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Freeing up space taken from WinSXS after intstall


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Hi guys, I've a question about the hotfix and other components WinSXS directory in Windows 7, from what I've read by clearing the folder with vLite or WinReducer or other softwares, Windows Update will not work.
But is it possible to fake Windows Update in thinking that WinSXS is fine even if I clear up all the files inside the various directories(directories are fine cause they don't occupy space, but .dll and .exe do).

Can someone clear this thing ?
Suppose you want to install future updates and hotfixes but you don't want to unistall any of the previous, are those files inside WinSXS required.
How does Windows Update check if those files are present, will check updates by the directory list or it will investigate the files inside them too ?

Thanks, for any suggestion to free up those 5 GB safely without breaking Windows Update functionality.


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The best way to "free" up 5gb safely is to get a bigger hdd.  While WinSXS can probably be removed (never tried it), the reason for its functionality is OS stability.  Secondly, despite what you think, your WinSXS is really not quite that big.  What appears to be files in each of the directories are filesystem links back to single files.  Because of the way filesystem links work, you only think it is 5gb because each file (even those linking back to a single file) are counted as taking up space.  You might research more on why WinSYS is there, instead of just trying to break OS stability first.

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You can reduce the size of winSxS by uninstalling (in Add/Remove) 

all of the older side by side double installed VC++ Runtimes. 

You only have to keep latest  X86 (and x64) generation of each:


VC8  Visual c++ 2005 SP1 v8.0.50727.6195

VC9  Visual c++ 2008 SP1 v9.0.30729.6161

VC10 Visual c++ 2010 SP1 v10.0.40219.325


You can also reduce your System folder by deleting WU history:


"The reason for clearing or removing windows update history log 

is just to make it clean and make your windows update history 

refreshed, no performance boost or enhancements whatsoever, 

though its nice to clean things up a bit.


Doing this method will not remove your installed updates, it only 

removes your history log, and you can save that log information 

to a different location in case you want to restore it back."


path: C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore\DataStore.edb. 


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