired there, the difference between the initial installs and final trim down was about 70,000 files (2 GB) total. Lost in two major chunks (only because I'm updating the system clone about once a week and this is where the incremental shows up). About the first thing done is to make a complete disk copy as the first step in creating a bootable copy (clone). Then the next things done are to Disable System Restore & Recycle Bin. System Restore can, if not limited, soon amount to nearly a copy anyway. No, I haven't run the built in disk cleanup tool(s). But do use CCleaner to manage most of this. I don't use IE, WMP, WLM, essentially any of the included Windows apps. And instead rely on FF, TB, VLC MP, and OO. Where much better control is maintained on caches & temporary stuff anyway. Guess what I'm trying to say is I feel I manage what's on the disk probably better than most? Hence the curiosity about this "auto system downsizing".

    My XP systems run about 60,000 files in roughly 14 GB to comprise the same basic load as 94,000 files in 23 GB for Windows 7. Windows 7 is probably(?) more secure, although connecting only as User in XP via Drop My Rights probably gets the majority of security benefits with the UAC interference? Windows 7 does seem to be pretty reliable, and where not reliable at least very graceful in it;s crashing! But it does even more Mysterious Stuff!

    DES

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    I've cloned 2 Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit) systems now and it took the second for this fact to finally register.

    Initially the installs consisted of roughly 160,000 files totaling about 25 GB. The first system took me around 3 weeks to figure out the details of getting a clone to boot

    I'm wondering what the state of the system is from which the clone is sourced and the state of the system of destination. If the source is an established system that has been in operation for some time and not a fresh install AND if the destination is to new hardware (even if its to indentical to the old system's hardware), that condition may account for considerable file adjustment and file reduction.

    In any other conditional case, I'm not sure, a fresh install source would produce a lot of changed files but overall should not result in significant reduction of files after the "settling in" period, though I suspect a significant amount of dissimilar hardware could account for some.

    You didn't mention what you're cloning from and to so I could be way off but that's my 2-cents worth from afar.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    It has been my experience that the size of Windows 7 grows larger over time, not the opposite.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron Tarbox View Post
    I'm wondering what the state of the system is from which the clone is sourced and the state of the system of destination. If the source is an established system that has been in operation for some time and not a fresh install AND if the destination is to new hardware (even if its to identical to the old system's hardware), that condition may account for considerable file adjustment and file reduction.
    Good point, I neglected to get specific. The "clones" are separate 2.5 " SATA disks in USB connected external enclosures. They're copies of the original disks, massaged to get rid of those blasted recovery & data partitions. They're then updated periodically using an incremental scheme, excluding their Repaired BCD files which are then unique to the particular disk.I haven't been able to figure out how to generate the UUID of the new disk and have to let Windows do it. Either a Windows 7 Installation Disk or a self generated Windows 7 Repair Disk will suffice. After each update, on the Destination, the Drive Letter & Volume Label assignments are manually swapped between the Source & Destination making the clone the "installed to" drive. Each has been physically swapped into the laptops and definitely boots. The ultimate backup as it were.

    But the major point is, they represent the same identical system. What's happening is happening to Windows 7. Each disk simply represents the system state at that point in time. And I've had two, each fall from 160,000 files to just over 90,000 files in the first few two or three weeks. No doubt this will grow over time as, Windows does, but represents a rather significant "adjustment". I'm surprised no one else has seemed to notice it? I guess few users have a base reference to compare too?

    DES

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    I'm surprised no one else has seemed to notice it? I guess few users have a base reference to compare too?
    Indeed, I've personally paid it no heed, I've been cloning from a base + apps. install to similar hardware systems with different size drives and it never even crossed my mind to check.

  8. #8
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint Rossmere View Post
    It has been my experience that the size of Windows 7 grows larger over time, not the opposite.
    Usually, 64-bit Windows 7 or Vista will grow a lot over time, then shrink back down. This is due to such things as running 32-bit applications in a 64-bit Operating System. The result is WoW, WinSxS, "Superfetch", and resource duplication areas build up "sludge" which is involved in compatibility adjustments. Among other things, 32-bit programs are not allowed to directly access certain system resources in 64-bit Windows 7, so these resources are duplicated. Over time, these duplicated resources are added and deleted, causing expansion and shrinkage of up to several gigabytes of disk space. As the "sludge" builds up, it can seem quite alarming, but when it shrinks back, your alarm should turn to relief.

    A similar growth and shrinkage would be expected of cloned or relocated 64-bit Windows 7 installations. So the behavior noted in this thread is completely normal for 64-bit Windows 7, and should not cause alarm. It's just the kind of housekeeping which 64-bit Windows 7 does.

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  9. #9
    Gold Lounger Roderunner's Avatar
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    See post #8 http://lounge.windowssecrets.com/ind...ic=776445&st=0
    Once you DL and run the tool, use CCleaner then run it again.
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  10. #10
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    There's one point in using CCleaner - if you make it remove 'Old Prefetch data' (which defaults to no), that can make a huge difference. Could this be perhaps the reason? Note also that by default it only deletes files in Windows Temp folders older than 48 hours.

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  11. #11
    2 Star Lounger NTLS's Avatar
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    Excuse me, I am a late 'bloomer' on this subject, or maybe just a blooming idiot. I am just a self taught user and am my own Admin on my home network. I some times would find interesting software, to me anyway, and download and see what exactly it would do. Then let others know what was found and they then could do their own testing and if they like could acquire a copy. From what I have just learned, in the last couple of days any way, this is not a practice I will do any longer because of this WinSXS folder.

    Could anyone enlighten me on why they use only 'AMD64' for most of the opening folders instead of just '64'? What are the other opening or leading titles mean, like 'WOW', 'msil'(?), and of course the 'x86' is obvious, 32bit. I still have more to investigate to see what all is stored in several other folders that are within here, that is due to my own curious nature.

    Edited by NTxLS to add below:

    Excuse me again, forgot about the folders that have a "_none_" entered within the title of the folder, what does that mean? There are almost half the folders on my Win7 64 system with that word in their title.

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  12. #12
    5 Star Lounger
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    But the major point is, they represent the same identical system. What's happening is happening to Windows 7. Each disk simply represents the system state at that point in time. And I've had two, each fall from 160,000 files to just over 90,000 files in the first few two or three weeks. No doubt this will grow over time as, Windows does, but represents a rather significant "adjustment".
    Have you had a look at the task scheduler. There are several interesting windows "housekeeping" tools on mine that run weekly. These were not setup by me and are part of the default install...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercyh View Post
    Have you had a look at the task scheduler. There are several interesting windows "housekeeping" tools on mine that run weekly. These were not setup by me and are part of the default install...
    Hummm... it'll take a while to check all those out. Obviously the Task Scheduler has taken on an "upgraded" position. Another capability it has that finally "registered" (pun intended) with me is, it can Start a Task with Windows with full Privileges, getting around the UAC prompt.

    DES

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Smith View Post
    Hummm... it'll take a while to check all those out. Obviously the Task Scheduler has taken on an "upgraded" position. Another capability it has that finally "registered" (pun intended) with me is, it can Start a Task with Windows with full Privileges, getting around the UAC prompt.

    DES
    You can create tasks in XP on an admin account and assign the task to runas SYSTEM. It will run no matter who is logged on or if no one is logged on and no password required. I haven't tried this on 7. I would have thought that Windows 7 would have tightened up the security weaknesses of the XP task scheduler. I use schtasks.exe to create tasks in scripts on XP. schtasks.exe on 7 appears to be the same from the help output.

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