The source for random IT information

     Have you noticed the "winsxs" directory before?  One of my 2008 Servers was low on disk space and I ran a TreeSize to figure out what was taking up all the space.  The winsxs directory was the culprit.  It was around 9GBs on the server in question.  So naturally I started investigating.  This folder name "winsxs" stands for "Widows Side by Side".  Basically this folder keeps installation files from OS Service Packs and Windows Patches.  Can it be cleaned up?

     Microsoft doesn't support deleting things from this directory manually.  If it's getting out of control though, it can somewhat be cleaned a "little".  I want to stress "little".  For the standard patches, there is no way to really clean what's in this directory.  This is total failure on Microsoft's part.  However, the Service Packs are created with cleanup tools for this directory.  In other words, it can remove the installation files from Service Packs.  The way to clean up the Service Pack installation files differ from OS to OS though.  Keep in mind if you do remove these installation files you can not roll back the Operating System to the previous OS state (i.e. before you installed the SP, well I guess technically you could on a desktop OS with System Restore, but that's beside the point!)  

To clean up SP2 on Windows Vista & Server 2008

1.  Launch a Command Prompt as an admin.

2.  Type the following command "compcln.exe" & press enter.

3.  It will ask you "This operation will make all service packs and other packages permanent on this computer.  Upon completion you will not be able to remote any cleaned packages from this system.  Would you like to continue?"

4.  Press "Y" to this and it will start cleaning on the SP2 components.  It will take a few minutes.


To Clean up SP1 on Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 R2

1.  Launch a Command Prompt as an admin.

2.  Type the following command "DISM /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded" & press enter.

3.  It will not ask you to confirm anything.  When it is done you will get a "Service Pack Cleanup operation completed."  "The operation completed successfully". message.

Recently I was working on my ESXi lab environment and I wanted to get ESXi to detect a Realtek onboard NIC.  There's nothing special about the servers, they were servers I put together from desktop components.  However, I did have some Broadcom PCI-E dual port nics in each server.  After ESXi 4.1 U1 was installed ESXi only picked up the 2 nics on the dual port card.  I wanted to get the onboard nic working also.  Offically the Realtek nics are not supported on the VMware HCL, but obviously for a lab/test environment, you may want to get them working.  Here's what I did to get the NIC to be detected by ESXi.

1.  Download a new oem.tgz file from Here (this file has the realtek 8111/816B driver in it)

2.  Browse your local datastore from your vSphere Client.

3.  Upload the oem.tgz from above to the datastore.

4.  Enable SSH on your ESXi server.

5.  SSH into your ESXi server and change directory to /vmfs/volumes/Hypervisor1.

6.  In that directory you'll see an oem.tgz.  Rename the file to oldoem.tgz. (e.g. mv oem.tgz oldoem.tgz)

7.  Path to where you uploaded the new oem.tgz to then copy it to the Hypervisor1 location. (e.g. cp oem.tgz /vmfs/volumes/Hypervisor1)

8.  Reboot your ESXi server and when it comes back up, the Realtek RTL 8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller should appear in your list of network adapters.  Attached is a picture of it installed and working.


About this Blog

This blog's birthday is 7/1/11.  Here you will find IT technical documentation and also views on IT from an enterprise business perspective.

The blog is mostly for myself as of way of archiving cool tips and tricks I pickup long the way.  However, I hope anything I post can benefit other IT professionals in their own projects.  Eventually you will find things here that are related to many different infrastructure/products including (but not only) VMware, Citrix, EMC, Microsoft Windows, SQL, & Powershell.

This blog is also Mobile Friendly!

About Me

My name is Jody Wong. I'm an experienced IT professional.  I currently reside in Houston, TX.  I currently work for Gunvor USA.  Gunvor is a financial (commodities trading) company.  I've been working in the IT field for about 15 years now. I try to keep a broad IT skillset.  You can contact me on my Linked In profile below if needed.  I'm open to new ventures, expertise requests, getting in touch & new opportunities.

Linked In Profile: Click Here 

I hold the following professional IT Certifications:

ITIL - IT Information Library V3 Foundation for Service Management

VCP - VMware Certified Professional VMware Infrastructure 3

VCP - VMware Certified Professional vSphere 4

VCP - VMware Certified Professional vSphere 5

VCP - VMware Certified Professional 6 Data Center Virtualization

VCP - VMware Certified Professional 5 on VMware View

CCA - Citrix Certified Adminstrator PS4, XenApp 5 on 2K8, & XenApp 6.5

CCA - Citrix Certified Administrator Provisioning Server 5

CCA - Citrix Certified Administrator XenDesktop 5

MCITP Windows Server 2008 Administrator

MCTS Windows Server 2008 Active Directory

MCTS Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure

MCP - Microsoft Certified Professional WindowsXP & Server 2003

CCNA - Cisco Certified Network Associate

CCENT - Cisco Certified Entry Network Tech

NET+ - CompTIA Network+

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