Engineering Windows 7 : Disk Space

Windows disk space consumption has trended larger over time. While not desirable, the degree to which it's been allowed is due in large part to ever-increasing hard drive capacity, combined with a customer need and engineering focus that focused heavily on recover ability, data protection, increasing breadth of device support, and demand for innovative new features. However, the proliferation of Solid State Drives (SSDs) has challenged this trend, and is pushing Windows 7 to consider disk "footprint" in a much more thoughtful way and take that into account for Windows 7.

The disk "footprint" refers to the total amount of physical disk space used by Windows and with Windows 7 it's likely that the system footprint will be smaller than Windows Vista with the engineering efforts across the Windows 7 team which should allow for greater flexibility in system designs by PC manufacturers.

Ever wondered why the Windows SxS directory (%System Root%\winsxs) in your Vista is occupying more disk space? E7 blog has come up with an explanation about the Windows SXS directory and why it consumes huge disk space.

With all the hard work going into Windows 7 it should truly be a fit and finish release over what we saw with Windows Vista.

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/ -Razorfold said,
Hm strange =/ I just checked it again and now it shows about 10gb haha


On some systems it can take some time before it starts calculating the total size. Mine's around 12GB. Reading the article now cuz I'm curious where they got all this data from

I don't see the problem with Windows having a large footprint as long as 1) that version doesn't intend to be run on netbooks and 2) that extra space isn't loaded in to RAM or causing any bloat effects. Disk space is cheap now.

just because you don't see it as a problem doesn't mean it's not a problem. Good thing you don't work for a software company.

Well of course Windows 7 is already going to use less diskspace or take up a lesser disk footprint because they have made alot of the peripheral services downloads....so if the user chooses to add them they accept the heavy disk footprint....but the outset Win7 install will be smaller from than Vista from this and thus MS can chalk up a victory and all the MS haters can say "see Vista was full of bloat blah blah blah" Love Vista, Love blondes, Love Windows 7, suck it trolls.

I so agree with the guy above, as long as its not loading itself to RAM who gives a toss, each version of Windows adds more and more features, why you would expect it to take less room is beyond me. not to mention the massively reduced cost of disk drives parallel to their increasing storage capacities "ohh no my 1TB (nearly standard) disk drive is being taken up by 15GB for windows, wah wah microsoft is the devil"

Osiris said,
Well of course Windows 7 is already going to use less diskspace or take up a lesser disk footprint because they have made alot of the peripheral services downloads....so if the user chooses to add them they accept the heavy disk footprint....but the outset Win7 install will be smaller from than Vista from this and thus MS can chalk up a victory and all the MS haters can say "see Vista was full of bloat blah blah blah" Love Vista, Love blondes, Love Windows 7, suck it trolls.

I so agree with the guy above, as long as its not loading itself to RAM who gives a toss, each version of Windows adds more and more features, why you would expect it to take less room is beyond me. not to mention the massively reduced cost of disk drives parallel to their increasing storage capacities "ohh no my 1TB (nearly standard) disk drive is being taken up by 15GB for windows, wah wah microsoft is the devil"


if you have one
doesnt mean that all of us have TB HD or that it is so cheap

the last time i installed vista it become so pigged down about 25GB+ for windows alone and that with both paging and S4 state in windows disabled

skynetXrules said,
if you have one
doesnt mean that all of us have TB HD or that it is so cheap

the last time i installed vista it become so pigged down about 25GB+ for windows alone and that with both paging and S4 state in windows disabled


Yes exactly, I assume everyone on the planet has one because I have one...oh wait I dont have one...but last time I arranged and ordered Dells for our work the standard option was 500GB...Windows 7 is due out in 2010...do you not think 1TB will become standard for new computers, and thus the standard for most desktop computers come 2009/2010?

Actually dont anwer that I have very little concern for the opinions of ppl who are afforded such large diskspace and still windge of Windows taking up such a small percentage of that. I simply implore you to vacate the Windows market and go have you wine with a serving of linux or mac for that matter.

skynetXrules said,

if you have one
doesnt mean that all of us have TB HD or that it is so cheap

the last time i installed vista it become so pigged down about 25GB+ for windows alone and that with both paging and S4 state in windows disabled


25gb+ wth? Where do you get this number from? My windows folder is 18gb. Winsxs takes up 10gb so my windows folder is in reality only 8gb.

xp sp3 fresh install only takes around 1.2GB while i fresh vista install uses around 8-10Gb
i dont see what vista brings that make it 3 times the size

Sem82 said,
xp sp3 fresh install only takes around 1.2GB while i fresh vista install uses around 8-10Gb
i dont see what vista brings that make it 3 times the size


Uh hard linked files in the SxS folder that arn't really taking up the space at all? It's just counting file sizes twice or more which there is only one file there using that space once...

You know Vista bundles more apps than XP, right? Also consider that you never have to insert your Vista disc ever again after you install the OS, since all languages (and fonts) and any optional components have their sources located on the HD. Can't say the same for XP.

the hibernation file takes up some space the winSxS folder takes up a good amount of space. All the fonts, languages, optional extras take up space...

Who really cares about how much HD space files/software takes up any more. HDs are cheap and non expensive so its not that big of a deal. I can get a 1tb drive for $100...

techbeck said,
Who really cares about how much HD space files/software takes up any more. HDs are cheap and non expensive so its not that big of a deal. I can get a 1tb drive for $100...


Uh good for you, but for those that are moving to SSD drives where 128GB cost almost $1,000 for a good one... and 64GB drives are $300 for a medium range one, space is more then you might think

neufuse said,
Uh good for you, but for those that are moving to SSD drives where 128GB cost almost $1,000 for a good one... and 64GB drives are $300 for a medium range one, space is more then you might think

Then thats your fault. Be smart like the rest of us and wait until SSDs drop in price. It will probably happen sooner than you think. Its common sense, dont buy anything unless you know its going to do what you want. If Vista is to much for you, install XP or Linux.

techbeck said,
Then thats your fault.
No, start using your common sense and read the article first before replying, Microsoft wants to reduce the hdd footprint BECAUSE of SSDs, and not because people complainng.

undu said,
No, start using your common sense and read the article first before replying, Microsoft wants to reduce the hdd footprint BECAUSE of SSDs, and not because people complainng.


Did I say it was because of people complaining? Stop putting words in my mouth. I stated I didnt know what the big deal about space was and that includes SSDs. They are not very popular yet because of the cost, so big deal. They will get cheaper.

Windows 7 will be smaller, but I am sure someone will bitch about the size anyway.

techbeck, are you suggesting Microsoft develop for current tech, rather than future tech ... for a future release?

Netbooks already use SSDs. And they are only going to fall in price as more people use them. If everyone waited like you, then we'd never start using them in the first place.

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