windows 2008 server problems with size c:\windows\installer

Posted on 2011-03-02
Last Modified: 2012-06-21

We have a 3rd party application installed on a number of Windows 2008 servers. The problem was discovered that every time we install a service pack (which is basically a full installation), it creates a new entry in Programs and Features AND the directory c:\windows\installer gets bigger which is causing our c:\ to run out of space.

The vendor has suggested that we uninstall all their programs from programs and features and then delete all the files that they are the author for in c:\windows installer (they call them "orphaned" files), and then finally reinstall their product.

I have concerns with this as there are other programs by the same vendor that we do not wish to uninstall.

Can anyone advise?:
Is this the correct way to uninstall? what about the registry?
Can anyone suggest a cleaner way to uninstall?

Many thanks!!
Question by:vourneenward
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
LVL 33

Accepted Solution

Todd Gerbert earned 500 total points
ID: 35023419
Uninstalling through Programs & Features is normally the cleanest way - but ultimately that depends on how well made the installer is.

That advice seems a little odd, but given it's from the doesn't seem like it'll hurt anything - always have good backups though.

You should clarify details with the vendor.

Author Comment

ID: 35024215
Thanks, I am looking for more information.
LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:Todd Gerbert
ID: 35024218
Is it a well-known application?
Online Training Solution

Drastically shorten your training time with WalkMe's advanced online training solution that Guides your trainees to action. Forget about retraining and skyrocket knowledge retention rates.


Author Comment

ID: 35024347
No it is not, it is a custom built one.

Expert Comment

ID: 35045243

I think in this case the best thing is uninstalling that application via the uninstallString Key from Registry, which also will be good if you gonna run it on couple of machines

Open the registry and browse to

You should find a lot of keys over there for everything that been installed on the machine even different updates, find the software you after then copy the uninstallString command as shown below.

Please note that there might be more than one key for the same software (different components), so it is recommended that you go though those keys in “CurrentVersion\Uninstall” and get any more uninstallString keys for that different component if exist for that SW.

If you found more than one key and you want to run it on couple of machine let me know and I can put you a script to run that.



Expert Comment

ID: 35045253
Forgot to mention that when you uninstalling any SW or update form Programs and Features,  it is actually runs the uninstalling String in the background


Featured Post

Optimize your web performance

What's in the eBook?
- Full list of reasons for poor performance
- Ultimate measures to speed things up
- Primary web monitoring types
- KPIs you should be monitoring in order to increase your ROI

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

New Windows 7 Installations take days for Windows-Updates to show up and install. This can easily be fixed. I have finally decided to write an article because this seems to get asked several times a day lately. This Article and the Links apply to…
I was prompted to write this article after the recent World-Wide Ransomware outbreak. For years now, System Administrators around the world have used the excuse of "Waiting a Bit" before applying Security Patch Updates. This type of reasoning to me …
This tutorial will walk an individual through the steps necessary to configure their installation of BackupExec 2012 to use network shared disk space. Verify that the path to the shared storage is valid and that data can be written to that location:…
This tutorial will walk an individual through configuring a drive on a Windows Server 2008 to perform shadow copies in order to quickly recover deleted files and folders. Click on Start and then select Computer to view the available drives on the se…
Suggested Courses

615 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question