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XP 'windows' folder is 30GB

Posted on 2010-09-05
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi Experts,

I am trying to figure out why the windows folder on an XP Home machine is 30 GB.  There seems to be a pile of old update files, logs, and $ntUnistall folders.  Is there a simple way to purge this out?... free space is down to 1.2 GB :(

Disk cleanup with all options check didn't do it.

Thanks

HNM
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Question by:HelpNearMe
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18 Comments
 
LVL 65

Expert Comment

by:rockiroads
ID: 33607887
try a tool like CCleaner (freebie) and run that without any browsers running. It goes and does a lot of cleaning, that might help.

You may also have system restore points. Im not entirely sure if that is where they are held but ccleanr allows you to remove some of them (dont remove most recent few)

but first just try the clean
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LVL 5

Accepted Solution

by:
adaroc earned 167 total points
ID: 33607892
hi

use drive space software like this to find out what are the largest files and post back if you need help :

http://www.freewarefiles.com/SpaceSniffer_program_49126.html


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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Rich Weissler
ID: 33607895
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/956324/en-us
"How to reclaim disk space on Windows XP and Windows Server 2008-based computers"

That article includes a long list of possible ways to reclaim space, including:

To delete Windows XP               service pack files, follow these steps:                
Delete the %Windir%\$NtServicePackUninstall$ folder to                         delete  the backup folders for the Windows XP service packs. Delete the %Windir%\ServicePackFiles folder to delete                         installation files and cache folders for the Windows XP service                         packs.
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 33607997
I have a couple of Windows XP Virtual Machines fully up-to-date with Office installed and the total size of the machines is around 12Gb. I have all the Windows update uninstall files in place as well.

So I would run Disk Cleanup (already on your machine, and a safe Windows tool) and let it clear out temporary files. Then see where you are. Do not delete Office 2003 MSO Cache, though. .... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 33608009
BTW - look in C:\Windows\Temp and see what is in there. It should be nearly empty. ... Thinkpads_User
0
 
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:KCTS
ID: 33608020
The $ntUnistall... files are created by updates - they can be deleted manually or use the tool from doug knox http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_hotfix_backup.htm
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Let's Go
ID: 33608634
You can also reduce the size of your System Restore folder.

Right-click on My Computer, choose Properties, then System Restore, then Settings.
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 33608648
That will help, but that space is generally within System Volume Information and not the Windows folder.
... Thinkpads_User
0
 

Author Comment

by:HelpNearMe
ID: 33613855
The windows/install folder is 26 GB.  Apparently miszap.exe from microsoft is the way to correct this but Microsoft only makes it available as part of the install SDK (lame).  Anyone know where I can find a working copy of msizap.exe?

Thanks,

HNM

By the way adaroc -> space sniffer is awesome!  Thanks.
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 33614007
That is a lot of space for windows\install.  I checked a typical XP Pro SP3 machine (I have 2 XP Virtual Machines). The main one (Office 2003) is a total of 11.2Gb for the complete machine. That included all possible updates. Within that:

Windows total is 7.8 Gb
Windows\installer is 1.4 Gb
Windows\system is 1.0 Gb
Windows\software distribution is 0.8 Gb

So it would appear that something has gone amuk in the sense of some (many) installations gone wrong or not completed or possibly some malware that has contributed to this. If you had many failed Windows Updates disturbed or not complete, it could be the former.

Did you run Disk Cleanup to see if that might find anything?

... Thinkpads_User
0
 

Author Comment

by:HelpNearMe
ID: 33614025
thinkspads user:

You should read my original question, then read my last post carefully.  I appreciate your effort but you aren't paying attention.

Thanks anyway

HNM
0
 
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 33614040
Sorry about that. I did miss it in your first post. However the bulk of my post paid strict attention to your first line, and last post before mine, and I was trying to provide additive information about that.

Strike Disk Cleanup, but I still think something has gone amuk, and I do not know how to get msizap separately (or I would have said). ... Thinkpads_User
0
 

Author Comment

by:HelpNearMe
ID: 33614092
Does anyone know where or how to download a working copy of msizap.exe with out the SDK?  It appears that I need it to clean out this windows/install folder that is 26GB.

Thanks,

HNM
0
 
LVL 95

Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 166 total points
ID: 33614095
HelpNearMe - Please do a Google Search on msizap.exe.

I found this:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/astebner/archive/2004/09/08/227118.aspx  which looked useful, and this:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyId=49AE8576-9BB9-4126-9761-BA8011FABF38&displaylang=en  that looked less useful and this

http://forums.techarena.in/windows-software/1213261.htm  that might be useful.

These look to be all legitimate sources and you can find the links just by searching on msizap.exe .

... Thinkpads_User
0
 
LVL 65

Assisted Solution

by:rockiroads
rockiroads earned 167 total points
ID: 33614136
if u are going to use the windows installer cleanup utility, I would advise you be careful with this, ensure you backup your stuff, maybe create a system restore point as well. The exe is different to msizap but in case you feel inclined to use it, this is what ms say

While the Windows Installer Cleanup utility was found to a be a very useful tool by many, as it resolved installation problems, it was also recently found to damage some other components of the Windows operating system, installed on the  computer.

Source: http://www.thewindowsclub.com/microsoft-retires-windows-installer-cleanup-utility#ixzz0ynOSYrsK
0
 
LVL 65

Expert Comment

by:rockiroads
ID: 33614153
found this link regarding msizap. hopefully you see a large removal http://www.pagestart.com/msizap.html
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:HelpNearMe
ID: 33614222
I used the installed the 'installer cleanup tool' and used msizap.exe from the command prompt with switch G.

Cleared out 20 +GB of junk.  Thanks for the help.

HNM
0
 
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 33614354
Thank you and thanks for the update. I am glad you got it sorted out. ... Thinkpads_User
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