Feb 23 2011

Reclaim Space – Remove Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Backup Files

One of the hot topics today is the general release of Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 to the public. Whilst it isn’t a ground breaking update in terms of adding new features to Windows 7 (a lot more of the action is related to Windows Server 2008 R2) it does contain a few important bug fixes such as stuttering audio of HDMI under certain situations.

Installation should be a snap if you use Windows Update and only the delta between the bug fixes you have installed and those you don’t have installed will be downloaded. This means that if you have been keeping up to date then Service Pack 1 can be relatively small compared to the maximum 2GB size if you downloaded the entire thing.

What you should consider is if space is at a premium on your computer (such as those of us with smaller SSDs as our primary drive and larger HDDs as our data drive) is that you might want to reclaim the space consumed by the backups generated by the installation of Service Pack 1 once you are happy that Windows is still operating as expected.

All you need to do is open a command prompt with administrative rights and type in the following:

dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded


Removing backup files created during service pack installation

Removing backup files created during service pack installation

If you don’t know how to get to an administrative command prompt, here’s how you do it:

  • Click “Start”,
  • Type in “cmd”,
  • Hold down “Shift” and “Control” and click on “cmd” in the list,
  • Accept any User Account Control prompts that may appear.

It might take a little while to remove the backup files but you’ll get a progress indicator like the one shown above after which you will return to a blank command prompt.

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