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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    I have a Thinkpad T61 with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor with Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit installed.

    Like many others, I find the WINSXS folder has become far too large - 7.1 GB - yet again. Is there no relief from this perennial problem?
    Others have noted the Backup folder within Winsxs is sometimes the largest. Not in my case; it is "only" 540 MB.

    Looking at the contents of WINSXS, I see that about 2/3 of the folders, 6513 to be precise, are called AMD64***. That strikes me as odd, as I do not have an AMD system. Or is the name purely coincidence? The rest have a mix of names.

    Can I safely dispose of the AMD* folders? Or at least move them to NAS storage out of the way? As I write the copy to do that is running: 23,000 items - 1 hour says Windows Explorer in it's usual misleading estimate!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    AMD64 is the name for all the 64 bit software components in Windows 7 64 bit editions. It is called "AMD64" because AMD produced the first consumer 64 bit processor, the Athlon 64. As WinSXS is a Windows system folder, it should be left alone.

    Check out this MSDN Blog on Engineering Windows 7 for more information.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  3. #3
    Lounger
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    Thank you, Gerald, for telling me this.

    So items in winsxs are not real additional items, but pointers to the real item elsewhere.

    This all arose because in the last couple of weeks my C: has gone from a comfortable 10% (4.8GB) of free space reported down to below 500 MB at one stage.

    I now have two problems.
    1. Is Windows Explorer reporting free space correctly?
    Is the following equation still valid?
    Total partition size = Free space as reported by Win Explorer + Total in use as reported by Windows Explorer
    Or does one also need to look at the size of WINSXS as reported by whatever tool gives a figure and deduct that from the reported allocated?
    Does the equation then become the following?
    Total partition size = Free space as reported by Win Explorer + Total in use as reported by Windows Explorer - Reported WINSXS size
    or switching it around to work out free space:
    Free space - Partition size - total in use from Win Explorer + reported WINSXS size

    I use a tool called DiskPiePro2 released by PCMag.com. There will be other tools. Would they tell the same story?

    For info: I have 10,700 items (folders) in my WINSXS. If the "links" are all well under 1KB
    then 10 MB of WINSXS then there is nothing to worry about on this score.

    2. I am also rather puzzled as to why I appear to have lost 2.5 GB of free space in a couple of weeks while my attention was on other matters. No major installations in that time.
    I have identified and deleted some download files (and emptied one or two download folders) and may find more. But 2GB is a lot to lose just like that.

    Unless anyone directs me to anything significant, I have just got to put my head down and clean out a bit more of the 30 months worth of junk on the partition.
    (The D: and E: partitions on this 160GB drive are also at the 10% free space level, so reallocation is not really an option.)

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Do you use anything to clean out application temp files, temporary internet files, old logs, etc.? If not, try CCleaner. You might want to uncheck the 'Cookies' box under Internet Explorer or Firefox if you use one of those.

    I would look for software no longer used and uninstall it to relieve the pressure of shrinking disk space. Most folks have software they never use anymore, and it is a good practice to discard unneeded space taking applications.

    Also check your System Restore settings to find out how much disk space is allocated to SR. You may be able to adjust it to a lower setting to free up disk space. It is very easy to reduce the space needed for SR Windows 7.

    If you do not use 'Hibernate' mode, you can remove hiberfil.sys by following the How To Geek tutorial here.

    If you do image backups of your system, you can delete the Recovery partition on your hard drive to free up disk space. Your ThinkPad probably has a recovery partition that will restore your computer to its factory fresh state, but an image backup will allow you to restore your entire Windows 7 installation including OS, programs, user settings and data in 15 to 30 minutes. Window 7 has built in imaging capability in Backup an Restore. Saving an image to an external USB hard drive is a great way to go. You can also burn a System Repair Disk which is a bootable optical disk containing the Windows Recovery Environment that will allow you to restore your image backup, as well as perform other types of repair.

    If you want to investigate other options on imaging your system, check out the Backup & Security Forum. There are numerous threads on the subject, including at least two tutorials on two different imaging backup software packages.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    These types of space issues have been discussed regularly in this forum. Not only do they start squeezing the needs of Win 7 (Win 7 has significant overhead needs to do maintenance) but the extras people do not realize are present can actually begin to slow things down. Most browsers have options to check for new versions of stored pages, and guess what, this takes time to accomplish. People want to blame their browser for the speed limits when it is partially the fault of all the old stored pages. Cleaning a system regularly will provide additional space and may help to make things quicker.

    Gerald has hit the major avenues to clean up and tweak things to operate more efficiently. some other sites to check are:

    How To Geek. Hundreds of tips and tricks

    Paul Thurrott's Windows Supersite.

    Windows Seven Forum Tutorials.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  6. #6
    Lounger
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    Thank you Gerald & Ted,
    I use CCleaner fairly regularly and a run earlier yesterday released only a modest amount of space, nothing dramatic.
    I have my Firefox cache on D: so it is not relevant to this discussion. I rarely use IE and CCleaner catches it's rubbish.
    i do use hibernate.
    I use Acronis for backup and it takes over the control panel backup restore entry. I should perhaps dig a little deeper there to see if some setting from before Acronis was installed is chewing space.

    The main apparent culprits I spotted yesterday were WINSXS and Lenovo system update session data (1.4 GB,106 folders, 2,25 files!). Gerald has shown me that WINSXS space as reported is misleading. I have asked a question on the Thinkpad forums as to whether old system update session files need to be preserved.

    I spent some time yesterday removing stuff from C: (Why do people like Garmin throw applications and map data on to C: without giving one the choice to put maps elsewhere? Zinio is another: old magazines in a documents folder on C: but never the courtesy to ask me where I want to put them, even though I have plenty of NAS space. )

    Watching free space as i did this was interesting. It increased ... then decreased almost all the way back, I don't know why. Then I shut down and rebooted a couple of times. During the second shutdown the system cogitated like it sometimes does after a Windows update and then on restart I found freespace back over the 10% comfortably.
    Mysterious.

    I am aware of the various sources mentioned and indeed have Paul Win 7 Secrets book. The problem is the time one must devote periodically in response to a crisis of some sort to refreshing one's memory on all aspects of this, when there are other, non PC, jobs waiting to be done.

    Thanks for your help.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Another option is to separate the different parts of Windows 7 into different partitions. My Windows 7 OS (only) is quite comfortable in a 21 GB partition. At the moment it has 16% free space; I keep the free space at 15%-20% through routine maintenance, and I've been running this setup now for 6 months with no issues (other than a failed graphics card) whatsoever.

    The Program Files folder and Users folder each have their own partition, with registry settings to make those the default locations. So anything that writes to %Program Files% or %Users% doesn't get on the partition where the Windows 7 OS resides. All updates (both Windows and applications) are successful; no hiccups.

    For more details visit Set 7 Free. It's presented for advanced users, so it's not for everyone.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  8. #8
    Lounger
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    Bbearen, I was not aware of the (your?) set7free page,so thanks for that. I did at one stage long ago set a default for all installations to go to D:\Program Files, but I never got around to researching how to do it again on Win 7. I did it sometime ago, was it on XP or Vista, I can't remember. Now I direct installations manually and that mostly works.

    The behaviour of free space on this system is strange. I have generally trusted Ccleaner to get rid of rubbish. This morning it found only a few hundred KB to delete. I was wondering if I had old dump files cluttering up the system and so I looked at Fred Langa's Feb 09 article
    Recover lost disk space by dumping dump files . But a Win Explorer search of C: found no hdmp or mdmp files. Then, prompted by Fred's passing reference to the Windows Cleanup tool, I decided to give it a try. Given that I use Ccleaner regularly, why should I expect it to do anything, I thought. It was no surprise that after inspecting C:, the tool said there was not much to delete. But I let it do it anyway

    ..... Now the surprise! It freed up about 10 GB. I will write that again: It freed up 10 GB.

    What is going on here? What has it removed? "Invisible" dumps that I can't find with Windows search? Why didn't Ccleaner spot this?

    Here are some numbers for free space on this 48Gb partition:
    Yesterday 20/10/10: 5.9 GB
    This morning first thing 21/10/10: 2.1 GB - why this decline? I don't know. It was after a reboot following a blue screen.
    After running Windows Explorer's Cleanup tool: 14.2 GB
    Then after following some advice from Lenovo about removing old Lenovo update sessions: 16.2 GB.
    and I have just checked again after being our most of the afternoon: it says free space 19.5 GB

    What does one make of this?
    This is all in the right direction. It is when free space declines just as rapidly whilst one is not watching that is the problem.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Hutton-Squire View Post
    Now the surprise! It freed up about 10 GB. I will write that again: It freed up 10 GB.

    What is going on here? What has it removed? "Invisible" dumps that I can't find with Windows search? Why didn't Ccleaner spot this?
    You used what I use. Disk Cleanup is what I have used for a number of years, now. There are similar articles on lots of sites. With the shortcut on the desktop, I run it about once a week. Feedback I've received from my site ranges from 3.5 GB to over 12 GB of freed space. And it's just a tool included in Windows.

    After running Disk Cleanup, CCleaner can find 52.4 MB of files to clean up on my system. 50 MB of those are Temporary Internet Files that I don't really worry about. MyTIF cache is set at 50 MB, and that's always the amount of TIF files that can be deleted. (I use CCleaner only occaissionally as a check.)

    And yes, it's my Set 7 Free. I worked out the procedure on this very machine. This Microsoft Answers thread is more or less a history of the project.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

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