What can I do to shrink the winsxs folder?

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I found this jewel online.

Server 2008 R2 introduced the DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) utility which you can apply to recover space used by files that are not needed after a service pack is installed. Note however that this makes the service pack permanent – you will not be able to uninstall it in the future if you need to do so as part of a troubleshooting process. Here’s the command you would use at an elevated command prompt:

C:\Windows\system32>dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded

If the server is running the original Server 2008 (non-R2) then you have two options depending on which service pack you have installed.  Note that both utilities are found in the \Windows\system32 folder and, like the DISM tool above, both will make the service pack permanent.

  • For Server 2008 SP1 use: vsp1cln.exe
  • For Server 2008 SP2 use: cmpcln.exe

In both cases run the utility at an elevated command prompt and select Y to start the cleanup.

In real-world examples we have seen the above utilities free up 2 GB or more of disk space, which is a great start towards getting your server running smoothly again.

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