Disk Cleanup Failed in Computers with Windows 2008 and Windows 2008 R2 Operating Systems


You cannot complete the task to cleanup disks, in computers with the Windows 2008, Windows 2008 R2 operating systems, using the System Tools feature in Desktop Central. The error message that you see on the screen is, 'Disk cleanup failed'.


The Disk Cleanup button is part of the Desktop Experience feature. The Disk Cleanup executable file cleanmgr.exe and the associated Disk Cleanup button are not available in computers with the operating systems Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2, by default. In order to enable the Disk Cleanup button in a disk's Properties page, you are required to install the Desktop Experience feature.


You are required to install the Disk Cleanup executable file in the computers with the operating systems Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. You are also required to copy the required files before using the Disk Cleanup feature.

Installing the Disk Cleanup Feature

To install the Disk Cleanup feature, follow the steps given below:

  1. Click start>Administrative Tools
  2. Click Server Manager
  3. Select Add feature
  4. Select Desktop Experience

You have installed the Desktop Experience feature. The next step includes copying the required files before running the Disk Cleanup feature.

Copying Required Files

To use cleanmgr.exe you are required to copy the following two files that are present in the server:

  • cleanmgr.exe
  • cleanmgr.exe.mui

Use the following table to locate the files for your operating system:

Operating System


File Location

Windows Server 2008 R2



Windows Server 2008 R2



Windows Server 2008



Windows Server 2008



Windows Server 2008



Windows Server 2008



Once you have located the files move them to the following locations:

  • cleanmgr.exe to %systemroot%\System32
  • cleanmgr.exe.mui to %systemroot%\System32\en-US



Applies to: Cleaning Disks, Windows 2008, Windows 2008R2

Keywords: Disk-cleanup failure, Installing the disk cleanup feature, Desktop Experience

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