Overcoming the EC2 Windows AMI 10GB limit

Amazon limit the Windows AMI instance to 10GB in size which almost makes the image unusable if you try and add other software within the windows C Drive. Windows is notoriously heavy on disk space and whereas 10 GB may seem a lot believe us, it isn’t when it comes to windows and a combination of windows software.

So what can you do ? Well there are three potential options:

1. You can mount an EBS volume to a directory under C: MyDigitalLife has a great article on how to achieve this. This volume will become your E:

2. If more temporary space is needed for files or downloads etc than the 10 GB limit will give you, it is possible to make temporary folders outside of  the C: partition. 

– Right-click My Computer. 
– Click Properties 
– Click Advanced 
– Click Environment Variables 
– Change the tmp and temp to whatever you want.

3.  Use a combination of Junction link magic and webdrive. Firstly install whatever you need to the D: drive and use JLM to create junctions from C to D. Junctions are effectively a combination of symbolic links, and mount points. Install WebDrive to C: and then use it to copy the program files that are on D: to Amazon s3. As D: is transient this will mean if the instance goes down You can copy everything back from S3 to D:.

I’m sure at some point Amazon will get their act together on the instance size for Windows so you don’t have to navigate you way around this but right now at least this gives you some options.

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