C:\Windows\Installer 10GB

Posted on 2012-08-13
Last Modified: 2012-08-15
Hi Experts,

I have a sever storage issue and while trying to recover space I noticed that the C:\Windows\Installer folder is 10GB. Had a look at another SBS server on another site and it was 3GB in size. I have read that this folder is safe to delete using msizap.exe. I am told this is the folder where all uninstallers sit. I am planning on archiving a full back up tonight and run the msizap.exe.

If I need to restore the files that where deleted is it going to be an issue?
Does deleting some of the files affect other areas of the file system or registry?

Windows Small Business Server 2008

Look forward to hearing from you!
Question by:isdd2000
    LVL 33

    Assisted Solution

    I'd strongly recommend not to reduce the size of C Drive, a lot of installations take place and hence, the drive needs sufficient space for C.

    Imagine, installing SP2 for windows OR SP3 for Sharepoint, now consider if you are running out of space, that won't bring good news to you. Right,

    So, let 10Gigs stay as it is.

    LVL 52

    Expert Comment

    by:Manpreet SIngh Khatra
    I would say take a backup and if you have enough space on some other drive dump them there :)

    Look this is like a temp folder that caches some installation files .... so better to take backup as you say :)

    - Rancy
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
    This folder is needed when you uninstall some software.
    LVL 47

    Expert Comment

    Msizap will only remove installers that are no longer in use

    You can move your WSUS to a different partition
    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    All (actually most) of the .MSI files in this folder are mapped to the installed packages on your system.  You should not remove them as they are used during uninstall and upgrades.

    There can be some orphaned ones in there, but it can be hard to tell which ones are orphaned.  "Msizap.exe !G" is supposed to remove orphaned cached files - but keep in mind that: a) This utility has not been updated to account for more recent versions of Windows Installer (I believe it is MSI 2.0 level). b) On a server you are much less likely to have orphaned cached files because ophaning generally occurs where Per-user installs are allowed - something that hasn't been allowed on Windows Server since the Server 2003 release.

    If you understand symlinks in Windows, you could potentially move these files to another disk (or - more risky - another server) and create symbolic links in c:\Windows\Installer to point to the off volume copies.  I have a back burner project to finish a script that does this (it's about half way done).
    LVL 47

    Expert Comment

    So you chose not to move WSUS ???
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    WSUS does not use C:\Windows\Installer - it only contains cached MSIs that were installed on the local machine.

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