TreeSize Professional is a powerful and flexible hard disk space manager for Windows 7/Vista/XP or Windows Server 2008/2003 (32 or 64 Bit).


Cleaning up the WINSXS folder in Windows 7 SP1

Earlier I wrote about the WINSXS directory in Windows Vista and Windows 2008.

In Windows 7 the cleanup tool is changed. Just like it changed with Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista en Windows 2008. 🙂

The new command is:
DISM /online /Cleanup-Image /SpSuperseded

Remember: This command requires elevated command prompt and you cannot uninstall the Service Pack after it completes!

What is the WINSXS directory in Windows 2008 and Windows Vista and why is it so large?


A commonly asked question among people looking at a Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 installation is “why is the WinSxS folder so big?!”   To answer that question I need to first describe componentization, and how components are managed in Windows Vista.

One of the largest changes between previous versions of Windows and Windows Vista was a move from an INF described OS to componentization.  A component in Windows is one or more binaries, a catalog file, and an XML file that describes everything about how the files should be installed. From associated registry keys and services to what kind security permissions the files should have.  Components are grouped into logical units, and these units are used to build the different Windows editions.

All of the components in the operating system are found in the WinSxS folder – in fact we call this location the component store.  Each component has a unique name that includes the version, language, and processor architecture that it was built for.  The WinSxS folder is the only location that the component is found on the system, all other instances of the files that you see on the system are “projected” by hard linking from the component store.  Let me repeat that last point – there is only one instance (or full data copy) of each version of each file in the OS, and that instance is located in the WinSxS folder.   So looked at from that perspective, the WinSxS folder is really the entirety of the whole OS, referred to as a “flat” in down-level operating systems.  This also accounts for why you will no longer be prompted for media when running operations such as System File Checker (SFC), or when installing additional features and roles.Continue reading

How to Free Up a Lot of Disk Space on Ubuntu Linux by Deleting Cached Package Files

If you’re anything like me, you probably have Ubuntu running on your older computers, and they often have smaller hard drives so you’re looking to save every bit of drive space you can. Here’s an easy trick to free up a surprising amount of drive space.

Every time Ubuntu updates or you install some software, the package manager downloads all of the packages to the system, and then caches them there in case they need to be installed again. Unfortunately, this can often mean a real lot of wasted space.

Check the Drive Space Used by Cached Files

To check out the used space for yourself, head into the /var/cache/apt/archives folder, or just run the following command from the prompt:

du –sh /var/cache/apt/archives

Clean Out the Cached Packages

To clean out this folder properly, you can use this command from the shell prompt:

sudo apt-get clean

You could, of course, delete the files manually if you wanted to, but that would probably be a mistake since the lock file and the blank partial directory are supposed to stay there—and it’s less keystrokes to type this anyway.Continue reading