Delete install files?

Posted on 2003-11-23
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I have recently upgraded my laptop to Win XP Pro (withe SP1 included).  I
have also installed all of the updates offered since.  I am now interested
in doing some housecleaning to save a bit of room on the hd since it has a
limited size.  My questions:

1.  There is a file in the root directory with a very cryptic name 30
(apparently random) characters starting with b6d200... .  It's sole
subdirectory is sp2, which itself has a sole subdir named update.  SP2 has 2
files in it and update has 3 files.  Can I delete this small tree in the

2.  Also in the root is a directory named WUtemp, which has 8 subdirectories
all starting with "com_microsoft.".  They also all have either SP1 or SP2 in
their name at some point.  Can I delet these savely?

3.  The first 8 directories under Windows all start with "$NtUninstall".
Can I delete these directories safely?

4.  Are there any other directories put in by the XP install which I can delete?

Thank you.

Question by:bobsing060797
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Expert Comment

ID: 9809017

1. If it's on the root of C: then I would leave it there, it look's like either a windows or anti virus update file, the b6d200 look's like a patch name from M$.com.

2. This could be the Service pack where M$ put's its download files from it's site, again I would not delete this, you can trust anything from M$, it look's like its needed.

3. Yes you could delete them safley BUT this will prevent you from uninstalling the application or progrmae itis associated with. Usually programs come with a helpful uninstall option, but there should also be an option for it in add/remove programs.

4. the place you want to check is folders like C:\programe files and where you normally download things, there may be traces of programs on the PC that you thought you deleted in the passed.

Remember when you delete anything here it will go in the recycling Bin, so if you do delete anything and there is a problem after a reboot, then you can symply restopre from the Bin. This is your best trial and error.


Expert Comment

ID: 9809026

Expert Comment

ID: 9817163

  1. That folder name sounds a bit strange to me. That doesn't seem to me a M$ patch or update. It's not their style. They either add files next to those already on your system and/or replace them with new ones. That's why you will have to check your system with an anti-virus and an anti-spyware tool. Huseyin1 provided you a great list of anti-spyware tools, but I'll tell you what I use to make my system nice and dandy:

- Ad-aware:
  Don't forget to get the latest Ad-aware reference files: or perform a WebUpdate. If you get the file, after downloading it, unpack & copy it to the Ad-aware installation folder - overwriting the existing one.

- Stinger:

  2,3. The files in WUtemp are the Windows Update temporary files. They are normally deleted from that folder after their install so it seems something went wrong with the Windows Update, BUT from what you said (2.) and what I've read on your (3.) question I understand you have 8 com_microsoft folders in WUtemp and 8 $NtUninstall folders in the WINDOWS folder. The only thing crosses my mind is something happend and Windows Update failed to delete those temporary files, but the $NtUninstall folders tell me that all the updates have been successfully installed. Anyway, I say it's safe to delete them but you will also have to do something else, but FIRST you will need to delete some registry keys, so you won't see these updates in your Add/Remove Programs list. If you don't plan removing these updates we may proceed:

 - click Start -> Run -> type regedit -> press enter or click OK
 - now go to: My Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall
   Click the + mark to expand the Uninstall tree. If you scroll down, you will see some keys that start with KB followed by some numbers and some keys starting with Q also followed by some numbers. Examples: KB817778, Q328310. You will have to find 8 keys of this type. After deleting them you'll probably want to check out your Add/Remove Programs list, to see if they're not in there anoymore. They shouldn't be there. Assuming everything went ok, you may safely delete those $NtUninstall folders and the WUtemp folder.

  4. There are some more directories you'll just love deleting *their contents*. Why "their contents" ? Those are system folders so they are needed by Windows. BUT we won't need their contents. So this operation is pretty safe if you have the WinXP CD handy. There you go:

C:\WINDOWS\Driver Cache -> you may safely delete the i386 folder but keep in mind that Windows will ask you the WinXP install CD if you want to add new hardware.
C:\WINDOWS\system32\dllcache -> you'll love wiping these files :) it's a load of file Windows doesn't use unless you're playing with your system components. As I've said before, if you have that WinXP CD at your disposal, just delete those files.
C:\WINDOWS\Temp -> Also check this folder for temporary files. Just wipe'em.

  If you have some more questions about this one, go ahed and ask me. Good luck!

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Author Comment

ID: 9818267
On  Question #1.  The directory in the root is named b6d200a0de3e7121b406caca79945e.  Its sole subdirectory is "SP2", which has a sole directory of "update".    

The 2 files in the SP2 dir are spmsg.dll and spuninst.exe.  
The 3 files in the "update" dir are eula.txt, spcustom.dll, and update.exe.

Here is what happened as I was downloading and installing my updates.  I was using a slow modem on a laptop and left the hotel room in Asia to go for breakfast.  As I left the room and took the key, I (by taking the key) turned off the power.  While away my laptop ran out of power and the installs ended prematurely.  Upon return, I resumed them and they seemed to install nicely.  

With this new info, would you suggest that I can delete this small directory structure?  


Accepted Solution

kneekoo earned 125 total points
ID: 9824333
Oh, so that happened :) Yes, you may safely delete that folder. That's another "left-over" from the Windows Update tool. It's not so common to find those type of folders, but in your case (power failure) it's understandable.

Author Comment

ID: 9829360
Thanks Nick.

Expert Comment

ID: 9830117
;) You're welcome.

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