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Disk Cleanup Not Working (taking hours to compress files)

by wildflower52 / February 14, 2005 7:07 AM PST

I have been trying to use the Disk Cleanup program that comes with Windows XP to clean up my system, but it doesn't seem to be working properly. I let it run for awhile last night, and an hour later I checked up on it and it was still on the first step (compressing files). There are three green bars on the status line and its been stuck like that. I am currently trying again and it has been running for about 20 minutes, with still no luck. Does anyone have any advice on how to correct this problem? Thanks!


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You can ask Microsoft
by Steven Haninger / February 14, 2005 7:28 AM PST
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Learning to fish
by jazz4kurt / February 20, 2005 7:09 AM PST
In reply to: You can ask Microsoft

What Steven may have done to find this is to read the last communication you must have gotten from the program "Scanning: Compress old files" and type that into his search engine. This is usually how I find Microsoft Knowledge Base (MS KB) entries that help me solve my problems. There will be various other kinds of information that may or may not be helpful, but to make it quick and from the horse's mouth, just look under the page descriptions of the search engine results for the web address that starts off:

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by viru / February 14, 2005 9:09 AM PST

you have to disble the compress file in the registery
because i have the same problem
but i forge the rgistery in the windows but when have it in my computer to rember where to go to disable
if you don't mind can you about 5 hours or you can send me the e-mail
i will give the how to disable after it take to cleanup only 3 seconds !!!
Send me The mail

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deleted registry key
by wildflower52 / February 16, 2005 7:06 AM PST
In reply to: Cleanup

I followed the instructions on the Microsoft page that was in the previous post and it told me to move the registy key to the desktop. I did that, and ran the cleanup and it worked perfectly. Now, I'm just wondering if I am able to delete the registy now. If anyone knows please get back to me! Thanks for all of your great posts! Happy

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Be Careful!
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 16, 2005 8:16 PM PST
In reply to: deleted registry key

When you say, "delete the registry", the answer is a resounding "No!.

If you delete the registry, your computer becomes a piece of scrap metal and plastic.

But if you mean delete the backup registry key that you have on your desktop, then yes you can, if everything is now working properly.

If you want to be cautious, cut and paste that backup key into a folder somewhere, (you can create a new folder in My Documents and call it RegistryBackup or similar), and in a few days time if you have no further problems, you can delete it.

Good luck


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Things to clean up
by iwan_antonius / February 20, 2005 1:21 PM PST
In reply to: Cleanup

Well, What are important things need to be clean up?

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Now Disk Cleanup doesn't work at all
by vanmol / June 27, 2005 11:40 AM PDT
In reply to: Cleanup

Hi----Followed the instructions and removed the registry entry. Disk Cleaner no longer opens. I then reinstalled the backed up registry entry but Disk Cleaner is still busted. Has anyone had this same problem?

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Re: Now Disk Cleanup doesn't work at all
by Tufenuf / June 27, 2005 12:51 PM PDT

vanmol, Did you restart your computer after you reinstalled the registry backup? If you followed the instructions from the Microsoft link correctly your Disk Cleanup should still work.


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Disk Cleanup
by vanmol / June 27, 2005 1:20 PM PDT

I'm feeling kind of foolish-------I didn't do dat!!!!!I'll go back to her place tomorrow and redo the fix and this time restart. Thanks for the response.

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Re: Disk Cleanup
by Tufenuf / June 27, 2005 1:32 PM PDT
In reply to: Disk Cleanup
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hi there
by rayminator25 / October 25, 2006 2:19 AM PDT

hi there if you still having problems with disk cleanup just go here the guide will did for you it did for me it from microsoft here there link

copy and paste

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Here's an easy solution
by Tufenuf / February 14, 2005 10:30 AM PST

wildflower52, If you're not comfortable editing the registry an easy solution to that problem is to go to the link below and scroll down to 48 and you'll see the "Disk Cleanup - Compress Old Files Freezes" Fix in the right column, download it and run it which should correct your problem.
Just click on the words "Disk Cleanup-Compress Old Files Freezes" not the underscored word "Undo".
"To use the Regedits: Save the REG File to your hard disk. Double click it and answer yes to the import prompt.


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Just a sugestion,
by crazeebob2000 / February 14, 2005 12:07 PM PST

A program called, CCleaner works fast at cleaning up your Puter and its free.

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easy fix for disk cleanup problems
by fer1065 / February 18, 2005 4:24 AM PST

Go to [] ,then click on "tweaks".You get a page full of very helpful scripts to customize or fix XP. The one you want is on line 48,the right hand side.You can get the fix or "undo" there. I too had this problem and went searching for a "cure",and finally came across Kelly's Corner. What a find!!!So just download the script and run,restart and no more problem. Hope this site helps you as much as it did me.

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by nikl1 / February 18, 2005 8:34 AM PST

Hi Wildflower52,
If U want to compress your files, the easy way is to get a copy of 'Diskeeper Lite'!. The XP defragmenter is a cutdown version of Diskeeper and Diskeeper Lite will replace it (and do a better job). You may find it on a coverdisk. It will keep asking you to buy the full version (which IS much better) but will still run OK if you close the pop-up window.


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Disk Cleanup taking hours
by spellwell / February 18, 2005 6:43 PM PST

I enountered the same problem and just lived with it (literally not using "Disk Cleanup) until I found a very effective registry patch at After installing the patch, I was able to use the cleanup app as before.

However, this patch did not work (for me) after installing "Office 2003 Standard," but I was able to get around the problem by starting in Safe Mode and running Cleanup from there.

This last idea came by way of "Tweakhound," which has a number of XP tweaks and fixes that work well.

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Kelly's Korner quick fix
by mcgilbdd / February 19, 2005 6:37 AM PST

I used the quick fix to the registry found at

It worked quite well,and the native windows cleanup utility runs very well, it just don't compress the files anymore....which I didn't want in the first place. Sometimes the guru's at Microsoft are educated beyond their intelligence.

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Thanks! :)
by wildflower52 / February 22, 2005 3:49 AM PST

Thanks for all of your help. I ended up removing the registry key and the problem was immediatly solved!


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More thanks
by sharkinweb / May 11, 2006 10:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks! :)

I too followed the link to microsoft and their instructions (removing the compress old file registry key) and my disk cleanup worked beautifully.

Thanks for everyone's help and the tips on where to find fixes on other XP snags. Much appreciated.

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Disk Cleanup Not Working
by WintermuteX / February 23, 2005 1:09 PM PST

In my experience the easiest way to allow the Disk Cleanup function to work without hesitatin is to enter your system in Safe Mode and then run the cleanup function.

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I had set up the Compressed Files to 1 day in Disk Cleanup
by DarCLew2 / October 25, 2006 2:35 AM PDT

I click on Comressed old files, went to Options and set that to 1 day. I have already 3,000 plus in there now IMPORTANT: On setting it back after 1 is 500 days, put in the 1 and click okay.Darrell Lewis

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Disk cleaner not working
by 1101doc / October 25, 2006 4:05 PM PDT

Chances are good that you've got a lot of junk on your system.
1. Get CCleaner and run it through. It's freeware.
2. Run disk defragmenter on your disk. This DOES take
a lot of time under the best conditions and I would
not be suprised at an hour.
3. Uninstall all program that you never use. You know
which ones they are.
4. Run CCleaner again.
5. Now try Disk Cleanup.

If you rarely boot, do so. Shut down and power down
manually, then start your system fresh. It does wonders.

Good Luck--1101doc

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