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  • Patch Lady – cleaning up the installer folder

    Posted on Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Patch Lady – cleaning up the installer folder

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      • #2012624 Reply
        Susan Bradley
        AskWoody MVP

        First off I hope everyone in the United States had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving.  I cooked and cleaned up the kitchen and now I’m working on clea
        [See the full post at: Patch Lady – cleaning up the installer folder]

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        7 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2012626 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest
        • #2012853 Reply
          GoneToPlaid
          AskWoody Lounger

          I scanned the downloaded executable with Panda Pro, then with MalwareBytes, and then with HitManPro. Zero threats were reported.

          I then opened the file in 7-zip and noted that it contained two files — setup.exe and the MSI file. I extracted these two files to a subfolder.

          I logged into VirusTotal and uploaded the downloaded EXE. Yep, it has 3 false positives. Yet when I subsequently uploaded each individual file extracted from the downloaded EXE, both came up as being clean.

          That being said, the developer hasn’t updated the program since 2016. One person commented that PatchCleaner broke Office 2010 updates. Even though I am confident that the program does not contain any malware, I am not particularly keen to try it.

      • #2012631 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        All the well known AVs like it so it looks like false positives because the wrapper is 7zip self extractor.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2012665 Reply
        Freeco
        AskWoody Lounger

        interesting tool, well worth a test 🙂

        MS Office can be a pain leaving several older versions of monthly updates for Word/Excel/… in the Installer folder, each several 10s or even +100MB in size.

        I typically cleaned up the folder manually. I add the Title column in Windows Explorer and for some of the msi/msp files you can then easily see what they are for and which version they are.
        The older versions can safely be deleted.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2012666 Reply
        ch100
        AskWoody_MVP

        The script here https://forums.mydigitallife.net/threads/presenting%E2%80%A6-startcomponentcleanup-for-msi-including-office.77708/ is the absolute best.
        You may need a sign-in to read the full thread.

        6 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2012725 Reply
          abbodi86
          AskWoody_MVP

          I remember i put it on pastebin few months ago 🙂
          https://pastebin.com/DWvsRu3p

          2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2014746 Reply
          Steve S.
          AskWoody Plus

          I saved this script in my root directory as “msi_startcomponentcleanup.vbs” then ran it in administrator cmd window.  No results showed, so I saved it again after uncommenting the one line (as noted in the MDL discussion). Ran it again and it displayed all status 1 msi installers! I’m sure the first run didn’t show any cleaning because I had recently upgraded to 1903 and had no superceeded msi files to clean.  🙂   Great tool!

          Win7 Pro x64(Group B), Win10 Pro x64 1909, Win10 Home 1909, Linux Mint + a cat with 'tortitude'.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2012677 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Lucky me, I have only 1.3GB of data in Windows\installer folder running 1809.

      • #2012687 Reply
        krzemien
        AskWoody Lounger

        How is this different (better) from that:

        https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/clean-up-the-winsxs-folder

        Either by running scripts/commands via Powershell or executing them via Disk Clean-up?

         

        • #2012700 Reply
          ch100
          AskWoody_MVP

          There are 2 different mechanisms.
          One is for updating Windows which is based on Component Based Servicing (CBS) which is the one which you mentioned.
          The other one is for updating Office which is based on Windows Installer/.msi files.
          Disk Cleanup or the command line dism only address the Windows Update cleanup.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2012693 Reply
        CraigS26
        AskWoody Plus

        My readings from PathCleaner site suggest this best for experts. One guy’s Office ’10 won’t load Security Updates apparently from “Stuff” removed by PathCleaner / “Not Installed” results in Update attempts; Some active Registry members removed as “Orphans” that aren’t, etc. Backup first IF you use this. A LOT of GB removed but Uh-Oh’s are possible.

        W10-64 1909 Pro / Hm-Stdnt Ofce '16 C2R / HP Envy Desktop-Ethernet/ 12 GB / 256G SSD + 1 TB HDD / i5 Coffee Lake/ InSpectre #8 = GREEN

        • #2012742 Reply
          georgea
          AskWoody Lounger

          That was me.  It rendered Office 2010 unpatchable.  After putting the files it removed back in place from a backup, it fixed the problem.  Proceed with a lot of caution, and have a back up and a current system restore handy before using this.  When it works, it’s great.  When it doesn’t, it’s ugly.

      • #2012714 Reply
        agoldhammer
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks for this post.  I just ran WizTree to check on my C drive and just over 5GB was in this folder.  When I updated to Win10 earlier in the year, I put in a 500GB SSD for the OS and programs which is overkill.  Even with this bloated file, I’m still at about 60GB for the OS and programs which is comfortable given the size of the OS drive.  I don’t see the need to clean up this folder but do take the point that MSFT should address this matter particularly for systems with smaller drives where performance can suffer when the OS drive gets too full.

      • #2012722 Reply
        jabeattyauditor
        AskWoody Lounger

        Susan, I understand you being concerned about this one the system(s) you have with soldered-in 32GB drives, but for most of us, messing with this is just that – messing with it.

        With low-end 1TB SSDs selling for under $100 every day, and better ones selling for the same price point today/Monday, why worry about disk space?

        You’re not speeding anything up, and your system isn’t “better” for it. Why take the risk when you have the free disk space to spare anyway?

        • #2012771 Reply
          ch100
          AskWoody_MVP

          I have a 1TB Crucial SSD and it is close to being full. Certainly some files can be moved to an external drive, but is it convenient?
          When and if 2TB drives will get much cheaper, then I might consider upgrading the current drive.
          Until then, even those few GB which can be freed are useful, if not for hosting other files, at least for being used as SSD overprovisioning / empty non-partitioned space at the end of the drive for random write performance and for potentially increasing the lifetime of the drive.
          Otherwise, there is no urgent need to use any of the cleaners, either the tool presented by Susan which is good enough in most situations or the script to which I made reference earlier which is superior in the sense that it is technically better, but even more important, transparent to be analysed and validated by those concerned about its actions and who have at least basic technical understanding of the VBScript language.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2012724 Reply
        dph853
        AskWoody Plus

        The builtin Windows Disk Cleanup utility run as either admin or regular user will reduce the number/size of old update files. The space cleanup section in All settings –> System–>Storage  may do this as well although nothing listed here when I checked. May be because I recently installed V1809 and there hasn’t been enough updates yet to leave much clutter lying around.

        The disk cleanup app accessed from the start menu does however, show about 300 Mb of update stuff that could be deleted or compressed if I told the app to do so.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2012726 Reply
        cmar6
        AskWoody Plus

        Susan,

        Let’s say that on first reboot after using Patch Clean it appears that something is wrong with Windows. Would not Windows Restore put all the removed Windows files back in place?

        • #2012729 Reply
          joep517
          AskWoody MVP

          Windows does not automatically restore installation files. It restores certain system files that are already installed.

          --Joe

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2012758 Reply
        BobT
        AskWoody Lounger

        PatchCleaner is great but be careful, with Office2010 at least it can prevent future updates from showing, if you clear the wrong thing.

      • #2012804 Reply
        warrenrumak
        AskWoody Plus

        I’m sure it’s fine, but I can’t say that I’m enthused about using a “cleanup” tool that hasn’t been updated in three years.

        • #2012847 Reply
          abbodi86
          AskWoody_MVP

          Fair point

          although, Windows Installer itself has not been updated since Windows 7 🙂
          not the mechanism and structure anyway, but surely got (and keep getting) imporovements and fixes

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2012856 Reply

        All the well known AVs like it so it looks like false positives because the wrapper is 7zip self extractor.

        cheers, Paul

        FYI Sidenote: Some time ago, Eset Mobile Security pulled a false positive on a file it flagged on my wife’s Android phone called “Settings.apk” after an update from the vendor. That file is part of the OS! Uploaded it to VT, and Eset, along with only 4 other minor-league engines  hit on it, for a total detection rate of about 6% (4 out of 64 engines); definitely a false positive. Since there is no telephone support for virus issues (!!!), I had to wrangle with Eastern Europe via email over two weeks. Result: they claimed it had TWO viruses in it, one encrypted! The device in question has never displayed any of the aberrant behavior the supposed Trojan causes…either of them. They would not back down, even in the face of Virus Total.

        Anyone here ever get a AV outfit to admit to a false positive? <SFX: snarkling>

        Moral: Size does not a decent AV vendor guarantee. (I used Eset for over a decade, but they seem to have gone downhill, IMHO. YMMV. Maybe they’re still great on Windows.)

        Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit ESU, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", Group "Patch List", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations, "Don't auto-check for updates-Full Manual Mode." Linux Mint Greenhorn
        --
        "A committee is the only known form of life that has at least four legs and no brain."

        -Robert Heinlein

      • #2012857 Reply

        I’m sorry to say this, but in my experience nothing beats (at least in Win 7) running the native Disk Cleaner (which always does a sloppy job), then manually running a search for “*.tmp” on the drive. After eliminating those, I go to the “Windows/Temp” directory and blow away anything over a week old.

        Seems to work. YMMV.

        “Now if only Windows could do this itself…”

        To a rather inefficient degree, win 7 has the built-in Disk Cleaning utility…do you mean Win 10 doesn’t??

        Another reason not to upgrade…

        Win7 Pro SP1 64-bit ESU, Dell Latitude E6330, Intel CORE i5 "Ivy Bridge", Group "Patch List", Multiple Air-Gapped backup drives in different locations, "Don't auto-check for updates-Full Manual Mode." Linux Mint Greenhorn
        --
        "A committee is the only known form of life that has at least four legs and no brain."

        -Robert Heinlein

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2012876 Reply
          warrenrumak
          AskWoody Plus

          Windows 10 certainly has this capability built in, and it’s better than what’s included with Windows 7.

          It’s adopted a couple of things that you could previously only get in tools like CCleaner, like the ability to delete files in TEMP or the Recycle Bin after a certain number of days, and/or automatically if you start running low on disk space.

          Basically, it’ll do automatically what you’re currently doing manually.

          EDITED for content

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2012912 Reply
        AC641
        AskWoody Lounger

        As others have mentioned.  Right click on the drive you want to ‘clean,’ select ‘Properties’ then ‘Disk Clean-up.’  When the additional window opens select ‘Clean-up system files,’ and once the scan is complete select the types of files for deletion.  This can clean out old Windows installations and update files.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2012931 Reply
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        None of the built-in Windows Cleanup tools touch Windows\Installer files/folders.

        I downloaded and installed Patch Cleaner and ran it.  I moved almost 5GB from Windows\Installer to a different folder on a different drive, where I will leave them for a couple of weeks.  If nothing untoward happens, I’ll empty that folder.

        So far, so good.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2019109 Reply
          cmar6
          AskWoody Plus

          I used Patch Cleaner without issue so far. Can you mention the name of the folder on a different drive where Patch Cleaner stores the removed Win installer files.

          The only possible folder I could find was \Windows.old (17GB) also on my C: drive.

          • #2019112 Reply
            PKCano
            Da Boss

            The windows.old is part of the Windows upgrade where it stores the old version for 10 days so you can roll back.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2019146 Reply
              cmar6
              AskWoody Plus

              PK: My \Windows.old\ is about 17.4 GB and contains 9 subfolders. When after the last feature or regular update do you feel safe in deleting all the contents of \Windows.old  ?

              • #2019150 Reply
                PKCano
                Da Boss

                If you run DiskCleanup as Administrator, it will clean it up for you. You only have 10 days after an upgrade to roll back.

          • #2019115 Reply
            b
            AskWoody Plus

            Can you mention the name of the folder on a different drive where Patch Cleaner stores the removed Win installer files.

            The default is a PatchCleaner sub-folder of your Documents folder. But you can change that to any drive/directory of your choice

      • #2013063 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        I’ve been using this software for 2 years with no problems so far. Office 2013 and 2016 are not damaged. In fact, Windows should discard old office .MSI files when superseeded by new updates, but it does not.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2019160 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        If you run DiskCleanup as Administrator, it will clean it up for you. You only have 10 days after an upgrade to roll back.

        I think Windows will delete the file after 10 days.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
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