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Where's my server's C: drive disk space gone?

posted 17 Jul 2015, 13:55 by Andrew at Lycom   [ updated 17 Jul 2015, 13:59 ]
This one crops up time and time again. Most default builds of servers don't make the system (C:) partition big enough, in my opinion. It sounds fine when you start, but over time various things grow and grow, and soon you get the inevitable 'free disk space warning' alerts from your monitoring systems ...

One prime villain is the WinSXS cache:

"The Windows component store (C:\Windows\winsxs) directory is used during servicing operations within Windows installations. Servicing operations include, but are not limited to, Windows Update, service pack, and hotfix installations. "

This one will grow and grow unless you do something about it, strangling your server's c: drive as you search desperately for other files to move / delete. I've worked with servers that have grown their WInSxS cache to 20-30 GB.

Luckily, MSFT have produced a means of clearing this down using this hotfix:

You've probably got it already via Windows Update.

There are two ways of using it, the GUI way (details here) or the command line:

dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded

I have tended to use the GUI method, which you can schedule.  On various systems, it has reclaimed many GB of disk space. The only real pain is that installing the Desktop Experience feature requires a reboot ...