Windows Vista winsxs problem

A long while back I deleted a bunch of what I guess were some kind of “system” files.
They were .wmv &.wma files that MS installs with Windows. In my case Windows Vista.
I was trying to free up some space & I thought they were just deleted.
Apparently they leave a junction or link back to the winsxs folder even after they’re deleted.

What I want to know is there a way to fix this ?

The suggestions I found say to find replacements on another system.
If I had wanted these files I wouldn’t have deleted them .
I never watch or listen to them .
I would like a shorter & cleaner CheckSUR.log for spotting what might be a real problem.

I found that they’re still there by running the Microsoft Update Standalone Package for Vista.
This is what creates the CheckSUR.log & does some repair but not these files that are supposed to be “junctions to the real files” (I think) in the winsxs folder.
This isn’t causing an problems for my OS that I can tell. I would just like to fix it.

Here are just a couple of examples from a long list:
(f) CSI Payload File Missing 0x00000000 organize.wmv x86_microsoft-windows-h…-organize.resources_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6000.16386_en-us_344324d208e4b1d8
(f) CSI Payload File Missing 0x00000000 Butterfly.wmv x86_microsoft-windows-videosamples_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6000.16386_none_f3766b6019679882

BTW if anyone is interested this is available for Windows 7 too.
Microsoft Update Standalone Package

I haven’t deleted any of this type files from my Windows 7 on my laptop.

Have you tried a repair install? If those are files from the setup then they may be reinstalled with a repair install. Otherwise, you may have to find them yourself on the install disk. How many are there?

I don’t want to put these useless audio/video files back on my OS.
They are just wasted space. I’m not on the Vista desktop at the moment
so I don’t have an exact count. Several though.
I can post an exact count or list later if I need to.

I don’t have any Vista install discs . The Vista desktop just came with a hidden recovery partition. I removed & formated over it a long time ago.I use AcronisTI
it has always restored my Vista OS when I need it.I only keep a couple of recent backups on an external Harddrive. I do have a very old BU set of DVDs.Those might have the files if I wanted them.
I would just like to remove the junction,link, or path which tells the Vista OS that the files should be in the winsxs folder. If you are familiar how the winsxs folder works & I sort of am . Most of the time the “real” files are not actually in those folders. Just a link or junction (a shortcut of sorts) to the actual file. That’s why the size of the winsxs folder is false but the OS doesn’t know it is.
Another bit of Microsoft insanity.
[B]How many of these would anyone watch more than once if even that ?[/B]
Here’s the list: 96 I think but I did a quick count .
mail.wmv                Â
Intro.wmv        Â
Bear.wmv               Â
Muita Bobeira.wma
One Step Beyond.wmaÂ
Din Din Wo (Little Child).wma
I Ka Barra (Your Work).wmaÂ
I Guess You’re Right.wmaÂ
Amanda.wma               Â
OAM’s Blues.wma             Â
Brightness.wmv               Â
RGBBalance.wmv            Â
Contrast.wmv              Â
Positioning4x3.wmv               Â
ColorTint.wmv                   Â
Love Comes.wma
flower_trans_rgb.wmv              Â
flower_precomp_matte.wmv               Â
flower_trans_matte.wmv              Â
Title_Page.wmv                                             Â
Title_Trans_Notes_PAL.wmv                    Â
Scene_loop.wmv                                               Â
Notes_loop.wmv                                            Â
SportsNotesBackground_PAL.wmv             Â
SportsMainBackground_PAL.wmv            Â
SportsScenesBackground_PAL.wmv             Â
SportsMainToNotesBackground.wmv             Â
SportsMainToScenesBackground.wmv               Â
SportsScenesBackground.wmv            Â
SportsMainBackground.wmv                            Â
SportsNotesBackground.wmv                             Â
Panel_Mask.wmv                                             Â
Panel_Mask_PAL.wmv                               Â
PassportMask.wmv                                            Â
Passport.wmv                                            Â
TravelIntroToMain_PAL.wmv             Â
TravelIntroToMainMask.wmv                Â
PassportMask_PAL.wmv                Â
TravelIntroToMain.wmv                                                                                        Â

That winsxs folder is really complicated which is why most people don’t mess with it. It can cause your computer to not boot if something critical is missing.

It is supposed to keep track of multiple versions of the same application which they call assemblies.

In your case, I can’t even reconcile why a video file would have an entry in that folder, since it is not an assembly. That being said, have you checked for a manifest file that matches the entries that you have deleted. The manifest file is supposed to link all the diferent versions of the same assembly.

Your version of Windows was preinstalled with your computer so it may have slight differences from the retail version of Vista. I cannot find a single trace of any of those entries in the Vista that I have. I only have three sample .wmv files in my version.

I may dig out the old back up DVDs & see if I can find these files.
I’m not going to replace them but they might be there.
I was surprised to find these files were in the winsxs folder at one time also.
If you run the Microsoft Update Standalone Package for Vista & then check the
CheckSUR.log maybe you will see if any of your Vista OSs had them.

I have ran vsp1cln.exe on SP1 & compcln.exe on SP2.

@ cpubound , I Googled & some of the .wmvs are supposed to be here:
Of course they aren’t there on my Vista because I deleted them.

The manifest files for all those video files exists in a cab file in the folder Windows\CheckSur\v1.0\\winsxs.

My guess is that Windows creates this folder at installation time so that the Checksur can check for any missing components at a later date. This may be the link that you are looking for to eliminate the error message in the Checksur.

You would have to delete the manifest file from the cab file and also the manifest file in the winsxs folder and also the payload folder which you have already deleted.

This may eliminate all traces of these video files that Checksur is detecting.

If not, we are at least getting closer. I may test this myself since I have now found the files you are talking about and can recreate the problem.

Probably won’t help now, but what I do when I want to ‘rid’ myself of useless files is rename them or change the extension for a week or so before I delete them for good. Makes it easy to restore them if they aren’t truly useless…

So far I haven’t been able to delete or rename just one .manifest file from the\winsxs .
I thought I would try just one file to start with.
7-Zip wouldn’t do this .
I have WinRAR on a different drive with XP as the OS. I ran it from Vista but it wouldn’t do this either. I will try rebooting into XP & see if I can do it from there.
My experience in modifying .cab files is very limited .

[QUOTE=cholla;2727712]So far I haven’t been able to delete or rename just one .manifest file from the\winsxs .
I thought I would try just one file to start with.
7-Zip wouldn’t do this .
I have WinRAR on a different drive with XP as the OS. I ran it from Vista but it wouldn’t do this either. I will try rebooting into XP & see if I can do it from there.
My experience in modifying .cab files is very limited .[/QUOTE]
I don’t know of any software that will edit a cab file in place. I think you have to run a dos command to extract, edit and then rebuild the cab.

Why don’t you just create a dummy wmv file (with the same names as you deleted) in each of the payload folders. The file will take up no space. I have tested this and it eliminates that payload file missing error from the checksur (see attached).

I believe that you are mainly interested in getting a clean checksur, therefore this would be the easiest way to go.

The wmv file can still be deleted from the Windows help folder, so the net effect is no additional disk space.

CheckSUR.log.txt (9.13 KB)

@ cpubound , I tested with just the dummy organize.wav & it worked .
This looks like it will be a good workaround.
Thanks for the help.
Now I just need to do it for 96 more files.

I would have been nice if I could have just deleted the file & then also deleted the folder from winsxs . That would be too much to ask from MS.

BTW it seems that Windows 7 & even more Windows 8 is supposed to be able to use DISM to clean up the winsxs folder a bit.

MS needs to design a cleaner for the winsxs folder to remove obsolete folders.


I would have been nice if I could have just deleted the file & then also deleted the folder from winsxs . That would be too much to ask from MS.

The cab file has a Microsoft signature so I don’t think you can mess with it and not be detected. Glad the alternative worked for you.

@ cpubound , It further testing of the workaround with SFC /SCANNOW .
It said that the Hash tags didn’t match what was expected.

What I was able to do was use an old backup I did with AcronisTI to DVDs in 2008.
I had to copy the image files from the DVDs to a harddrive to “open” them.
I then copied the .wmv,wma, & ,avi files I had deleted.
I then pasted them back into the correct folders in the winsxs folder.
That added about 3/4 GB to my harddrive.
This fixed the problem.
It is still hard to believe that these audio/video files were treatd almost like system files.
This is the last CheckSUR.log :

Checking System Update Readiness.
Binary Version 6.0.6002.23186
Package Version 24.0
2014-05-22 10:15

Checking Windows Servicing Packages

Checking Package Manifests and Catalogs

Checking Package Watchlist

Checking Component Watchlist

Checking Packages

Checking Component Store

Seconds executed: 891
 No errors detected

Checking CoreOS key for repairing corruptions.
Winner version: 6.0.6002.18971.
Processor architecture: x86.
Check key to be repaired: wcm://Microsoft-Windows-CoreOS?version=6.0.6002.18971&language=neutral&processorArchitecture=x86&publicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35&versionScope=nonSxS&scope=allUsers\metadata\elements\ComputerName
Recreated value: @_type.
Recreated value: @dataOnly.
Recreated value: @default.
Recreated value: @description.
Recreated value: @displayName.
Recreated value: @handler.
Recreated value: @legacyName.
Recreated value: @legacyType.
Recreated value: @migrate.
Recreated value: @scope.
Recreated value: @xsd:type.

The winsxs folder also doubles as a backup component store for the SFC scan. When the SFC scans the manifest file and finds that a system file is missing, it tries to replace it with the payload file from the payload folder.

In your case, the payload file in the payload folder is just a dummy wav file. Therefore, the checksum that it has stored does not match the checksum that it computes for the dummy wav file and an error message is generated.

I did not see this as a problem, because you did not want any of these files on your system in the first place. Believe it or not, I had considered this when I came up with my alternative.

The only other consequence that I see is that the Windows help tutorials will have no video, but that was to be understood in the first place.

It is still hard to believe that these audio/video files were treatd almost like system files.

I suppose that if you look at it from the viewpoint that these files are sub-assemblies of the Windows help tutorial assembly then it might make sense to some. They are critical to the functioning of Windows help in the start menu and elsewhere.

When I first deleted the files I was trying to get my backups a little smaller.
I knew your method caused no harm & it just was reporting that the match wasn’t found. That would have been a warning if something else had altered the files.

Since I still had the files on the old backup I just opted to replace them. I use an external harddrive for backups now so space isn’t critical . When it is done to DVDs it can add an additional DVD to store.

I haven’t watched most of these videos that go to help but the ones I did were simplistic . Some of the others were just sample files of video or just audio.
IMO MS bloat.
For now I’m going to leave them in but I’m thinking about using your solution.