On some early installations of SBS 2011 OEMs weren’t always very generous with the hard disk partition size for C:, and administrators quickly found themsleves juggling for diskpace. Luckily there are wizards to move various componets of SBS (Exchange, WSUS, Sharepoint and Home Folders) to different locations, namely a different partion or data drive, but even by doing that an installation that has now been running for several years may find diskspace running out.
Last month Microsoft released an optional update for Windows 2008 R2 which added the ability to cleanup the WinSxS folder by using the Disk Cleanup Wizard. The WinSxS folder can often be numerous Gigabytes in size because it contains a copy of all the Windows Updates applied to the computer, effectively a complete copy if Windows so that you are able to roll back an update if you need to.
The only caveat to this process is that on the Windows 2008 R2 server you need to install the Desktop Experience Feature to be able to run the Disk Cleanup Wizard.
On my Test SBS server using WindDirStat you can see the WinSxS folder is 11.3GB in size.
Once installed run Server Manager, select Features click Add Feature.
Confirm selections and click Install.
Click Yes to restart now (assuming you are doing this in a maintenance windows). The sever will reboot once configuring the update, then automatically reboot again before offering you the Ctrl – Alt – Delete prompt, the process took about 5 minutes on my test server.
When you next login the Installation Results will be displayed. Click Close.
Now to run the Disk Cleanup Wizard.
Click Start – All Programs – Accessories – System Tools, and select Disk Cleanup.
The Disk Cleanup will then show you files what it can clean. With everything selected I can save 331MB of space, which isn’t going to make a huge difference, but this doesn’t include the the WinSxS folder.
To include the WinSxS folder in the Disk Cleanup click the Clean up system files button.
There are now options to cleanup Service Pack Backup Files and Windows Update Cleanup. So I can now recover 3.61GB, which on a C: with not much diskspace can make a huge difference. Check the boxes to select the items you want to cleanup and click OK.
Click the Delete Files button at the Are you sure you want to permanently delete these files? prompt. This can take a few minutes depending on how much you are deleting.
Once completed another quick scan with WinDirStat shows the WinSxS folder is now 7.8GB in size, reduce from 11.3GB before we started.