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"C:\Windows\Installer\" - What's in here?

Posted on 2004-09-07
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Hi,

I'm seeking to remove some unnecessary files from my computer as my aging drive is getting a little choked.  I found that there is 113MB of files of the types *.msi and *.msp files for programs/patches I'm pretty sure I've already installed and/or uninstalled.  Are these files necessary (maybe for "detect and repair" functions for office or adobe?) or can they be removed?  The files are only numbered not named, but the descriptions yield a bit more.

Can someone tell me just what these might be used for how necessary these files are please.  And also what the folders with generated names "{*}" are and if they are necessary as well.

Thankyou
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Question by:shirlin
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Evarest
ID: 12003955
To clean up your computer, start with the useless things before going into a "wild" deletion...

Search your drive for *.~* *.tmp *.bak *.old
These files can be deleted.

Go to C:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\Temp
Delete all in this folder.

Clean up your trash can.

In IExplorer take Tools|Internet Options... and click Delete Files. Click on Settings and set the slider to a lower value.

Go to Start|Programs|Accessories|System Tools|System Restore and turn off System Restore for all drives. Click OK. Now reopen it and set the slider to a lower value. For some this can reclame over 2 GB of data due to a bug in WinXP...
(PS.: you're now deleting restore files, so a restoration isn't possible until you turn it back on!)

Now do a search for old files, and see what else you can miss...

Good luck!
Evarest
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Author Comment

by:shirlin
ID: 12006010
Thanks Evarest,

I've got a pretty good handle on the basics though.  I'm really most inerested in the particular folder I mentioned.

Shirlin
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Evarest earned 600 total points
ID: 12006083
"And also what the folders with generated names "{*}" are and if they are necessary as well."

Well, these probably are folders created by the updater of Windows. I should not try to delete them. If you want, you can uninstall these by going to Add/Remove Programs...

Also, manually check C:\System Information. Unlike i mentioned, Windows can still leave _a lot_ of data in that folder. You must first change permissions to allow for your account by using the Security tab in Properties of that folder...

You can remove the *.msi files if you _really_ want. However, I must caution you: it might get difficult to remove/modify these programs lateron... What the *.msp files are, i really don't know...

Hope this somewhat helps you, otherwhise let me know!
Evarest
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Author Comment

by:shirlin
ID: 12007700
Hi again,

apparently, *.msi = "Windows Installer Package"
and *.msp = "Windows Installer Patch"

And that's a good point about uninstallation, thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:glynch42
ID: 21780984
I, too, am having this problem on a Windows2003 server where WSUS is creatin duplicates of updates when they fail to install. Other discussions Ihave read about his topic (http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2228906&SiteID=17) say that Microsoft's MSI Installer Tool has caused problems, but the MSIZAP.exe tool works well. Available in the SDK for Windows Installer Developers (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa370523.aspx)
-GPL

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