Winsxs Folder Size Issues
Posted by Peter Thompson on 31/10/17 10:48

The Winsxs folder it the component store in the operating system. All of the components are found here. In practice, nearly every file in the WinSxS directory is a “hard link” to the physical files elsewhere on the system-meaning that the files are not actually in this directory.


For instance in the WinSxS there might be a file called advapi32.dll that takes up >700K however what’s being reported is a hard link to the actual file that lives in the Windows\System32, and it will be counted twice (or more) when simply looking at the individual directories from Windows Explorer.” That means, in reality it doesn’t actually consume as much disk space as it appears when using the built-in tools (DIR and Explorer) to measure disk space used, which is why the Winsxs folder can grow that big.


In order to reduce the size of Winsxs folder, please try the methods below.


1.       Uninstall unnecessary applications if possible

2.       If your computer is running Windows Server 2008 SP1, please use Vsp1cln.exe tool to clean up the space.

If your computer is running Windows Server 2008 SP2, please use Cmpcln.exe tool to clean up the space.

(They are located under \%windir%\system32\.)

To do this, please follow these steps:


1)      Open an elevated command window

2)      Type vsp1cln or cmpcln.exe

3)      Type Y to start the cleanup process.


*Note: After you use this cleanup tool, you will no longer be able to remove the Service Pack, should any problems occur. Make sure that the system is stable before using. This tool is a one-time use tool. Once it's used it will no longer work on the same installation.


3.       Delete blobs.bin file and reboot the system.

The blobs.bin file which is located at \Windows\winsxs\ManifestCache\blobs.bin is used as a caching mechanism for servicing operations that are set to happen against the system.  The file will naturally grow and shrink in size as various servicing actions take place against the machine and are satisfied. It the file grows out of control, let’s say it occupies several GBs space. You can safely delete this file without any fear of it damaging anything on the server as this file is just for caching. The file will be recreated when you reboot the system.


If deleting the file does not resolve the growth issue, set the permission of the file to deny everyone from writing to it.  The stack will see a failure to write to this as a signal that it doesn’t need caching and it will move on servicing files.


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