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  • Tip: Windows SxS folder: How big is it?

    Posted on Alex5723 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Tip: Windows SxS folder: How big is it?

    • This topic has 4 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 7 months ago.
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      • #2171410 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        How big is the Windows SxS folder, really?

        By Ed Bott

        One of the more esoteric features in Windows is the Component Store, a special folder that’s used to keep track of the many packages used to install and update Windows. The Component Store is what makes it possible to install and, if necessary, uninstall packages from Windows Update; to enable and disable Windows features; and to move from one Windows edition to another.

        You can find the Component Store in the WinSxS folder, which is located in C:Windows (the name refers to its original function, running programs using side-by-side assemblies). If you inspect the properties of that folder, you might be alarmed to find that it apparently contains many gigabytes of files….

      • #2171421 Reply
        AskWoody Lounger

        Ed has it slightly wrong here:

        “Most of the items in the WinSxS folder are hard links to files that are in use and are stored elsewhere”

        In fact, the real files are in WinSxS, which can be verified by Nir Sofer’s NTFSLinksView tool. The links are in the original locations. For example, in Windows 10 1903, C:\Windows\notepad.exe is a hard link to C:\Windows\system32\notepad.exe which is itself a hard link to C:\Windows\WinSxS\amd64_microsoft-windows-notepad_31bf3856ad364e35_10.0.18362.1_none_4177fd76ed382a53\notepad.exe.

      • #2171600 Reply
        AskWoody Lounger

        In fact, the real files are in WinSxS

        AIUI, there is no hierarchy with NTFS hard links – they are all equal, and one should not think of them as pointing to each other in a chain-like manner.  When the last link is deleted, then so is the file (NTFS keeps track of the number of links).

      • #2171754 Reply

        Ed is revisiting 7 years old topic

        • #2171787 Reply
          AskWoody MVP

          It may be old and not a big deal to many of us but there are still questions fairly regularly about WinSXS.


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