Decreasing the Size of VHD Files by Disabling the SFC

There are several methods you can use to decrease the size of your virtual hard disk (VHD) files. One of the lesser known methods is to decrease the Windows system file checker (SFC). To disable to SFC on your guest operating system you can simply open a command prompt from within it and type the following commands:

sfc /cachesize=0
sfc /purgecache

Doing this can typically decrease the size of a VHD file by nearly 300 MB. Saving this much spacer per virtual machine can add up very quickly.


Chris Sanders is the network administrator for one of the largest public school systems in the state of Kentucky. Chris’s specialties include general network administration, windows server 2003, wireless networking, and security. You can view Chris’ personal website at

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