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I have a Acer laptop with 60gb SSD hard drive. I am totally fed up to the extremely large winsxs folder (~18Gb). If I run the Acer factory reset ( http://acer.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/12869/~/how-do-i-restore-my-computer-using-the-erecovery-management-program%3F), will this delete my winsxs folder since all application are also deleted?

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    Factory reset means exactly as the name suggests. You'll end up with the OS in the same state as it was when you first got the laptop. What's the confusion? – Karan Jun 13 '15 at 13:47
  • Have you run a Disk Cleanup?. Note that if you factory reset and then install updates you will end up with a large winsxs directory again. – DavidPostill Jun 13 '15 at 13:59
  • @Karan there is no confusion, I don´t see anything wrong just to be sure before erasing all my software – arkiaamu Jun 13 '15 at 14:12
  • The answer seems to be self-evident so don't know what else there is to say. – Karan Jun 13 '15 at 14:14
  • @DavidPostill I have tried that. It has no meaningful effect, ~40Mb – arkiaamu Jun 13 '15 at 14:14
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The initial size of the winsxs folder after a fresh installation should be appr. 5GB in Windows 7. It grows when you download programs which bring .dlls (dynamic link libraries which are common subroutines). When you uninstall these programs, the .dlls remain because they can be in use by other programs too. That is something the uninstaller does not know.

And to answer your question - yes a fresh install will reduce the size of the winsxs from your 18GB to appr. 5GB. But if you install many new programs, it will grow again. 18GB is unusually large. My system with many programs installed during the last 4 years has a winsxs of 12GB. I would rather get a larger SSD than worry about the winsxs size.

  • Seems a shame to waste the time reinstalling everything, which still would not salvage wasted space from a complete system reset, Instead, identify what could be deleted safely, for instance updates that were later replaced by a roll-up service pack. Anyone interested in developing the rules for surgically removing unneeded files and folders? This could be extremely valuable for anyone trying to survive with a small SSD as the system drive, – DaaBoss Jun 13 '15 at 15:13
  • @DaaBoss The problem is it may be extremely valuable but it would take more than $89.99 of effort to develop such software. Just buy a new larger drive, burn the recovery DVD's, swap the drives out, then restore on that. – Scott Chamberlain Jun 13 '15 at 15:24
  • I agree it would cost far more time than worth, used by one only person. Even if you could find this magical space saver, and assuming you could quickly determine if it was safe and wouldn't do more harm than good, it wouldn't be worth it either. However, if it were guaranteed not to do harm, and deployed as an automatic process applied to 500,000 who had a similar problem, the value of the work would be well worth it, rather than adding work to an $89 purchase to fix a problem that could have been prevented.. – DaaBoss Jun 13 '15 at 15:59
  • I think the nature of the .dlls, the fact that any program can use them, would make a clean-up operation extremely difficult and hazardous. But if you have a viable suggestion on how to do that, it would be very valuable. – whs Jun 13 '15 at 16:45

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