Volume Shadow Copy and WinsXs folder

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Update Pack discussion.
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Passion
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Volume Shadow Copy and WinsXs folder

Post by Passion » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:50 am

.. moot
Last edited by Passion on Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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code65536
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Post by code65536 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:27 am

WinSxS is the new system32--it's where the OS libraries are stored. Especially in Vista, where the contents of system32 are just a hardlinked legacy mirror of WinSxS. Whatever gave you the notion that WinSxS was something that you could remove?

VSC is just a service. If you can stop and disable the service with no ill effect (which you can with VSC), then yes, you can remove it. But then that begs the question, why even bother removing it with nLite? I never understood why people are obsessed with removing components with nLite. If it's a non-critical component lik VSC or Security Center, you can just disable it (set it to Manual in the Windows service manager), which means that it will only consume disk space, no CPU cycles or RAM. The very small amount of space that you save is never worth the potential hassle that can arise. This is silliness that I see all the time on various forums--people removing things using nLite that they don't understand, and then whining about things breaking, all to save, at most, a few dozen MB or so?
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Post by Passion » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:07 am

code65536 wrote:WinSxS is the new system32--it's where the OS libraries are stored. Especially in Vista, where the contents of system32 are just a hardlinked legacy mirror of WinSxS. Whatever gave you the notion that WinSxS was something that you could remove?

VSC is just a service. If you can stop and disable the service with no ill effect (which you can with VSC), then yes, you can remove it. But then that begs the question, why even bother removing it with nLite? I never understood why people are obsessed with removing components with nLite. If it's a non-critical component lik VSC or Security Center, you can just disable it (set it to Manual in the Windows service manager), which means that it will only consume disk space, no CPU cycles or RAM. The very small amount of space that you save
Well, in case you didn't know, storage space is VERY expensive if you want the fastest available, i.e. NAND Flash and the likes, see here for some examples.

Also, using nlite to get parts OUT of my XP OS is the holy grail for the way I use and am forced to use operating systems. The "potential hassle that can arise" has never been even worth mentioning, so yeah, I'd rather take my chances and kick out some useless MS ideas from my systems. They only stand in the way when I look at services.msc or inside system folders. They are confusing, and useless if you're like me and you make your own image backups all the time because it's required for your work. System Restore has proven to be a completely useless thing, it never works the way I needed it to, ERUNT alone saved me so much more hassle that was caused by the silly System Restore stuff, I'm surprised people even consider having it in their install images.

The biggest problem I have with MS Operating System components is that they require too much time and hassle just being there. I use my own firewalls outside of my OS, I use my own security-schemes and security software, which ALWAYS without exception turns out to be better than using MS internal components.

When checking the contents of the WinSxs folder I found out that it keeps exact copies of already existing files in the system32 folder, not "other versions", just extra copies of the same files. And not one, but sometimes 4 or 5 of them. I don't require that in my setups, nor do I need that for the way I maintain backups myself. Just ONE copy of each file is safe enough for the way I use my SSD/HDD storage media.

Last but not least, it's precisely because I don't like System Restore that I prefer to have my OS-footprint as small as possible, so I can copy images faster. And yes, those few MB save me huge amounts of time when dealing with 50 machines using that OS, for example. So I will create install images that are as small as possible. This also has the advantage of not having to use DVD-readers for installation, and still being possible to use good stable CD-reader hardware because the iso fits on 1 CD. Where I work we don't have money to throw around and buy new hardware (anymore), so maybe now you understand why I do this.
Last edited by Passion on Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by code65536 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:25 am

Passion wrote:Well, in case you didn't know, storage space is VERY expensive if you want the fastest available, i.e. NAND Flash and the likes, see here for some examples.
Yes, but the amount of space saved is still relatively small. You're talking about something on the order of tens of MB. If you get really trigger-happy, maybe a hundred MB or so. If that really matters to you, then so be it, but given that most apps these days can easily take up many times that much space...
They are confusing, and useless if you're like me and you make your own image backups all the time because it's required for your work.
I agree. I'm a performance nut too, but you have to pick and choose your battles. On first boot, my OS has a memory footprint of well under 100MB. Less than 64MB if it's a VPC. What's important is memory footprint and background CPU usage.
System Restore has proven to be a completely useless thing
That, I can agree with. I've never used it and always have it disabled.

It's fine to tell Windows setup through the supported and documented means to not install certain things (I tell it to not install MSN Explorer), since those are things that are well-componentized and are designed to be cleanly removeable. It's fine to disable stupid services like VSC, Security Center, and System Restore. But when you physically remove components, you are crossing the line between tuning the system to the way you want to just hacking away at it. If you know what you are doing and you know your NT internals, then the latter is fine (though still mostly pointless, IMHO). But the fact that you have to ask (and the fact that you even tried killing WinSxS) suggests that you do not, and I have on more than one occasion seen people whine when they get burned.

Proper imaging software will take care of dupes (at least in NT6.x, WinSxS files are hardlinked to system32, so they don't actually take up extra space; not sure about NT5.x), and finally, all of my integrated XP install discs take up just one CD, despite all the things that I add to it. nLite removal has been and always will be a fragile, hackish endeavor that, more often than not, causes more problems than it solves.
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