Tip: Recover valuable disk space after installing Windows 7 SP1


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By Nick Peers

Once you've installed Service Pack 1 for Windows 7, did you know there's around 1GB of setup files cluttering up your hard disk? You'll need these files should you ever want to uninstall SP1, but we'd only recommend doing so if you needed to correct a problem. After a month or so, you should have a pretty good idea if these files will be needed going forward or not, at which point if your system is trouble-free, why not delete them to reclaim a decent amount of space?

Microsoft has thoughtfully integrated the cleaning tool into the Disk Cleanup utility, meaning you no longer need to open a command prompt window and type in a specific command. Once you've ascertained that you'd like to free up the drive space, read on to discover how it's done.

Click the Start button and type "disk cleanup" into the Search box. When it appears, right-click the Disk Cleanup entry and choose "Run as Administrator." Leave drive C selected and click OK. Wait for the drive to be analysed; when the main window appears, look for the Service Pack Backup Files entry. This will tell you how much space can be reclaimed -- 920MB in our example. Tick the box, click OK, read the warning and click Delete Files.

Once complete, remember that you won't be able to uninstall Service Pack 1, but you will have reclaimed a substantial amount of hard drive space.

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