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How can I clean up Winsxs folder?

    Question

  • I have upgraded from Vista to Win 7 on my laptop.  I now want to connect through the server to my HP printer.  In order to do so I have to delete (per HP) all references to HP from Windows. 

    In the "winsxs" folder are about a hundred references to HP drivers and software.  Even though I have uninstalled all of my HP software the links are still in winsxs.

    I would like to know how to get rid of not only the references to HP but the rest of the products that I have uninstalled from my system. 

    Is there a clean up tool for the winsxs folder incorporated in W7?  If not, why not? 

    I do not want to go through the installation of the the HP software (it takes about an hour) only to find that the remaining references to HP will inhibit the installation and connection to HP printer.

    I have read several links to tech posts and Microsoft threads about winsxs but nothing explains how to clean up files that are no longer needed.  Or, why they remain after uninstalling processes have been run.

    Thanks, Ray
    Sunday, January 03, 2010 2:05 PM

Answers

  • Man I knew there was reason I do not allow those cheap all-in-one's on the networks.

     Ok can you "see" the printer if you open the network (like you are browsing for a computer on the network)??

    You have it installed on XP / Vista boxes on the same network now, right. If so share on one of those boxes, and browse to it,
    install it. Now go change the port it uses to the IP if the printer.


    Actually the printer is pretty darn good.  It may be cheap but I have had it for three yeas and I feel it has served me well.

    The XP box did detect it.  It still would not connect to it.  I could access it through its IP address and actually read the ink levels but XP would not see it and set it as the default printer.  The problem was, I think, the already installed .dll's and driver for using it as USB.  Until all those references were removed it would not work properly. 

    BTW, I also have an XP latptop (that I completely reinstalled using the Lenovo disks) which took the installation the same way.  I installed the HP suite and, to my chagrin, I had the printer hooked up and mistakenly set it up for USB.  Then I tried to use the router.   I had to do the same thing as my box as per the link above.

    Now the XP box and laptop are okay but the process was arduous.  My question for this thread was attempt to avoid all that. 

    I did a complete uninstall of all HP software on this W7 laptop.  I deleted all references to HP in the registry.  A search found all those references in the winsxs folder and my brain froze thinking that I was going to have the same problems. 

    I since downloaded the HP software suite for W7 32 bit and loaded it.   It all worked fine.  I am connected to the All in one and it works fine.  I was trying to be pre-emptive in the installation. 

    Thanks for the replies.   I hope this can help someone else.

    I STILL don't get why the links were still there to  software that was uninstalled, though.
    • Edited by raybbr Sunday, January 03, 2010 5:29 PM incomplete sentence
    • Proposed as answer by Vivian Xing Tuesday, January 05, 2010 6:54 AM
    • Marked as answer by Vivian Xing Monday, January 11, 2010 9:36 AM
    Sunday, January 03, 2010 5:29 PM

All replies

  • You should tell us what the issue is...HP tech support is not a good source of info.

    We can provide help if you tell us what is happening.

    Sunday, January 03, 2010 3:45 PM
  • You should tell us what the issue is...HP tech support is not a good source of info.

    We can provide help if you tell us what is happening.


    Uh, the issue is cleaning up defunct references to programs in the winsxs folder.  As I said, I have uninstalled all of my HP software yet hundreds of references remain in the winsxs folder.  I have experienced the past, while installing software, those references will give me problems with the new installation. 

    My goal is to connect to a the printer via my router.  I have had ton of problems doing that with XP.  It took me eight hours of cleaning and uninstalling.  I wish to avoid that same problem with W7.

    In any case, why are the links still in the winsxs folder after the software has been uninstalled and the computer rebooted? 
    Sunday, January 03, 2010 4:22 PM
  • I could not answer that Nor should it be an issue, few programs clean up on uninstall, as someone who installs 100's of network HP printers evevy year,
    I can think of only one time I had to do cleanup to install a HP printer and that was because someone was downgrading the tool kit.

    If the printer is on the network and you are wanting to print to it, there really is not a reason to be installing from the cd / dvd UNLESS this is some all in one device.

    In that case you should be at HP support for answers, if it just a printer and you have it insalled and shared on PC or if it has a print server, browse to it, right click and select connect, chances are good it will just install for you, if it some off the wall model it may popup asking for the drivers, if so point to them.



    Sunday, January 03, 2010 4:37 PM
  • Hi Ray,

    NEVER touch the WinSxS folder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It doesn't use space! The files are hardlinks which are linked to the target folders (C:\Program Files;C:\Windows;C:\Windows\System32).

    Read more about WinSxS here:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2008/11/19/disk-space.aspx
    http://blogs.technet.com/askcore/archive/2008/09/17/what-is-the-winsxs-directory-in-windows-2008-and-windows-vista-and-why-is-it-so-large.aspx

    André
    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    • Proposed as answer by Vivian Xing Tuesday, January 05, 2010 6:54 AM
    Sunday, January 03, 2010 4:51 PM
  • I could not answer that Nor should it be an issue, few programs clean up on uninstall, as someone who installs 100's of network HP printers evevy year,
    I can think of only one time I had to do cleanup to install a HP printer and that was because someone was downgrading the tool kit.

    If the printer is on the network and you are wanting to print to it, there really is not a reason to be installing from the cd / dvd UNLESS this is some all in one device.

    In that case you should be at HP support for answers, if it just a printer and you have it insalled and shared on PC or if it has a print server, browse to it, right click and select connect, chances are good it will just install for you, if it some off the wall model it may popup asking for the drivers, if so point to them.



    It is an "All In One Device"  See this page:   http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01577383&tmp_task=solveCategory&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&product=1153481

    I had to do the entire list to get my XP box to see the printer.  I had the printer running from a USB port.  I then hooked the printer up to my router and that's when all the problems began.  There a multitude of threads on forums discussing that problem. 

    The laptops I had Vista on picked the printer up immediately.  However, since I upgraded both to W7 I am now having to reinstall the driver and software packages for W7. 

    Again, the issue isn't so much the printer as it is all the links/files left behind in winsxs.  I have read a lot of pages where they say this is not a problem but a folder that size will eventually cause problems.


    Sunday, January 03, 2010 5:02 PM
  • Hi Ray,

    NEVER touch the WinSxS folder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It doesn't use space! The files are hardlinks which are linked to the target folders (C:\Program Files;C:\Windows;C:\Windows\System32).

    Read more about WinSxS here:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2008/11/19/disk-space.aspx
    http://blogs.technet.com/askcore/archive/2008/09/17/what-is-the-winsxs-directory-in-windows-2008-and-windows-vista-and-why-is-it-so-large.aspx

    André
    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    I have seen those pages.  Thanks.  My question then would be "Why do hardlinks remain after a program has been uninstalled?"

    How does W7 address that issue?
    Sunday, January 03, 2010 5:04 PM
  • Man I knew there was reason I do not allow those cheap all-in-one's on the networks.

     Ok can you "see" the printer if you open the network (like you are browsing for a computer on the network)??

    You have it installed on XP / Vista boxes on the same network now, right. If so share on one of those boxes, and browse to it,
    install it. Now go change the port it uses to the IP if the printer.


    Sunday, January 03, 2010 5:10 PM
  • Files from Program are not hardlinks. They are also not stored in WinSxS. The WinSxS folder maybe contaisn the old Vista files, so that you are able to uninstall Windows 7 and go back. Also the WinSxS folder contains the Vista drivers of your HP printer driver. Windows 7 uses WinSxS folder the same way like Vista.

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code" CLIP- Stellvertreter http://www.winvistaside.de/
    Sunday, January 03, 2010 5:19 PM
  • Man I knew there was reason I do not allow those cheap all-in-one's on the networks.

     Ok can you "see" the printer if you open the network (like you are browsing for a computer on the network)??

    You have it installed on XP / Vista boxes on the same network now, right. If so share on one of those boxes, and browse to it,
    install it. Now go change the port it uses to the IP if the printer.


    Actually the printer is pretty darn good.  It may be cheap but I have had it for three yeas and I feel it has served me well.

    The XP box did detect it.  It still would not connect to it.  I could access it through its IP address and actually read the ink levels but XP would not see it and set it as the default printer.  The problem was, I think, the already installed .dll's and driver for using it as USB.  Until all those references were removed it would not work properly. 

    BTW, I also have an XP latptop (that I completely reinstalled using the Lenovo disks) which took the installation the same way.  I installed the HP suite and, to my chagrin, I had the printer hooked up and mistakenly set it up for USB.  Then I tried to use the router.   I had to do the same thing as my box as per the link above.

    Now the XP box and laptop are okay but the process was arduous.  My question for this thread was attempt to avoid all that. 

    I did a complete uninstall of all HP software on this W7 laptop.  I deleted all references to HP in the registry.  A search found all those references in the winsxs folder and my brain froze thinking that I was going to have the same problems. 

    I since downloaded the HP software suite for W7 32 bit and loaded it.   It all worked fine.  I am connected to the All in one and it works fine.  I was trying to be pre-emptive in the installation. 

    Thanks for the replies.   I hope this can help someone else.

    I STILL don't get why the links were still there to  software that was uninstalled, though.
    • Edited by raybbr Sunday, January 03, 2010 5:29 PM incomplete sentence
    • Proposed as answer by Vivian Xing Tuesday, January 05, 2010 6:54 AM
    • Marked as answer by Vivian Xing Monday, January 11, 2010 9:36 AM
    Sunday, January 03, 2010 5:29 PM
  • >It doesn't use space! The files are hardlinks which are linked to the target folders (C:\Program Files;C:\Windows;C:\Windows\System32).

    I suggest you recheck the folder with a program that identifies hardlinks.  My Winsxs folder shows as 11+GB in explorer.  Checking it for hardlinks shows only 1GB worth.  The other 10GB are real files.

    Winsxs was one of the worst things Microsoft came up with.  They attempted to solve a small problem and replaced it with a huge one.  Their attitude has always been that hardware is cheap and will grow in size to support bloated softwar.  Unfortunately, with the move to SSD drives and to virtual machines that bloat is very expensive to support.


    http://www.saberman.com

    Saturday, March 24, 2012 2:26 AM