Running out of Disk Space on your System-Partition?

Hello, this is Lars. IT Engineer. Certified (and enthusiastic) webmaster. Also an enthusiastic Windows, Apple, and Office user. I write about all kinds of topics around IT. Living in Switzerland. You can find out more about me here: About me. Thanks for your visit!

Yesterday I was running out of disk space on a productive Windows Server 2012 R2 Server wich is acting as a Hyper-V Host.

Check the Virtual Memory Settings

It seems to be obvious, but when it is late in the evening you might not think of it. Check the setting of the Virtual Memory. For a Hyper-V Host you should not use the 1.5 to double of the physical memory isntalled. You should instead use the 1.5 to double of the amount physical RAM needed by the parent partition. So as a rule of thumb you could set it to 6 or 8 GB. After a restart the new setting is active.


If you have upgraded your server before, you might have a windows.old folder, which has the old installation in it. Simply delete it does not work. The owner of the folder is “system”. Take ownership as administrator, set the appropriate rights and delete it.

WinSXS – Windows Side-by-Side folder

The WinSXS folder holds the installation files for all installations and is about 6 GB in size. To size it down, you could user some Powershell-Commands.

The following command shows you all available features and which one are already installed.


After that we remove all unused commands with

Get-WindowsFeature | Where-Object -FilterScript { $_.Installed -Eq $False } | 
Uninstall-WindowsFeature –Remove

Do a restart. Wait a few minutes, Windows does some…

On my lab I get

So the command has brought a free space of 1248 MB for me.

By the way, if you are interested in the command which displays the free space, here it is:

Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_LogicalDisk | 
Select -Property DeviceID, @{Name=’FreeSpaceMB’;
Expression={$_.FreeSpace/1MB} } | Format-Table -AutoSize

How should we deal with the new situation? My first guess was, that Windows will prompt for the CD-path. If you see the yellow bar don’t oversee the link “specify analternate source path” at the bottom.

>ou can also use Powershell

get-windowsfeature -name snmp* | 
install-windowsfeature -source wim:d:sourcesinstall.wim:2

This command installs all features beginning with snmp assuming the install.wim is in d:sources. :2 is the index of the version – standard

For further information I recommend this Article from the Canadian IT Pro Connection.

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