Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Recovers Disk Space With Cleanup Tool


With the recent release of Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2) people are finding a nice surprise after installing the service pack.

More free disk space.

Apparently Vista SP2 includes a clean up tool (Compcln.exe) that  recovers hard disk space by permanently deleting previous versions of files such as RTM, SP1 uninstall files and restore points that are being serviced by SP2.

If installing SP2 does not automatically delete these files, you can run the clean up tool manually.




But before you run the tool, understand that the tool will make all service packs and other packages permanent on this computer. This means, you will not be able to remove  any cleaned packages from this system (such as go back to SP1)

Because the cleanup tool performs this action, it also removes previous restore points, preventing you from going back to a previous state.

So, in reality, the free disk space recovered by deleting the restore points is temporary. As time goes by, new restore points will be added, thus using up disk space.

If you want to control, how much disk space is taken up by System Restore, see the following article – Reduce Disk Space Used By Vista System Restore.

To run the new SP2 clean up tool manually, first check the amount of free disk available so you can compare the amount of free space gained after running the tool.

To run the utility:

  • Open a command prompt by clicking on Start \Run and enter cmd.exe. You can also open a command prompt by clicking on Start and typing cmd.exe in the search box.
  • Next, type the following command at the prompt and press enter:

c:\Windows\System32 \compcln.exe

  • When prompted to continue, enter Y.


After the tool completes, go back and check the amount of free disk space you have gained.

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Dylan Austin


Whenever I have a problem, I sing. Then I realize my voice is worse than my problem.

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