Cleaning up Windows

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I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but the Windows directory grows and grows over time.  This is because Microsoft is a pack-rat; keeping every version of every file on the system forever in case you need to uninstall service packs and patches.

With 1TB+ drive becoming standard, this isn’t a huge deal.  However, if you prefer older machines or systems with SSDs, the ballooning Windows directory is annoying at the least.  Here are some tips to minimize the size of this folder:

  1. Delete the contents of c:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download\
    • Be sure to delete the contents of the Download folder, not the folder itself.
  2. Remove the ability to roll back service packs:
    • Vista SP1: c:\windows\system32\VSP1CLN.EXE (SysWOW64 for 64bit?)
    • Vista SP2: c:\windows\system32\Compcln.exe (SysWOW64 for 64bit?)
    • Win7: DISM /online /Cleanup-Image /SpSuperseded
  3. Clear out the temporary directory: C:\Windows\Temp c:\Temp
  4. Remove recovery snapshots: (Note:  Only do this if you know what you’re doing.)
    • Right-click on Computer, select Properties
    • Click System Protection -> Configure -> Turn off system protection
  5. Disable Hibernation by opening an elevated command prompt and running: powercfg -h off
  6. Run the Disk Cleanup tool cleanmgr.exe

GoSaBe Blog - Jun 14, 2012 | Windows