The component store contains all the files that are required for a Windows installation. And, any updates to those files are also held within the component store as the updates are installed. This causes the component store to grow over time as more updates, features, or roles are added to the installation. The component store uses NTFS hard links between itself and other Windows directories to increase the robustness of the Windows platform.
The component store will show a large directory size because of how the Windows Explorer shell accounts for hard links. The Windows shell will count each reference to a hard link as a single instance of the file for each directory in which the file resides. For example, if a file that is named advapi32.dll is 700 KB and is contained in the component store and in the \Windows\system32 directory, Windows Explorer would inaccurately report that the file consumes 1,400 KB of hard disk space.
To reduce the size of the component store directory on a Windows installation, you can decide to make the service pack installation permanent and reclaim used space from the service pack files. However, if you make the service pack installation permanent, the service pack is not removable.
To remove the service pack files from a Windows installation, use the following in-box utilities:
- Windows Vista Service Pack 1 installed: VSP1CLN.EXE
- Windows Vista Service Pack 2 or Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 installed: Compcln.exe
- Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 installed: DISM /online /Cleanup-Image /SpSuperseded or Disk Cleanup Wizard (cleanmgr.exe)
Scavenging may also be performed proactively on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 installations by forcing a removal event on the system. Scavenging will try to remove any unwanted system binaries from the installation and enable Windows to reclaim the disk space. To issue an uninstall event on a Windows installation, add and remove any unwanted system component that is not already installed, and then restart the Windows installation. Scavenging will be performed during the following restart of the operating system.
Note Scavenging is performed automatically on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 installations.
How to Reduce the Size of Your WinSXS Folder on Windows 7 or 8
The WinSXS folder at C:\Windows\WinSXS is massive and continues to grow the longer you have Windows installed. This folder builds up unnecessary files over time, such as old versions of system components.
This folder also contains files for uninstalled, disabled Windows components. Even if you don't have a Windows component installed, it will be present in your WinSXS folder, taking up space.
Why the WinSXS Folder Gets too BigRead More...
- Windows/winsxs folder grows over time - How To Clean up un-needed update and installation files
- windows/winsxs folder - Google Search
- How to Reduce the Size of Your WinSXS Folder on Windows 7 or 8
- How to address disk space issues that are caused by a large Windows component store (WinSxS) directory