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Safe to deleted files in C:\Windows\Installer???

 
 
=?Utf-8?B?am1k?=
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      13th Oct 2004
there are a lot of file in the C:\Windows\Installer directory using up
hundreds of megabytes of space. Whgy are these install files saved? Is it
safe to delete them? Are they required to un-install software later?

- jmd
 
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Carey Frisch [MVP]
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      13th Oct 2004
The only safe method to remove Installer files is
to use the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility:

Windows Installer CleanUp Utility
http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;290301

--
Carey Frisch
Microsoft MVP
Windows XP - Shell/User

Be Smart! Protect Your PC!
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/secu...t/default.aspx

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"jmd" wrote:

| there are a lot of file in the C:\Windows\Installer directory using up
| hundreds of megabytes of space. Whgy are these install files saved? Is it
| safe to delete them? Are they required to un-install software later?
|
| - jmd
 
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Timm
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      18th Apr 2006

'Carey Frisch [MVP Wrote:
> ']The only safe method to remove Installer files is
> to use the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility:
>
> Windows Installer CleanUp Utility
> http://tinyurl.com/47d8
>
> --
> Carey Frisch
> Microsoft MVP
> Windows XP - Shell/User
>
> Be Smart! Protect Your PC!
> http://tinyurl.com/5yb7o
>
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> "jmd" wrote:
>
> | there are a lot of file in the C:\Windows\Installer directory using
> up
> | hundreds of megabytes of space. Whgy are these install files saved?
> Is it
> | safe to delete them? Are they required to un-install software
> later?
> |
> | - jmd


Looking at the Windows cleanup utility description, it seems to say it
will completely uninstall selected programs and remove all related
files.

The real question is:

a) What is the purpose of the Windows\Installer folder?
b) What will happen if some or all of its contents is deleted?

Timm


--
Timm
 
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Banned
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4
 
      3rd Dec 2007
Its perfectly okay to delete those stuff.
you can even delete the whole folder if you wish.

 
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New Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1
 
      13th Jun 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechManNew
Its perfectly okay to delete those stuff.
you can even delete the whole folder if you wish.

sure.... delete any ability to uninstall anything you installed... If you dont care about the ability to uninstall then go ahead and delete that folder. but dont cry when your next upgrade to say... symantec anti-virus requires the previous instalation to be uninstalled and now you cant do it. You'll then have a few hours of work ahead of you to do a dirty uninstall/cleanup just so you can install your upgrade.

TechManNew.... add a tight lip when you lack knowledge on a topic. One day your going to get someing in a serious bind...
 
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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      2nd Jul 2008
Googlers,

Here is the solution for cleaning up a crowded Installer folder:

http://blogs.msdn.com/heaths/archive...d-patches.aspx

In case the page goes away; essentially you download the Windows Installer Cleanup Tool from Microsoft which comes with a command line utility called msizap.exe. After installing the tool, run:

C:\Program Files\Windows Installer Clean Up\msizap G!

And it will automatically remove any .msp files that are not registered on your system. This process cleared over 6GB from a client's server system partition.

Thanks!

-SB
 
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1
 
      2nd Jan 2009
I can speak from personal experience that deleting these files on Vista with Office 2007 will do much harm. for one, the Clean-up tool also unregisters things within the ACL, and after I used the tool, it essentially made every Shortcut invalid. It also made some of the programs stop working since things were unregistered. I almost never use System Restore, but I'm glad I left it on cause that was the only way to >>easily<< repair the damage.

Until a more suitable solution presents itself, I'm leaving the Installer and MSOCache folders alone.
 
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New Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1
 
      14th Feb 2009
THANKS. Your solution saved me from an impending disaster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SylentBobNJ
Googlers,

Here is the solution for cleaning up a crowded Installer folder:

http://blogs.msdn.com/heaths/archive...d-patches.aspx

In case the page goes away; essentially you download the Windows Installer Cleanup Tool from Microsoft which comes with a command line utility called msizap.exe. After installing the tool, run:

C:\Program Files\Windows Installer Clean Up\msizap G!

And it will automatically remove any .msp files that are not registered on your system. This process cleared over 6GB from a client's server system partition.

Thanks!

-SB
 
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New Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1
 
      25th Sep 2009
dammit! Windows\Installer has 4.5GB files ?? you still think that I keep this files??
 
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New Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
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      4th Feb 2010
Consider the Installer folder in the same light as C:\Program Files.

It would be nice if windows/Microsoft would make it easy to designate where these folders are actually located. There are some registry hacks to relocate some of these folders, such as for the Program Files location, but even Microsoft doesn't follow its own rules.

Point is, you often (usually) need the MSI file(s) used to install a product in order to patch, repair and uninstall the product. If this is missing, it is difficult to near impossible to properly maintain the product.
Often the MSI is kept in the temp folder of the user doing the install. So if one cleans up the Temp folder as they should from time to time, and sometimes must to get a program to start working properly again (WinFax Pro anyone?), or if the user and his profile is deleted, you've just rendered the product unmaintainable. This 'feature' has rendered update issues for .net and Visual C++ 2005 redistributable.
In the case of .net, you end up manually ripping it out, then reinstalling it from the beginning. Fun stuff.
In the case of C++, one can download the original pre-SP1 version, extract the files, and point the SP1 installer to the extracted MSI. You actually have to do 2 extractions, one from the downloaded file, and again from the master MSI that contains the real MSI. Again, fun stuff but immensely easier than .net fix.

So, MS now has a folder to keep many of these MSI's that you need in order to perform maintenance on your product, though many of their packages still miss the mark and store the original MSI in the temp folder, as do some third party products. MSOCache is another alternative, but still not the best naming approach, but at least it is out of the way of the root directory and out of the Temp folders. What I really get bugged about is those CSLID folders at root of drives.

So, if you need to clean up the C: drive, and you feel the best approach is to shrink down the Installer folder, relocate its contents, but be sure to have it on hand, in the event you get the message (paraphrased) "Where in the world is this MSI? I can't do a single thing without it"
Similarly but less of a problem is the $ folders at root of Windows directory. At least most of those are not likely necessary if the windows update that pertains to the particular folder has been long installed and working. Even then, best to have it on hand somewhere.

What would really be nice is if applications were made to have a manifest so that users/utilities could clean up systems and remove files/registry entries that aren't accounted for in the manifests of accounted for applications.

Now lets chat about the DLLs in system32....
 
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