Author Topic: Help with .msp & .msi files in the WINDOWS/Installer folder  (Read 6802 times)

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Offline yorkeandvedder

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Help with .msp & .msi files in the WINDOWS/Installer folder
« on: March 23, 2012, 08:36:24 AM »
First of all, thank you to everyone in advance...   I'm at my wit's end.

I'm working on a friend's computer, (running Windows XP SP3).  She complained that it had slowed down to a crawl.  Turns out that out of a 30 GB hard drive, there was only 400 MB left of free space!  I ran scans (McAfee Stinger, MSE, Clamwin, S&DS, etc...), and found no issues with viruses, though there was some adware I removed, (mostly browser toolbars).  After running a couple of cleanup tools (CCleaner, Revo), I managed to free a whopping 1GB of space....    (-____________-)

Using Windirstat, I found that the WINDOWS/Installer folder takes up 13 GB of space!  There are over 5K .msp/.msi/.tmp files there.  I thought about using the Microsoft uninstall cleanup tool, but found it had been retired...?   Used their new Fix It portable tool, but only managed to remove a couple of items, (Revo did most of the job already, I suppose).

So...  What can I do now?  I've researched the topic, and mostly I get warnings about being careful as to what/how I delete from that folder...  Going in there and nuking the whole bit seems dangerous at best, yet I can't figure out how to tell what's safe to delete and what's not...   Any ideas/suggestions?

Reinstalling Windows seems to be out of the question since my friend lost the CD (of course) a while back.

Thanks again,

Y&V

Offline Shane

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Re: Help with .msp & .msi files in the WINDOWS/Installer folder
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2012, 11:30:16 AM »
Reinstalling would be best, after backing up her profile first.

Doesn't matter if you don't have the cd :-) She owns it, you have a cd key on the sticker on it, you can also use a tool to get the key out of the system. Just download a XP setup disk off the net, not a hacked one, but just a normal copy.

I don't tell people to pirate things, this isn't pirating, she owns it, she just needs the setup disk.

Also if you do a reinstall consider getting a new hard drive first. A 30gb drive is going to be rather old. Typical life span of these are 2 to 4 years. I know hers is older than that. Also older drives will slow down as they age and get closer to dieing. This could explain a lot of her slow down as well.

With a new faster drive, and a fresh install her system would run better than it has in years. :wink:

Also memory is dang cheap, if she is on XP and has less than 512 MB you can get more for $20.

Shane

Offline yorkeandvedder

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Re: Help with .msp & .msi files in the WINDOWS/Installer folder
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2012, 11:46:19 AM »
Shane,

Thank you for the prompt response.

I completely agree with you.  I'd love to reinstall, but my friend is very concerned about not being able to get the pc as it once was...   It's actually her mom's laptop, and they don't have any of the CDs for programs they currently have installed there.  I've tried suggesting alternative software (even free!), to no avail...

I'll definitely run the idea of replacing the HD/RAM with them...   I'm sure I can convince them to at least do that.

Thanks again for all your help.

Y&V

Offline Shane

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Re: Help with .msp & .msi files in the WINDOWS/Installer folder
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2012, 11:47:59 AM »
Given the age of that hard drive make sure they have a freaking backup lol

You would be amazed at home many of my customers have no backups even when I set them up with free ones (Such as fbackup)

Some think that the drives will never die lol

Shane