Well if you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7 for a year or two, then by now you must have been thinking about way to reduce size of WinSXS folder. If not then just check the size of WinSXS folder inside your windows directory and you will be force to start thinking about it. Most of the users worldwide have reported size of this folder between 5-10 GB and some even reports it up to 20 GB in size.
So the question what Actually WinSXS folder is and what it does well to answer these questions refer to our earlier post – WinSXS folder Cleanup for Windows Vista & Windows 7. It details about utility of WinSXS Folder and some non efficient Microsoft way to reduce the size of this folder.
Now this post we written to introduce the first ever Third party application to help you with the problem if WinSXS problem, and it is called WinSXSLite. It is one Batch file written by Christian Bering Boegh and available for download at their Google Code site.
Before running the WinSXSLite, we personally advise that you take a full system backup of your windows partition by using any of the backup utility. I use CloneZilla for this because it is free and Open Source. Once Backup is taken you can run.
WinSXSLite is split into 2 phases, the first phase will search the files which are identical in size with the files stored in WinSXS folder and as per program can be removed. This is required because with a lot of Files backed up by MS Windows are actually not changing but stored as backup in WinSXS folder and resulting in huge size of Folder.
Second Phase will replace all version of each and every file stored in WinSXS folder and will create hard link to highest version of file in program location or other location. So that if any other program look for File it can be found and at the same time There is no actual file but only Directory entries for the file.
This way we can remove the files after making hard links and Still MS windows will think that it has the file backed up in WinSXS folder. Only disadvantage of this process will be that you can restore back your System files, but that you anyway don’t want if you need space recovered, because for having restoration utility to work you must have back up copy.
Please not that the latest version of WinSXSLite is available at their site and it is compatible with Windows Vista and Windows 7 only. As per author of program he has neither developed nor tested it for Windows server 2008 Version as of now.