What is C:\Windows\Installer doing at 10.6Gigs on a Win8.1 machine?

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by nx9420, May 25, 2014.

  1. nx9420

    nx9420 MDL Novice

    Sep 10, 2009
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    #1 nx9420, May 25, 2014
    Last edited: May 25, 2014
    I'm trying to gain some free space on my Samsung AIO, Win 8.1.1 Pro+WMC, 64Gb SSD + Tb HDD. OneDrive folder and MyPics etc are on the D: not on C:. Despite all my efforts to keep it as clean as possible, my Windows folder is at a whopping 26Gb size and ~/users at 9.2 Gb (the C:\Users\blabla\AppData 7.2Gb).

    WinDirStat reveals a folder C:\Windows\Installer at 10 gigs. I thought winSxS (that's also 6 Gb) was supposed to keep any installation files.... see attached screen shots. Google/Bing is not helpful about C:\Windows\Installer folder at all; I cannot view/access it from Explorer( show hidden folders is checked),but I can open it from WinDirStats. Basically, my 8.1.1 keeps 17 Gb worth of instalation files on a 26 Gb size Windows folder. Screenshot (32).jpg Screenshot (33).png

    Any input would be highly appreciated...
     
  2. PointZero

    PointZero MDL Addicted

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    Uncheck "Hide protected operating system files" to view the contents. WinSxS folder is for OS components. Installer folder is for apps installed. $PatchCache$ folder is for Office and MS runtime files. I'm curious what is taking up 7GB in that "<Files>" folder. That seems to be where your excess disk usage is coming from. See if you can view the contents of that folder.
     
  3. Veky83

    Veky83 MDL Novice

    Oct 17, 2013
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    Mine is 250mb and i have Office 2013 installed.
    Did you tried DISM commands for cleanup,maybe that would help? Clipboard01.jpg
     
  4. MrRTM

    MrRTM MDL Member

    Aug 27, 2013
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    #4 MrRTM, May 25, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017

    Attached Files:

  5. RanCorX2

    RanCorX2 MDL Addicted

    Jul 19, 2009
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    mines 11.6mb :p
     
  6. nx9420

    nx9420 MDL Novice

    Sep 10, 2009
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    #6 nx9420, May 25, 2014
    Last edited: May 25, 2014
    (OP)
    Screenshot (36).jpg Files folder is attached, pagefile and hyber.sys...

    I'm using Windows Installer Unused Files Cleanup Tool thanks to MrRTM...not a very friendly app since there is no way in mass select/mass delete...
    I've ran dism about one week ago...

    EDIT about automated cleaner> running wicleanupc.exe -s (automated silent delete) seems to erase all unused files....still left me with some 3.6 Gb
     
  7. abbodi1406

    abbodi1406 MDL KB0000001

    Feb 19, 2011
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    DISM has nothing to do with Windows Installer
     
  8. nx9420

    nx9420 MDL Novice

    Sep 10, 2009
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    yes i know but I was answering a previous post. After cleaning the installer folder I am left with a 18.6 GB windows from which WinSxs 6GB and installer 4GB. o_O
     
  9. murphy78

    murphy78 MDL DISM Enthusiast

    Nov 18, 2012
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    I don't even have an Installer folder.
    That folder is likely for programs you've installed so that they can uninstall things.
    It probably contains all of the install information as well.

    Whatever programs are using that, you should probably avoid if you want to keep your Windows folder size down.

    WinSXS size is misleading. Most of that folder's size is pointer files pointed to real Windows files.
    The actual size is more likely 500mb-2500mb
     
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  10. eydee

    eydee Guest

    In C:\Windows\Installer you have the copy of all windows installer based installers for uninstall and repair functions. Yes, they can take up a huge size and you can't do anything about it, except using alternative programs that have Inno, NSIS etc. installers that don't work like this. Windows installer is one of the greatest issues of windows operating system, just like the registry...

    Tip: You may be able to move and symlink it if you really want to, but you may break the OS.
     
  11. M0rriss0n

    M0rriss0n MDL Senior Member

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    • Only files in the C:\Windows\Installer\$PatchCache$ directory, called the baseline cache, are safe to delete. Do not, under any circumstances, delete anything out of C:\Windows\Installer; doing so may cause serious problems in the future that necessitate a reinstallation of Windows.
    • While clearing the baseline cache is safe, if you ever want to uninstall a patch in the future, you’ll need to download the specific patch’s installer file. For this reason, consider backing up your baseline cache to an external hard drive before clearing it.
     
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  12. M0rriss0n

    M0rriss0n MDL Senior Member

    Sep 17, 2011
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    Great find, but why you reinstall Office?
     
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  13. PointZero

    PointZero MDL Addicted

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    To test the reg key.
     
  14. PointZero

    PointZero MDL Addicted

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    I was going post a similar reply to nx9420 after that utility was used to clean out the files from the Installer folder on the previous page. :) In the past, I have deleted files from that folder and ended up with a completely unstable Office installation.

    That reg key is not deleting files. It's preventing files from being stored during install from the $PatchCache$ folder (within the Installer folder). Office is running fine for me now. I can uninstall and reinstall updates with no problems.

    That reg key is directly from MS. And yes, there is a trade-off: by not caching those files during install, the MS link above implies that performance of future installations will be decreased.

    But give me steps on how to "damage my office install and try to repair it" and I'll be happy to test it further.
     
  15. eydee

    eydee Guest

    One more question. Does that regkey have any effect on the most hated msocache folder?
     
  16. PointZero

    PointZero MDL Addicted

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    You and I think alike, lol- I just checked this earlier before I saw your post.

    I set the key back to default of 10, uninstalled Office, rebooted, then reinstalled Office. MSOCache folder size was 716MB.

    Set key to 0, uninstalled Office, rebooted, reinstalled Office. MSOCache size again was 716MB, so no- the key only affects what is stored in the $PatchCache$ folder.

    I only install Word, Excel, Outlook, & Powerpoint and with the key set to 0, the Office install takes up exactly 584,228,864 bytes (~.5GB) less due to it not copying files to the $PatchCache$ folder.

    I'm using Office as an example here, but the reg key (and resulting disk space savings) applies to all applications that use Windows Installer, including Visual Studio, which is much larger in size than Office.
     
  17. M0rriss0n

    M0rriss0n MDL Senior Member

    Sep 17, 2011
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    Local Install Source (Msocache)


    Local Install Source is a Setup feature that copies the install source files from the Microsoft Office installation media to the Msocache folder. This is a hidden folder on your local hard disk.

    Remove Msocache Folder During Setup

    During Office Setup, on the Setup Completed page, click to select the Delete installation files check box, and then click Finish. Remove Msocache Folder After Office Is Installed

    After Office is installed you can use the Windows Cleanup Wizard to remove the Msocache folder.

    Note If you have more than one partition on your hard disk, you may have to repeat these steps for each partition.

    Warning Never delete the MSOCACHE folder by using Microsoft Windows Explorer.


    You can also move it to another drive:
    C:\MSOCache to D:\MSOCache, in the registry however are 93 entries of C:\MSOCache.
    You can use registry workshop to easily change those 93 entries to D:\MSOCache.
     
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  18. PointZero

    PointZero MDL Addicted

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    Thanks for this info, but be aware that it applies to Office 2003. There is no "Delete installation files" check box for Office 2013.