When you install SP2 on a Windows XP system, the
installation procedure actually creates a set of folders inside of the Windows
folder called ServicePackFiles\i386 in which the operating system keeps copies
of all the main operating system files replaced by SP2. This folder is then
used by Windows File Protection in the event that a crucial system file needs
to be replaced. In addition, the operating system uses the
ServicePackFiles\i386 folder to store those files that are needed to install
optional Windows components that aren’t installed by default. The
ServicePackFiles\i386 folder occupies around 530MB of disk space.

You can regain some of the disk space if your hard disk is
formatted with the NTFS file system by compressing the ServicePackFiles\i386
folder with NTFS compression. In fact, you can expect to regain about 200MB of
disk space. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click
    the ServicePackFiles folder and select the
    Properties command.
  2. In the
    Attributes section of the General tab, click the Advanced
  3. In the
    Advanced Attributes dialog box, select the Compress Contents To Save Disk Space check box and click OK.
  4. When
    you return to the Properties dialog box, click OK.
  5. When
    you see the Confirm Attribute Changes dialog box, select the Apply Changes
    To This Folder, Subfolders And Files option
    button and click OK.

(Note: It will
take a few minutes for Windows XP to compress the folder.)

Once the folder is compressed, it will take up less space,
yet it will still be accessible for Windows File Protection operations and the
installation of optional components.

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