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Is safe to junction link folders in C:\windows ? I'm trying to micromanage and fine tune so that large files that are infrequently accessed are offloaded away from the SSD.

I wouldn't dream of doing this in my primary workstation, however this can makes sense for Virtual Machines. I have a VM I just created, Windows 7, and the Windows Folder is approximately 15 gigabytes. I would like to move non critical pieces of this folder via junction links (which point to another virtual hard drive letter that sits on a mechanical disk on the host).

And so:

1) (a) Which pieces (if any, or all) of C:\windows can be junction-linked to another hard disk, without creating problems?

(b) If applicable, which folders are most rarely needed in C:\windows for day to day? Windows 7 Folder Size Composition, For Convenience

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(b) If applicable, which folders are most rarely needed in C:\windows for day to day?

You can safely delete the folder named SoftwareDistribution. To do this use net stop wuauserv, then delete everything in the folder. If you want you can also delete WindowsUpdate.log. Then restart the update service with net start wuauserv. This will repopulate the softwaredistribution folder with a few files.

An other folder you might not need but which makes no sense to move is the winsxs. A large part of the content in that folder already are hardlinks/junctions.

As for part a) of your question: I never tried doing this with the OS files. If it is setup in a sane way then I guess (repeat: guess) that you could move any files which are loaded after the filesystem drivers are loaded.


When I create virtual machines I usually install from the most modern version of the OS because somehow those end up using less disc space.

Example:

  • Install 1: Fresh windows 7 install, all windows updates.Window build in disk clean. Installed and an ccleaner. Removed ccleaner. Removed all restore points.
  • Install 2: Fresh windows 7 SP 1install, all windows updates.Window build in disk clean. Installed and an ccleaner. Removed ccleaner. Removed all restore points.

Install 1 used 1.8GB more space. (12.4GB vs 10.6GB)
Hardware used was identical (a vmware host with the same settings).

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