Think I’ve figured out whats going on with this. First I came accross this information in a post in vistax64.com. It was posted in response to someone quering the size of winsxs.
Sxs stands for side by side versioning. This was an feature first
introduced, oddly enough, in Windows ME and of course improved in XP. It
was Microsoft’s solution to the “DLL Hell” issue that plagued Win 9x and
provided a way to support multiple versions of same named DLLs. Windows
would recognize a potential conflict and place an incoming DLL in the Winsxs
tree rather than overwriting it elsewhere, would store applicable registry
In Vista the use of Winsxs seems to have changed and been greatly expanded.
Vista includes the Net Framework as a core technology (i.e. and not as an
add in). Many of the files under Winsxs are related to the use of managed
code -headers, manifests, etc. Also, I concur with your thought that this
replaces the I386 folder. It seems to be a repository for installation
files as well as Dlls etc.
Got me curious enough to take a closer look at the contents of the folder. A lot didn’t make sense but I found multiple config files, exe’s, dll’s etc I linked to software that was uninstalled. There’s a lot of stuff that shouldn’t be there anymore. Basicly looks as if this folder isn’t getting emptied properly when uninstalling/updating. It’s building up garbage based on software going in and out of the system.
There’s 8,063 folders 29,595 files and a heck of a lot is not needed. It doesn’t seem to be the sole contributer to this problem but seems to be playing a big part. Could be an uninstall issue with software that was origionaly made for xp ( just a theory based on issues I saw xp software having with vista’s security ). I don’t have enough ifo to confirm that. One thing I am going to try is downloading a compatability update pack that I saw ms have posted. Might have a fix for this.
EDIT:- The folder is supposed to be big. Seems to be about 2 1/2, 3 gig average, but it definetly shouldn’t have built up as big as it did on my system. I have done a lot of installing and uninstalling with this vista installation though.