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Can I delete from C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download?

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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have a server with only 500MB free space on the C drive.  In the past I already removed $NTUNINSTALL files.  I have also moved the pagefile to a different drive.

 I note that the contents of ...

                    C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download

... is taking up a lot of drive space.  About 0.75 gigabyte.

CAN I SAFELY DELETE THOSE FILES, OR MOVE THEM ELSEWHERE IN CASE THEY ARE EVER NEEDED?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Commented:
these files look like some sort of cache maybe for sus or wsus... not sure but if sus or wsus needs the files they will be recreated afaik, so i thinka ll ok to delete.

Author

Commented:
I already have a tool which displays folder size.  The tool showed the ... C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download ... folder as a folder with a lot of content that might be deletable or moveable.

I need to know if the data in ... C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download ... is safe to delete or move.

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Commented:
Hi TDOR...

1 - What's the issue with - "make sure through that all your updates get installed correctrly"?  Does this have to do with Automatic Updates?

2 - I'm not comfortable deleting the Download folder altogether.   I definitely don't want to "take any chances" with out-of-sync updates.

Do you or anyone else have more information on this issue?  

Thanks!

Commented:
Hi,

Yes, the folder is related tu Windows updates. I would say that in 98% procents of the cases there is safe to remove that directory (except the case in which you have a WSUS installed on that server also)

However, if you're not confortable with deleting the files, then you can compress it (using the conpression from windows (from right-click / properties/ advanced))
As an alternative, if might be able to find some more files to compress (IIS logs; files under c:\WINDOWS\system32\logfiles; C:\WINDOWS\PCHEALTH)
Another idea - you might also check to see if System Restore is active and remove some of the older restore points

tdor

Author

Commented:
TDOR:

Deleting old system restore points is a great idea.  Unfortunately it doesn't look like restore points are impletmented on this customer's server.

I'm not uncomfortable with deleting the files.  I meant I didn't want to delete the Download folder itself.  It sounds to me like future updates are going to be looking for that folder.  But I am willing to delete the files inside it.

Question - Automatic Update is set for (X) Notify me but don't automatically download or install them.  I assume that means WSUS is NOT active?

If so, it sounds to me like it would be safe to delete some of the large files in ...

C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download

You agree?

Thanks!

Author

Commented:
PS - actually my plan is tocopy files to another drive, not delete them.

Commented:
dgower,

To find out if Wsus server/console is installed on the server, it should be under the "C:\program files\Update Services\administrationsnapin" folder. (If not it do not matter, for the clients WSUS policy just changes the place from where the pathces are taken - instead from Microsoft from the Wsus server)
It's a better idea to remove the content of the Download folder, rather then the whole fodler, otherwise the Automatic updates will download the files but will created entried like "2da53403f94f7f07c907b8b33afe1170" directly in the C:\ drive

tdor

Author

Commented:
TDOR:

This solution looks good.  I've moved most of the contents of the Download folder to removable storage and gotten back nearly a gig of free space.  I'll watch this for a day or two, just to be safe, and then will award you the points.  Really appreciate the help.  Thanks.

Doug Gower

Commented:
:)

You're welcome


tdor
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Commented:
I'm awarding 400 points to TDOR because you solved my immediate problem.  Thanks!

Also awarding 100 points to SysExpert because you've supplied what looks like a very valuable guide for future situations.

Thanks for the help all.
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