Random space saving tip - Windows installer cache

JEDEC Jedi

Random space saving tip - Windows installer cache

I'm generally not in favour of moving things off the SSD. It's generally done for the wrong reasons IMO.  People tend to want to move frequently used thinsg to save wear on the drive.  Each to their own but it seems strange to me to buy something to make your computer faster and then not use it for the most frequently accessed fiels - which in my view would be the ones I want fastest.

 

This one however is a little bit different.  The WIndows installer cache.  It keeps a local copy of everything you install so you can later uninstall it.  It is therefore used very infrequently and for most programs, probably never.  If you delete them though it makes a mess of add/remove programs (I have done this on a past install Smiley Very Happy )

 

In my case, this rarely used folder that I can't delete is 2gb! So I reckon this is one folder worth moving to your mechanical driver.  The folder in question is c:\windows\installer

Move this folder to say your d drive so it is now d:\installer

Now startup an administrative cmd prompt (type cmd in the search box, right click and choose run as admin)

Now type

c:

cd \windows

mklink /d installer d:\installer

 

This will create a directory shortcut between where Windows expects to find this folder and where it actually is.

 

 

And while we're saving space and have a command prompt open, if you haven't already done so, disable hibernate if you don't use it to free up as much disk space as you have ram.  The command for that is as follows:

powercfg - h off

 

 

With this and my previous post... can you tell I'm running out of disk space?? Smiley Very Happy

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7 Replies
Silicon Sultan

Re: Random space saving tip - Windows installer cache

cool tip, thanks. i use a thumb drive for stuff like this

Kilobyte Kid

Re: Random space saving tip - Windows installer cache

Is it possible to do that with the c:\windows\winsxs folder (8Gb on my computer) ?

JEDEC Jedi

Re: Random space saving tip - Windows installer cache

I've considered this before and I don't think it's a good idea for 2 reasons.

1) The winsxs folder isn't anywhere near as big as it looks.  see here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2008/11/19/disk-space.aspx

2) These are files used regularly by Windows.  So IMO this would fall under the category of moving something you want to be accessing quickly to a slow drive.

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Kilobyte Kid

Re: Random space saving tip - Windows installer cache

If you already installed the latest Service pack, you can "indirectly" clean up something here. Open cleanmgr.exe, click "Clean up system files" and select "Service Pack Backup Files". This will allow you to gain about 530 MB from deleting older files - but you can't uninstall the Service Pack anymore.

 

There was a separate tool for Vista: vsp1cln oder compcln (for SP2)

 

If you want to take a look, where the disk space goes, here are some tools:

 

Treesize

Sequoiaview

Windirstat

NTFSTree (my own tool)

Kilobyte Kid

Re: Random space saving tip - Windows installer cache

Someone wrote a script to clean up the WINSXS folder, g**gl* for that. What it does is to replace duplicated (and I think older version files) with hard links. There is some pretty long discussion about WINSXS and the script on some Microsoft discussion forum. Should be easy to find.

JEDEC Jedi

Re: Random space saving tip - Windows installer cache

WinsxsLite?  I read it wasn't safe to use on Windows 7. Vista only?

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Kilobyte Kid

Re: Random space saving tip - Windows installer cache

I'd recommend the built in script for Windows 7:

 

dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded /hidesp

Here are the sizes of my winsxs folder:

 

Before: 10.1 GB

After: 6.5 GB