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17. September 2012

In recent years I have gotten used to having increasingly larger hard drives, so I never really paid attention to how large Windows 7 had gotten.  Until I recently installed Win 7 on a 60GB SSD partition…

and nearly half of if was consumed by the OS!

 

This is simply put, insane.

 

The first obvious use of space is the PageFile ( 4GB, or 1 to 1 with actual RAM ), but for now I am leaving that one be.  So I wondered how much low hanging fruit I could get, and the answer is, surprisingly a lot.

 

First to go, System Restore.  I never use this feature anyways.  I backup remotely, so If my OS corrupts, I reinstall.  I never trust the state of a machine that requires a System Restore anyways.  Net savings, 1.5GB.

 

Next up, and this one kinda sucks to remove, but Hibernate.  Removing Hibernate ( powercfg –hibernate off ).  Net savings, 4GB.

 

Then I went in to Windows Features and removed the bits I didn’t use ( Games, DVD Maker, a few others ) for a grand total savings of a few hundred MB.  Meh.

 

At this point I started to think I was out of options, then I looked at WinSxS in the Windows folder… holy crap.

 

image

 

10GB, and a fresh install!  What the hell is going on here!

 

So looking in to it a little deeper, apparently Windows 7 makes a backup copy of pretty much every file it ever patches, so after a service pack there is a gigantic amount of bloat, so you can uninstall the Service Pack.  This one falls under the same category as System Restore… I will not undo a Service Pack install… I will reinstall completely.  Problem is, I couldn’t figure out a way to remove bits from WinSxS safely, until I found this.

Basically you run ( as Admin )

dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded

and:

image

 

And after it finished:

 

image

 

A net savings of nearly 4GB. 

 

So, grand total I managed to shrink the install size down by damn near 50%, with almost no downsides.  So, if you are running on a solid state drive and need more space free, consider the steps above.  Just a warning, if something goes wrong ( a bad driver install, a corrupted program install, etc… ) you will probably be doing a reinstall.

Totally Off Topic ,

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