In recent years I have gotten used to having increasingly larger hard drives, so I never really paid attention to how large Windows 7 had gotten. Until I recently installed Win 7 on a 60GB SSD partition…
and nearly half of if was consumed by the OS!
This is simply put, insane.
The first obvious use of space is the PageFile ( 4GB, or 1 to 1 with actual RAM ), but for now I am leaving that one be. So I wondered how much low hanging fruit I could get, and the answer is, surprisingly a lot.
First to go, System Restore. I never use this feature anyways. I backup remotely, so If my OS corrupts, I reinstall. I never trust the state of a machine that requires a System Restore anyways. Net savings, 1.5GB.
Next up, and this one kinda sucks to remove, but Hibernate. Removing Hibernate ( powercfg –hibernate off ). Net savings, 4GB.
Then I went in to Windows Features and removed the bits I didn’t use ( Games, DVD Maker, a few others ) for a grand total savings of a few hundred MB. Meh.
At this point I started to think I was out of options, then I looked at WinSxS in the Windows folder… holy crap.
10GB, and a fresh install! What the hell is going on here!
So looking in to it a little deeper, apparently Windows 7 makes a backup copy of pretty much every file it ever patches, so after a service pack there is a gigantic amount of bloat, so you can uninstall the Service Pack. This one falls under the same category as System Restore… I will not undo a Service Pack install… I will reinstall completely. Problem is, I couldn’t figure out a way to remove bits from WinSxS safely, until I found this.
Basically you run ( as Admin )
dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded
And after it finished:
A net savings of nearly 4GB.
So, grand total I managed to shrink the install size down by damn near 50%, with almost no downsides. So, if you are running on a solid state drive and need more space free, consider the steps above. Just a warning, if something goes wrong ( a bad driver install, a corrupted program install, etc… ) you will probably be doing a reinstall.