can windows installer packages and patches be deleted or moved to another drive

Posted on 2012-09-21
Last Modified: 2012-10-11

We have a server running "server 2003 R2" and I am just looking to clear unnecessary files to free up disk space.

there is a folder called "c:\WINDOWS\installer"

and within this folder are a large amount of windows installer packages and patches with names such as:


can these files be deleted or moved to another drive to free up hard disk space?
Question by:drzackzuss
    LVL 18

    Accepted Solution

    The Windows Installer Cache, located in c:\windows\installer folder, is used to store important files for applications installed using the Windows Installer technology and should not be deleted. If the installer cache has been compromised, you may not immediately see problems until you perform an action such as uninstall, repair, or update on a product.

    Please refer below article for more information.

    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Use CCleander tool to wipe out unwanted files on your server. Its friendly user application, free and safe.
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    by:Sushil Sonawane
    The only safe method to remove Installer files is to use the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility:

    Windows Installer CleanUp Utility


    To move your Windows Installer Directory
    LVL 10

    Assisted Solution

    Wow you asked first - see too many people struggling after they've removed or deleted files from this folder.

    The main connection is that the randomly named MSIs and MSPs are used for uninstall.  This includes if you do a major upgrade and there is an uninstall of your current version while upgrading.

    The files play other critical roles in MSI as well - so they should not be touched.

    The Windows Installer Cleanup utility removes ALL the MSI data for a given product in the registry as well - so the MSI features - self-healing, upgrades, uninstalls - will not longer work for the software packages that you use it on.  It was also retired by Microsoft before Vista even came out.

    If you plan to use the method in - the files should be on a LOCAL hard drive.  Any running backup software will also see both folders as a complete copy.
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    by:Brad Bouchard
    The best way in my opinion to do this is to use some sort of cleaner software and defrag as well as perform disk cleanup.

    I would:

    1)  CCleaner and remove all temp files.  Make sure to clear any browsers and applications (2nd tab on Cleaner option)
    2)  Auslogics Defrag
    3)  Disk Cleanup, in Windows
    4)  Old user profile cleanup
    5) Perform Windows Installer cleanup

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