The recently released Windows Vista SP2 has shown significant enhancement and improvement in terms of compatibility, reliability, performance, and speed compared to the earlier SP1. If users had noticed, after installing the Vista SP2, the hard disk’s space had been taken up substantially. This was mainly because a lot of old Vista RTM and SP1 backup files and components were not deleted upon the installation of new SP2.

To housekeep your hard disk and clean up those old and unused SP1 backup files, users probably can try the new Service Pack Cleanup Tool which is also named as compcln.exe. This successor for SP1 cleanup tool, Vsp1cln.exe, can easily remove all the system files (RTM & SP1) inherited from the older versions but replaced by Vista SP2.

Running this compeln.exe tool is pretty simple:
1. Click Start>All Programs>Accessories>Command Prompt or click Start>Run and type cmd to open Command Prompt Windows
2. Execute the command “Compcln.exe”. The path is “c:\Windows\System32 \compcln.exe”.
3. Users will be prompted a question whether to keep Vista SP2 permanently in the system.
4. Once users type “Y” and press enter, the system will start performing the windows components clean.
After the cleansing process, users will notice the free hard disk space has increased substantially.

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  • David Thornton

    years later… it still works a treat ;)

  • Jeffrey Roughgarden

    Ran this and dropped from 15.2 to 13.8 GB. It is some improvement, but I'm still not happy with 14 GB of stuff. Anyone listening at MS?

  • Shea

    20 gig Winsxs folder on a solid state array of drives. These high-perf drives are not capacity monsters – they're fast instead. Was not willing to give up 20gb in this case.

    Ran .exe above and ended up shaving 3gb off of the winsxs. Since I've got a lot of free I/O and CPU, I've also gone and compressed the folder by gaining ownership of it and giving myself permission. Did an 'ignore all' on open files. Results – went from 16.5gb to 11.1gb. System is an 8 core 32gb server w/2gb raid card.

    No performance hit noticed thus far. If I had normal drives I'd run the defragmenter, but with no seek times on solid state drives, I'm going to let it ride – I only manually run it from time to time to help clean up the file tables.

    11 is 'good' from where I started and a rebuild is out of the question. For now I'll just live with it.

    Good luck,


  • Big Pimpin 18


    kinda late to respond to youer question but the answer would be…


    it removes the old sp1 and rtm vista files

    that means that its not possible for windows vista to be rolled back even if it wanted too

    so DONT use compcln.exe untill its Vista SP2 RTM AND you have had it installed with out issues for at least a week

  • vista boy


    shaved 3gig of the winsxs folder.

  • maker

    lol on SP2 final release this tool is awesome!!! It reduced my winsxs file frome 14,2 GB to 6,5 GB! nice job m$ :>

  • peter


  • Pradyumna Kamat

    Thanks a ton !! :D

  • simple

    just open the Vista start menu, type compcln and hit ENTER.

  • mesquire

    Am I supposed to get "Windows Component Clean was already run on this install" if I re-run Compcln.exe?

    I noticed it only freed up about 0.2GB of free space on first run so I re-ran it several times and no message was returned – the app simply exited after running for a few minutes.

  • ShEsHy

    SP2 works gr8, removed the extra files with this tool and freed up about 1 GB (ran the SP1 cleanup tool before and gained about 2.5 GB)

  • boolean


    Your winsxs folder isn't taking up 12.5 GiB on your HDD. Don't believe anything explorer shows you. If you like to know more on the subject I suggest you Google it..

  • misc

    ffs, I installed SP2 hoping that it / I could finally delete this damn winsxs, which is taking up 12.5 GiB already on my 30 GiB Vista partition (which now has only about 1.4 GiB free space left).

    Any news if it's safe to delete now?

  • Brad

    Vista SP2 Out. 1 month for SP2 to hit windows update though :(.

  • vista_user

    to Peer, RTM-escrow has been released to testers, and has leaked. Unless there is HUGE HUGE issue in this build, this will be the final version that rest of mortals will be able to download in about 2-4 weeks.

  • Peer

    The artcle reads " … the recently released [] SP 2.[]". No ! SP 2 has NOT been released at all. It is a RC, not RTM. As such it provides a "Black-Box"-like look at the new functionalities it provides. That's all there is to it. Remember NT 5 ? or Windows 2000 ? Three Betas and Two RCs. Never dreamt of using it productively !

    @Vista_Boy: now you get the point ? Don't use RCs or Betas on PRODUCTIVE machines. Or in other words: don't install and use unless you know what you are doing. Or before you read the Relaese Notes and / or Technet Arcticles. You wanna play ? Use Linux !

  • vista_boy

    So tell me what can I uninstall this Beta SP2 after execute this trick when the oficial (final) Service Pack 2 come out!?