Clean up WinSXS on Windows 2008 R2 after SP1 install

I was working on a Server 2008 box the other day and saw that the hard drive was getting low on space. I knew that the WinSXS folder was consuming a lot of space, so I did some digging and found a way to clean up some space. You can remove the backups from installing Windows Service Pack 1 using the DISM command.
Perform the following steps:
  • Ensure Windows Service Pack 1 is installed
  • Start and elevated command prompt (run 'CMD' as administrator)
  • Run the DISM command:
    DISM.exe /online /Cleanup-Image /spsuperseded
  • Grab a cup of coffee while the task completes (it ends with “Service Pack Cleanup operation completed. The operation completed successfully”)
Normally you can reduce the WinSXS folder size bay a Gig or so, just remember, saved space may vary. Note that after using DISM you will no longer be able uninstall Service Pack 1.
The switches we used for DISM.exe are:
  • /online - tells DISM to work on the running OS installation
  • /spsuperseded - removes the backup files created during installation.
I haven't tried it yet, but the /hidesp option should remove SP1 (KB976932) from the “Installed Updates” section of Programs and Features. I read that this switch doesn't always play well with the previously used switches.

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