Category Archives: How-To

Cleaning up the winsxs folder on Windows 7

I noticed tonight that I was running very low on space on one of my personal machines whose Windows 7 install lives on a smaller SSD. Space is at a premium there, so I looked for where the bloat was coming from and tracked a large amount of usage to the C:\Windows\winsxs folder. Looking into what its contents were for I found it houses old install information to allow you to back out patches. Sometimes those patches are replaced by newer ones, but the old stuff remains.

Disk Cleanup Utility

The Disk Cleanup utility provided in a regular install can usually take care of this sort of thing. Cleaning that particular folder however requires an optional patch, one that might not be installed onto your system through the automatic update process depending on your settings. By installing KB2852386, running Disk Cleanup as Administrator will allow you to wipe out the cruft, and should free up a good amount of space, and while you won’t be prompted to reboot, you will not see all the space freed up until you have.

Installing ArchLinux AUR packages in a post-package signing world

ArchLinux and I aren’t the best of friends, its rolling release system just doesn’t jive with me. I only really installed it on a couple personal servers for experience with another distribution, so usually the boxes sit there doing their thing until I feel like setting up something new. When I run its first update in six months, something usually goes wrong, and I make my way over to their forums to figure out how to give pacman a kick in the butt to get things sorted.

This time around, I’m installing metasploit to test some equipment against the recent security flaws in UPnP that have been making some waves. A binary package isn’t available in the official repositories so in this case the Arch User Repository (AUR) picks up the slack to automate building from source. I’ve used this in the past with some success, but last year Arch finally implemented package signing. Turns out this complicates installing these personally built packages unless you temporarily disable it. Let’s not do that though, let’s stay consistent with package signing. In a larger environment with your own custom repo, you would definitely want to have this working, and there’s nothing wrong with learning more about your system.

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