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

Posted on 2011-03-02
Medium Priority
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
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LVL 33

Accepted Solution

Todd Gerbert earned 2000 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?
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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


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