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Windows/installer (hidden folder - getting very large indeed!)

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Unread 16-08-2007, 07:40 AM   #1
chrisk
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Windows/installer (hidden folder - getting very large indeed!)

I submitted the following query to Microsoft several days ago - as yet no
response even though it said I'd get a reply within 24 hours - I have an HP
Pavilion PC (nearly 3 years old) with a 32 Mb hard disk. A couple of weeks
ago I noticed that I was running out of space. It's now occupying 16Gb of
mainly .msi files (It took a while to track down where this 'disappeared'
space was located since it's a hidden directory. I've found only one other
posting on the same/similar problem i.e. 10/13/2005 from Bill43. The replies
indicate that there's not much I can do about this, and I just don't believe
that I'm forced into buying a bigger disk just to accommodate Microsoft
updates that have been automatically loaded into the system! 16Gb is far
bigger than the original XP operating system, isn't it?

It seems to me that maybe other users are having the same problem - perhaps
unbeknownst to them. Unless there's a way of reducing this space, it's a
sort of mechanism for built-in obsolescence of my XP-based machine!!

The machine crashed last week and it took more than three days to do a
system recover and total disk space after loading Microsoft security updates
and SP2 reducing usable disk space to just 200Mb at one point (even after
jettisoning strictly non-essential personal data and applications and MS disk
cleaner etc etc).

I've tried running the installer cleaner, but this shows four or five
installed software items which appear mainstream.

I'd be /very/ grateful for some concrete suggestions - the machine was
bought with preinstalled XP, and I don't have the disk - so I can't scrap the
current system by reinstallation (and besides, I can't face reinstalling all
the broadband connection stuff and Word!

Thanks!

 
Unread 16-08-2007, 07:40 AM   #2
Rock
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Windows/installer (hidden folder - getting very large indeed!)

"chrisk" wrote
>I submitted the following query to Microsoft several days ago - as yet no
> response even though it said I'd get a reply within 24 hours - I have an
> HP
> Pavilion PC (nearly 3 years old) with a 32 Mb hard disk. A couple of
> weeks
> ago I noticed that I was running out of space. It's now occupying 16Gb of
> mainly .msi files (It took a while to track down where this 'disappeared'
> space was located since it's a hidden directory. I've found only one
> other
> posting on the same/similar problem i.e. 10/13/2005 from Bill43. The
> replies
> indicate that there's not much I can do about this, and I just don't
> believe
> that I'm forced into buying a bigger disk just to accommodate Microsoft
> updates that have been automatically loaded into the system! 16Gb is far
> bigger than the original XP operating system, isn't it?
>
> It seems to me that maybe other users are having the same problem -
> perhaps
> unbeknownst to them. Unless there's a way of reducing this space, it's a
> sort of mechanism for built-in obsolescence of my XP-based machine!!
>
> The machine crashed last week and it took more than three days to do a
> system recover and total disk space after loading Microsoft security
> updates
> and SP2 reducing usable disk space to just 200Mb at one point (even after
> jettisoning strictly non-essential personal data and applications and MS
> disk
> cleaner etc etc).
>
> I've tried running the installer cleaner, but this shows four or five
> installed software items which appear mainstream.
>
> I'd be /very/ grateful for some concrete suggestions - the machine was
> bought with preinstalled XP, and I don't have the disk - so I can't scrap
> the
> current system by reinstallation (and besides, I can't face reinstalling
> all
> the broadband connection stuff and Word!


I have an installation that is nearly 5 years old and the size of the
\Windows\Installer folder is 548MB, so yours does seem large. How many
files in that folder? What is the largest? Have you looked at what the
installers are for? Are there any for programs you have deleted so they can
be removed?

One other point. You state have a disk, implying a recovery CD, so how are
you going to restore the system if there is a problem and it needs to be
restored? Did you loose it or you just don't know how the recovery process
works?

The computer manufacture is required to provide some means to restore the
system. They have 3 ways:
1. Installation CD
2. Recovery CD
3. Hidden partition on the hard drive with an image of the drive as
received from the factory. With this the recovery process is invoked by
pressing a key or keystroke combination during boot up, and sometimes a disk
is needed in conjunction with it.

So if you don't know what the recovery mechanism is or if you have lost the
recovery CD you need to contact HP tech support and find out the process or
replace it. Otherwise you will be back here at some point saying please
help, I need to do a restore and I don't have the CD.

You do keep a full and complete backup of important data at all times,
right? To address both issues you might want to consider getting a drive
imaging program such as Acronis True Image , to regularly image the drive(s)
to an external hard drive. That way the data is backed up and you have a
means to restore the most recent working image of the system if something
catastrophic happens, say a drive failure.

--
Rock [MS-MVP User/Shell]

 
Unread 16-08-2007, 07:40 AM   #3
Rock
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Windows/installer (hidden folder - getting very large indeed!)

"chrisk" wrote
>I submitted the following query to Microsoft several days ago - as yet no
> response even though it said I'd get a reply within 24 hours - I have an
> HP
> Pavilion PC (nearly 3 years old) with a 32 Mb hard disk. A couple of
> weeks
> ago I noticed that I was running out of space. It's now occupying 16Gb of
> mainly .msi files (It took a while to track down where this 'disappeared'
> space was located since it's a hidden directory. I've found only one
> other
> posting on the same/similar problem i.e. 10/13/2005 from Bill43. The
> replies
> indicate that there's not much I can do about this, and I just don't
> believe
> that I'm forced into buying a bigger disk just to accommodate Microsoft
> updates that have been automatically loaded into the system! 16Gb is far
> bigger than the original XP operating system, isn't it?
>
> It seems to me that maybe other users are having the same problem -
> perhaps
> unbeknownst to them. Unless there's a way of reducing this space, it's a
> sort of mechanism for built-in obsolescence of my XP-based machine!!
>
> The machine crashed last week and it took more than three days to do a
> system recover and total disk space after loading Microsoft security
> updates
> and SP2 reducing usable disk space to just 200Mb at one point (even after
> jettisoning strictly non-essential personal data and applications and MS
> disk
> cleaner etc etc).
>
> I've tried running the installer cleaner, but this shows four or five
> installed software items which appear mainstream.
>
> I'd be /very/ grateful for some concrete suggestions - the machine was
> bought with preinstalled XP, and I don't have the disk - so I can't scrap
> the
> current system by reinstallation (and besides, I can't face reinstalling
> all
> the broadband connection stuff and Word!


I have an installation that is nearly 5 years old and the size of the
\Windows\Installer folder is 548MB, so yours does seem large. How many
files in that folder? What is the largest? Have you looked at what the
installers are for? Are there any for programs you have deleted so they can
be removed?

One other point. You state have a disk, implying a recovery CD, so how are
you going to restore the system if there is a problem and it needs to be
restored? Did you loose it or you just don't know how the recovery process
works?

The computer manufacture is required to provide some means to restore the
system. They have 3 ways:
1. Installation CD
2. Recovery CD
3. Hidden partition on the hard drive with an image of the drive as
received from the factory. With this the recovery process is invoked by
pressing a key or keystroke combination during boot up, and sometimes a disk
is needed in conjunction with it.

So if you don't know what the recovery mechanism is or if you have lost the
recovery CD you need to contact HP tech support and find out the process or
replace it. Otherwise you will be back here at some point saying please
help, I need to do a restore and I don't have the CD.

You do keep a full and complete backup of important data at all times,
right? To address both issues you might want to consider getting a drive
imaging program such as Acronis True Image , to regularly image the drive(s)
to an external hard drive. That way the data is backed up and you have a
means to restore the most recent working image of the system if something
catastrophic happens, say a drive failure.

--
Rock [MS-MVP User/Shell]

 
Unread 16-08-2007, 07:48 AM   #4
chrisk
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Windows/installer (hidden folder - getting very large indeed!)

Many thanks for your response, Rock.
I've just used TreeSize Free, and it reports that in the installer folder,
there is a "file container" ie. an entry marked with "[files]" which I can
open with a right-click. This contains around 1600 windows installer
patches, (the largest of these is 95Mb, though some are just 132Kb), some
..MST files, windows installer packages and 42 entries of the form:
{369B3636be-3d64-4641-9aea-808d436fe132}. These entries date from 2003. In
the installer folder there 40 entries of this form, but all registered at 0MB
apart from 2 (2Mb). There's also a 114 Mb $patchcache$ entry.
You're right - there is a partition D: where HP has its recovery files; to
recover from the recent crash I uses the MS recovery programme, going back to
an earlier save point. This process took *many* hours to complete. I've
been backing up important data fairly regularly. I could try and find a way
of finding out what all these packages and patches are for and determine
whether some are not needed - but the thought of wading through 1600 of them
leaves me feeling exhausted!

Once again, thanks. Can you make any further suggestions?

All best. ChrisK
"Rock" wrote:

> "chrisk" wrote
> >I submitted the following query to Microsoft several days ago - as yet no
> > response even though it said I'd get a reply within 24 hours - I have an
> > HP
> > Pavilion PC (nearly 3 years old) with a 32 Mb hard disk. A couple of
> > weeks
> > ago I noticed that I was running out of space. It's now occupying 16Gb of
> > mainly .msi files (It took a while to track down where this 'disappeared'
> > space was located since it's a hidden directory. I've found only one
> > other
> > posting on the same/similar problem i.e. 10/13/2005 from Bill43. The
> > replies
> > indicate that there's not much I can do about this, and I just don't
> > believe
> > that I'm forced into buying a bigger disk just to accommodate Microsoft
> > updates that have been automatically loaded into the system! 16Gb is far
> > bigger than the original XP operating system, isn't it?
> >
> > It seems to me that maybe other users are having the same problem -
> > perhaps
> > unbeknownst to them. Unless there's a way of reducing this space, it's a
> > sort of mechanism for built-in obsolescence of my XP-based machine!!
> >
> > The machine crashed last week and it took more than three days to do a
> > system recover and total disk space after loading Microsoft security
> > updates
> > and SP2 reducing usable disk space to just 200Mb at one point (even after
> > jettisoning strictly non-essential personal data and applications and MS
> > disk
> > cleaner etc etc).
> >
> > I've tried running the installer cleaner, but this shows four or five
> > installed software items which appear mainstream.
> >
> > I'd be /very/ grateful for some concrete suggestions - the machine was
> > bought with preinstalled XP, and I don't have the disk - so I can't scrap
> > the
> > current system by reinstallation (and besides, I can't face reinstalling
> > all
> > the broadband connection stuff and Word!

>
> I have an installation that is nearly 5 years old and the size of the
> \Windows\Installer folder is 548MB, so yours does seem large. How many
> files in that folder? What is the largest? Have you looked at what the
> installers are for? Are there any for programs you have deleted so they can
> be removed?
>
> One other point. You state have a disk, implying a recovery CD, so how are
> you going to restore the system if there is a problem and it needs to be
> restored? Did you loose it or you just don't know how the recovery process
> works?
>
> The computer manufacture is required to provide some means to restore the
> system. They have 3 ways:
> 1. Installation CD
> 2. Recovery CD
> 3. Hidden partition on the hard drive with an image of the drive as
> received from the factory. With this the recovery process is invoked by
> pressing a key or keystroke combination during boot up, and sometimes a disk
> is needed in conjunction with it.
>
> So if you don't know what the recovery mechanism is or if you have lost the
> recovery CD you need to contact HP tech support and find out the process or
> replace it. Otherwise you will be back here at some point saying please
> help, I need to do a restore and I don't have the CD.
>
> You do keep a full and complete backup of important data at all times,
> right? To address both issues you might want to consider getting a drive
> imaging program such as Acronis True Image , to regularly image the drive(s)
> to an external hard drive. That way the data is backed up and you have a
> means to restore the most recent working image of the system if something
> catastrophic happens, say a drive failure.
>
> --
> Rock [MS-MVP User/Shell]
>
>

 
Unread 16-08-2007, 07:48 AM   #5
chrisk
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Windows/installer (hidden folder - getting very large indeed!)

Many thanks for your response, Rock.
I've just used TreeSize Free, and it reports that in the installer folder,
there is a "file container" ie. an entry marked with "[files]" which I can
open with a right-click. This contains around 1600 windows installer
patches, (the largest of these is 95Mb, though some are just 132Kb), some
..MST files, windows installer packages and 42 entries of the form:
{369B3636be-3d64-4641-9aea-808d436fe132}. These entries date from 2003. In
the installer folder there 40 entries of this form, but all registered at 0MB
apart from 2 (2Mb). There's also a 114 Mb $patchcache$ entry.
You're right - there is a partition D: where HP has its recovery files; to
recover from the recent crash I uses the MS recovery programme, going back to
an earlier save point. This process took *many* hours to complete. I've
been backing up important data fairly regularly. I could try and find a way
of finding out what all these packages and patches are for and determine
whether some are not needed - but the thought of wading through 1600 of them
leaves me feeling exhausted!

Once again, thanks. Can you make any further suggestions?

All best. ChrisK
"Rock" wrote:

> "chrisk" wrote
> >I submitted the following query to Microsoft several days ago - as yet no
> > response even though it said I'd get a reply within 24 hours - I have an
> > HP
> > Pavilion PC (nearly 3 years old) with a 32 Mb hard disk. A couple of
> > weeks
> > ago I noticed that I was running out of space. It's now occupying 16Gb of
> > mainly .msi files (It took a while to track down where this 'disappeared'
> > space was located since it's a hidden directory. I've found only one
> > other
> > posting on the same/similar problem i.e. 10/13/2005 from Bill43. The
> > replies
> > indicate that there's not much I can do about this, and I just don't
> > believe
> > that I'm forced into buying a bigger disk just to accommodate Microsoft
> > updates that have been automatically loaded into the system! 16Gb is far
> > bigger than the original XP operating system, isn't it?
> >
> > It seems to me that maybe other users are having the same problem -
> > perhaps
> > unbeknownst to them. Unless there's a way of reducing this space, it's a
> > sort of mechanism for built-in obsolescence of my XP-based machine!!
> >
> > The machine crashed last week and it took more than three days to do a
> > system recover and total disk space after loading Microsoft security
> > updates
> > and SP2 reducing usable disk space to just 200Mb at one point (even after
> > jettisoning strictly non-essential personal data and applications and MS
> > disk
> > cleaner etc etc).
> >
> > I've tried running the installer cleaner, but this shows four or five
> > installed software items which appear mainstream.
> >
> > I'd be /very/ grateful for some concrete suggestions - the machine was
> > bought with preinstalled XP, and I don't have the disk - so I can't scrap
> > the
> > current system by reinstallation (and besides, I can't face reinstalling
> > all
> > the broadband connection stuff and Word!

>
> I have an installation that is nearly 5 years old and the size of the
> \Windows\Installer folder is 548MB, so yours does seem large. How many
> files in that folder? What is the largest? Have you looked at what the
> installers are for? Are there any for programs you have deleted so they can
> be removed?
>
> One other point. You state have a disk, implying a recovery CD, so how are
> you going to restore the system if there is a problem and it needs to be
> restored? Did you loose it or you just don't know how the recovery process
> works?
>
> The computer manufacture is required to provide some means to restore the
> system. They have 3 ways:
> 1. Installation CD
> 2. Recovery CD
> 3. Hidden partition on the hard drive with an image of the drive as
> received from the factory. With this the recovery process is invoked by
> pressing a key or keystroke combination during boot up, and sometimes a disk
> is needed in conjunction with it.
>
> So if you don't know what the recovery mechanism is or if you have lost the
> recovery CD you need to contact HP tech support and find out the process or
> replace it. Otherwise you will be back here at some point saying please
> help, I need to do a restore and I don't have the CD.
>
> You do keep a full and complete backup of important data at all times,
> right? To address both issues you might want to consider getting a drive
> imaging program such as Acronis True Image , to regularly image the drive(s)
> to an external hard drive. That way the data is backed up and you have a
> means to restore the most recent working image of the system if something
> catastrophic happens, say a drive failure.
>
> --
> Rock [MS-MVP User/Shell]
>
>

 
Unread 16-08-2007, 08:06 AM   #6
chrisk
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Windows/installer (hidden folder - getting very large indeed!)

Thanks guys for your help.

The solution to my problem was to run MsiZap G! on the command line. MsiZap
comes with the MS installer cleaner package. The parameter G is to remove
orphan .msi packages and resulted in salvaging 15Gb disk space safely i.e.
only orphans were deleted and recovered close to half my total disk space!

ChrisK

"chrisk" wrote:

> Many thanks, DL.
> I've used TreeSize Free to identify the files /folders causing the problem.
> Up until very recently I've always had more than 15% free to use defrag etc.
> It suddenly dipped way below that figure. So I'm still at a loss to
> understand what the installer folder is doing to my system!
>
> chrisK
>
> "DL" wrote:
>
> > Are you sure these are all MS installer files, seems far to many/large to
> > me.
> > Install something like TreeSize Pro to determin exactly what is consuming
> > your space
> >
> > There is something not quite right if your win installation is consuming
> > 16gb
> >
> > You say you have a 32gb disk & win is consuming 16gb and that you are then
> > left with some 200mb free space; By implication your Apps & data are using
> > 15gb - Your disk is too small for your usage, install a slave disk, or
> > external, and move data to that.
> >
> > If you have less than 15% free space (32gb with 4.8gb free) you can suffer
> > all manor of problems, not least Disk Cleanup wont run
> >
> > "chrisk" <chrisk@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
> > news:390F378E-0728-45CB-8D8E-2C290FE35A06@microsoft.com...
> > > I submitted the following query to Microsoft several days ago - as yet no
> > > response even though it said I'd get a reply within 24 hours - I have an

> > HP
> > > Pavilion PC (nearly 3 years old) with a 32 Mb hard disk. A couple of

> > weeks
> > > ago I noticed that I was running out of space. It's now occupying 16Gb of
> > > mainly .msi files (It took a while to track down where this 'disappeared'
> > > space was located since it's a hidden directory. I've found only one

> > other
> > > posting on the same/similar problem i.e. 10/13/2005 from Bill43. The

> > replies
> > > indicate that there's not much I can do about this, and I just don't

> > believe
> > > that I'm forced into buying a bigger disk just to accommodate Microsoft
> > > updates that have been automatically loaded into the system! 16Gb is far
> > > bigger than the original XP operating system, isn't it?
> > >
> > > It seems to me that maybe other users are having the same problem -

> > perhaps
> > > unbeknownst to them. Unless there's a way of reducing this space, it's a
> > > sort of mechanism for built-in obsolescence of my XP-based machine!!
> > >
> > > The machine crashed last week and it took more than three days to do a
> > > system recover and total disk space after loading Microsoft security

> > updates
> > > and SP2 reducing usable disk space to just 200Mb at one point (even after
> > > jettisoning strictly non-essential personal data and applications and MS

> > disk
> > > cleaner etc etc).
> > >
> > > I've tried running the installer cleaner, but this shows four or five
> > > installed software items which appear mainstream.
> > >
> > > I'd be /very/ grateful for some concrete suggestions - the machine was
> > > bought with preinstalled XP, and I don't have the disk - so I can't scrap

> > the
> > > current system by reinstallation (and besides, I can't face reinstalling

> > all
> > > the broadband connection stuff and Word!
> > >
> > > Thanks!
> > >

> >
> >
> >

 
Unread 16-08-2007, 08:06 AM   #7
chrisk
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Windows/installer (hidden folder - getting very large indeed!)

Thanks guys for your help.

The solution to my problem was to run MsiZap G! on the command line. MsiZap
comes with the MS installer cleaner package. The parameter G is to remove
orphan .msi packages and resulted in salvaging 15Gb disk space safely i.e.
only orphans were deleted and recovered close to half my total disk space!

ChrisK

"chrisk" wrote:

> Many thanks, DL.
> I've used TreeSize Free to identify the files /folders causing the problem.
> Up until very recently I've always had more than 15% free to use defrag etc.
> It suddenly dipped way below that figure. So I'm still at a loss to
> understand what the installer folder is doing to my system!
>
> chrisK
>
> "DL" wrote:
>
> > Are you sure these are all MS installer files, seems far to many/large to
> > me.
> > Install something like TreeSize Pro to determin exactly what is consuming
> > your space
> >
> > There is something not quite right if your win installation is consuming
> > 16gb
> >
> > You say you have a 32gb disk & win is consuming 16gb and that you are then
> > left with some 200mb free space; By implication your Apps & data are using
> > 15gb - Your disk is too small for your usage, install a slave disk, or
> > external, and move data to that.
> >
> > If you have less than 15% free space (32gb with 4.8gb free) you can suffer
> > all manor of problems, not least Disk Cleanup wont run
> >
> > "chrisk" <chrisk@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
> > news:390F378E-0728-45CB-8D8E-2C290FE35A06@microsoft.com...
> > > I submitted the following query to Microsoft several days ago - as yet no
> > > response even though it said I'd get a reply within 24 hours - I have an

> > HP
> > > Pavilion PC (nearly 3 years old) with a 32 Mb hard disk. A couple of

> > weeks
> > > ago I noticed that I was running out of space. It's now occupying 16Gb of
> > > mainly .msi files (It took a while to track down where this 'disappeared'
> > > space was located since it's a hidden directory. I've found only one

> > other
> > > posting on the same/similar problem i.e. 10/13/2005 from Bill43. The

> > replies
> > > indicate that there's not much I can do about this, and I just don't

> > believe
> > > that I'm forced into buying a bigger disk just to accommodate Microsoft
> > > updates that have been automatically loaded into the system! 16Gb is far
> > > bigger than the original XP operating system, isn't it?
> > >
> > > It seems to me that maybe other users are having the same problem -

> > perhaps
> > > unbeknownst to them. Unless there's a way of reducing this space, it's a
> > > sort of mechanism for built-in obsolescence of my XP-based machine!!
> > >
> > > The machine crashed last week and it took more than three days to do a
> > > system recover and total disk space after loading Microsoft security

> > updates
> > > and SP2 reducing usable disk space to just 200Mb at one point (even after
> > > jettisoning strictly non-essential personal data and applications and MS

> > disk
> > > cleaner etc etc).
> > >
> > > I've tried running the installer cleaner, but this shows four or five
> > > installed software items which appear mainstream.
> > >
> > > I'd be /very/ grateful for some concrete suggestions - the machine was
> > > bought with preinstalled XP, and I don't have the disk - so I can't scrap

> > the
> > > current system by reinstallation (and besides, I can't face reinstalling

> > all
> > > the broadband connection stuff and Word!
> > >
> > > Thanks!
> > >

> >
> >
> >

 
 

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