How To Free Up Major Disk Space After Vista SP1 Install

Hey everyone!

I realized that I lost some disk space on my laptop after installing Vista SP1. I wanted to see where all the free space went, so I ran a freeware utility called TreeSize. It scans the drive or folder you want it to and sorts everything by size. After running a scan on the C drive, I found that one particular folder (C:Windowswinsxs) was taking up over 9 GB of space – 9 GB!!! That’s a lot of space lost. I won’t go into the details of this directory, but in a nutshell, as applications are installed and uninstalled, the manifests are kept in this folder. If you’re interested in more info on the WinSxS directory, here’s a good place to start…

But, back to the point… 9 GB!!! I began to realize that part of this probably had to do with SP1, but from what I had read, I also knew not to delete from this folder. So I did some digging on cleaning up after SP1 and found out that not only is this possible, but SP1 includes a built-in utility to do exactly that. VSP1CLN.EXE is a utility that can reclaim some of this space. And being built into SP1, there’s no downloading or installation necessary – if you have SP1 installed, you’re ready to go!

To run it, hold down the Winkey (the one that looks like the Microsoft flag usually on the lower left of the keyboard) and then press the "R" key. This should open up the run menu. Type in "vsp1cln.exe" and click OK.

This will open up a command prompt with the option to make Vista SP1 permanent on your computer. Now, before you press the letter "Y," keep in mind that this utility will run and will do exactly what it says – it will remove all the files that were archived that allow you to uninstall SP1. So be sure that everything runs correctly after SP1 before doing this. Assuming your ready to go for it, press the letter "Y" and Vista will do its thing.

It took probably about 10 to 15 minutes to run on my laptop and when it was done, it simply exited.

So how much space did this free up? Well, I first read about this utility on the "My Digital Life" website where they talk about getting back up to 800 MB of space. On my laptop though, I reclaimed a whopping 3.49 GB of space on the C drive!! I’m sure this is not the norm, but regardless, I hope this helps you to clean up a substantial amount of disk space on your computer as well!

For more great advice and tips, don’t forget to check out my book, Just the Computer Essentials from my website,, or your favorite book distributor.

Have a great week everyone!

— Jim
MCSE, CCSP, CCEA, Server+, A+, and more!

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