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This weird trick can win you Gigabytes of extra hard disk space

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Registered: 14-07-2009

This weird trick can win you Gigabytes of extra hard disk space

Disk Cleanup on Windows 8 and latterly on Windows 7 provides a new option to remove the files left behind by Windows Updates that have been superseded by other updates.  I tried it on two machines that have long-established copies of Windows 7 and in both cases it won me over 6GB of extra hard disk space.  
The procedure is described here http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/windows-and-office/regain-hard-disk-space-by-using-windows-update-c...
However there is a slight sting in the tail.  You may think you have done the clean-up but it completes when you next restart Windows and that may take quite some time.  You'll see a screen saying Windows is Configuring Updates 100% complete for some minutes then a clean-up screen which also runs for a good while, about 20 minutes total start-up time my the worst case.
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Re: This weird trick can win you Gigabytes of extra hard disk space

Disk cleanup's been a thing since about Windows95 (probably earlier too, been a while since I looked at 3.1), never really works cos as soon as it's done, windows refills the freed-up space with more of it's rubbish...
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Re: This weird trick can win you Gigabytes of extra hard disk space

Indeed, it is very useful.
Just the other day I was given a small HP notepad to sort out with major W8.1 performance issues; it had run out of space on its relatively small (64GB?) SSD disk and "lost" the swap file too.
The first thing disk cleanup found was an awful lot of temp files, but after that I did the cleanup of system files, updates and restore points.
When I finished it was less than 50% full even after I had allocated a suitable swap file.  Cool
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Re: This weird trick can win you Gigabytes of extra hard disk space

Quote from: twocvbloke
Disk cleanup's been a thing since about Windows95 ...

But this is a new type of clean-up that cleans areas other clean-ups cannot reach!  Really. 
Specifically it was not originally in Windows 7 but arrived via an update in 2013 so you could easily have missed finding it.
Kremmen
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Re: This weird trick can win you Gigabytes of extra hard disk space

I know Disk Cleanup is the only safe way to remove the Windows.old file after an upgrade.
Must go and have a look at this latest version. I've only got about 1.5Tb free  Smiley
Let's be careful out there !
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Re: This weird trick can win you Gigabytes of extra hard disk space

Just had a look into this as I have over 15GB in winsxs.
Since installing the OS on an SSD Disk Cleanup for that drive has never appeared when right-clicking and selecting Properties yet it appears for the SSD that doesn't hold the OS and for all other internal and external drives.
I ran Disk Cleanup from the Start Menu > Run but all it found was a tad under 1 GB of files to delete with no Windows Update Cleanup option showing. There is a Service Pack Backup Files but that was zero.
I wondered whether the update had been installed so went to MS Download Centre (KB2852386). On running it I am told this update has already been installed.
So I am still stuck with >15GB of files in winsxs Sad

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Kremmen
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Re: This weird trick can win you Gigabytes of extra hard disk space

Found it and ran it.
The updates cleaner removed 600Mb.
Good spot
Let's be careful out there !
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Re: This weird trick can win you Gigabytes of extra hard disk space

2.4GB removed in my case Smiley

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Re: This weird trick can win you Gigabytes of extra hard disk space

Quote from: Mav
I ran Disk Cleanup from the Start Menu > Run but all it found was a tad under 1 GB of files to delete with no Windows Update Cleanup option showing. There is a Service Pack Backup Files but that was zero.

Did you scroll down the list to see all options?  I think it was towards the bottom and not visible until you scroll
Quote from: Kremmen
The updates cleaner removed 600Mb.
Quote from: Strat
2.4GB removed

The longer you have been running your copy of Windows, the more superseded updates there will be to remove and the more you will benefit.
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Re: This weird trick can win you Gigabytes of extra hard disk space

Quote from: ReedRichards
Quote from: Mav
I ran Disk Cleanup from the Start Menu > Run but all it found was a tad under 1 GB of files to delete with no Windows Update Cleanup option showing. There is a Service Pack Backup Files but that was zero.

Did you scroll down the list to see all options?  I think it was towards the bottom and not visible until you scroll

Yep

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Re: This weird trick can win you Gigabytes of extra hard disk space

Helene Fischer seems a bit worried about me deleting 3.58 GB of files....
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Re: This weird trick can win you Gigabytes of extra hard disk space

Quote from: Mav
Yep

When I ran the Cleanup again it said it was checking Windows Updates but then the option to delete them did not appear in the check list.  Presumably it's only there as an option if there is something to be removed.
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Re: This weird trick can win you Gigabytes of extra hard disk space

I wondered that but there were other options with zero bytes so I was kind of expecting something to be displayed.

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Re: This weird trick can win you Gigabytes of extra hard disk space

I have seen Windows Update want to re-install a small number of already installed updates after completing the Windows Update cleanup. Not a big problem, it just ends up installing a couple of updates again (or possibly just attempting to install them then realising they're already installed).
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Re: This weird trick can win you Gigabytes of extra hard disk space

I have just performed the same operation on my laptop which found over 4GB of files under Windows Update Cleanup.
I'm wondering whether it is different with SSDs Undecided
Further research and I came across the DISM command (DISM /online /Cleanup-Image /SpSuperseded). Having read several articles I tried that with the following result:
Quote
Service Pack Cleanup can't proceed: An operation is pending on this computer. Restart your computer, and then run Service Pack Cleanup.
The operation completed successfully.

I haven't rebooted after running Disk Cleanup as I wasn't prompted to do so. Maybe will boot a little later and try again.

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