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Add Disk Cleanup in Server 2008

Keeping your hard drive clutter-free is essential to having a well run server. The tool to accomplish this is Disk Cleanup, but it is conspicuously missing in Server 2008… or is it?

To enable Disk Cleanup, we’ll first open Server Manager by clicking on the Server Manager icon next to the Start button.

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In Server Manager, scroll down to the Features section and click on Add Features in the upper right area.

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The Disk Cleanup tool is bundled into the Desktop Experience Feature, so we’ll check to install that.

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We haven’t previously added the Ink and Handwriting Services, so we get a popup window informing us that they are required in order to install Desktop Experience. We’ll click on Add Required Features to proceed.

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Next we’ll click the Install button and be on our way.

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Once the features have been installed, the system will need a reboot in order for the changes to take effect.

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After the reboot is complete, we can find the Disk Cleanup tool in Accessories | System Tools

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We’re not sure why Microsoft decided to omit Disk Cleanup from Server 2008 by default, but at least it’s pretty easy to add back into the tools. Next we take a look at scheduling a disk cleanup.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 01/26/10

Comments (8)

  1. thanks

  2. Hong Yan

    It is a great instruction and helps me a lot. Thanks very much!

  3. Tracey

    Thanks! This helped me a lot.

  4. Karen

    Great instruction. THanks so much.

  5. Karamjeet

    Thanks…

  6. mike

    Thanks for writing this. Does anyone else wonder why these features are so hard-to-find? SMH.

  7. pogidaga

    Does it not seem strange that a tool that many admins consider essential to run, especially after a fresh install is not available by default? And is it not doubly strange that in order to get this tiny disk cleaning tool you have to add a bunch of unrelated programs and services to the drive you are trying to clean? And even worse, these added programs and services really have no business on most servers.

    There are only two files you need to run disk clean up. After adding the Desktop Experience crud, copy the two files to a safe place then remove Desktop Experience. Afterwards, restore the two files where they belong. Run these commands to save the files:

    if not exist c:\myfolder md c:\myfolder
    copy %windir%\System32\cleanmgr.exe c:\myfolder
    copy %windir%\System32\en-US\cleanmgr.exe.mui c:\myfolder

    Run these commands to restore them:

    copy c:\myfolder\cleanmgr.exe %windir%\System32
    copy c:\myfolder \cleanmgr.exe.mui %windir%\System32\en-US

  8. Mandar

    Excellent post, thanks a lot

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