Get more free space, cleaning up Winsxs on Windows 2008 R2 & Windows 7 after SP1 install

Starting from Service Pack 1, Windows 2008 R2 (… and Windows 7) finally has a built-in tool to reduce the size of the Windows Side-by-Side DLL repository and free up some GBs on system disk. This tool is DISM.exe.

  • Install Windows Service Pack 1 then;
  • Start and elevated command prompt (run ‘CMD’ as administrator);
  • Run the DISM command, which replaces the old VSP1CLN and COMPCLN we used on previous Windows versions: DISM.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /spsuperseded;
  • Wait 10 minutes before the task completes ( it ends with “Service Pack Cleanup operation completed. The operation completed successfully”)

Just know that after using DISM you will not be able to uninstall the Service Pack 1 anymore.

Let’s have a look at the used switches for DISM.exe:

  • The /online switch tells DISM to work on the running OS installation
  • The /spsuperseded option removes the backup files created during installation.
  • The DISM log file can be found at C:\Windows\Logs\DISM\dism.log

Optionally you could use the /hidesp option which will remove SP1 (KB976932) from the “Installed Updates” section of Programs and Features, to ensure that users do not try to uninstall the Service Pack.

I hope this helps.


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