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Bryce Nesbitt

Massive Win10 c:\Windows\Installer leavings. Old "PatchCleaner" no longer available.

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I used to use "PatchCleaner" to get the garbage out of c:\Windows\Installer.
I suggest that CCleaner is a good place to put this functionality back!

 

 

"The directory c:\Windows\Installer is a protected system folder that becomes only visible if you disable the "hide protected operating system files (Recommended)" option in the Folder options. Depending on the age of the system, these orphaned files may take up a considerable amount of space (the most I have seen is 17 Gigabyte)."

The windows operating system holds a list of current installers and patches, that can be accessed via WMI calls, (Windows Management Instrumentation ).

PatchCleaner obtains this list of the known msi/msp files and compares that against all the msi/msp files that are found in the c:\Windows\Installer directory. Anything that is in the folder but not on the windows provided list is considered an orphaned file and is tagged to be moved or deleted"

 

 

See:
https://www.ghacks.net/2015/12/13/patchcleaner-remove-orphan-windows-installer-files-to-free-up-disk-space/

https://www.homedev.com.au/Free/PatchCleaner

 

 

 

 

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You should note that that ghacks article is from December 2015.
It's 4 years old and the Windows OS has changed a lot since then.

Note where, even back then, it says:

Quote

Some of these files are required during updates or removals and should not be deleted

A warning that is also repeated on the software site itself.

Windows 10 handles updates and update/installation files differently to previous Windows versions and deleteing those files prematurely can 'break' Windows 10.

That was the reason that cleaning of 'Windows.old' was removed from CCleaner in 2018.
https://forum.piriform.com/topic/52360-changes-in-v545-and-your-feedback/?page=3&tab=comments#comment-298665

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On 06/08/2019 at 10:10, nukecad said:

You should note that that ghacks article is from December 2015.
It's 4 years old and the Windows OS has changed a lot since then.

Note where, even back then, it says:

A warning that is also repeated on the software site itself.

Windows 10 handles updates and update/installation files differently to previous Windows versions and deleteing those files prematurely can 'break' Windows 10.

That was the reason that cleaning of 'Windows.old' was removed from CCleaner in 2018.
https://forum.piriform.com/topic/52360-changes-in-v545-and-your-feedback/?page=3&tab=comments#comment-298665

For this reason, we strongly recommend against using old CCleaner versions prior to 5.46 on Windows 10.  Indeed, Microsoft has already disabled older versions of CCleaner (prior to version 5.35) with Windows 10 updates, and is expected to extend this up to CCleaner 5.45 at some point in the future, requiring users to upgrade their CCleaner to a "safe" version.

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On my system  c:\Windows\Installer is nearly 20 GB.

Is there anything Piriform can do, a modern version of patchcleaner?

Would Microsoft cooperate with Priform on cleanup technology for this folder?

 

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Have you run the buit in Disk Clean-up with the 'system files' option?

It can take a while to clean up old installs and update files.

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So what I see are large windows installation files, and not just in windows.old,

that cccleaner is not giving any hints about.  What could cccleaner in theory do about those files?

Edited by Bryce Nesbitt

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As previously said Windows 10 is the best/safest option to deal with it's own installation files.
Using anything else may 'break' your computer.

You say you've already run Disk Clean-up. - Have you also tried running 'Storage Sense' from the Windows 10 settings?

The options/menus are slightly different depending on your Win10 version. This is the sequence for 1903, older versions have similar but slightly different labels:(Settings>System>Storage>"Configure storage sense or run it now" then on the new window "Clean now")

PS. I don't even have a hidden 'C:\Windows\installer' folder on my 5 year old laptop, despite numerous version updates. (Started as 8.1 now 10v1903).
I've never done anything to remove it, other than run those 2 built-into Windows cleaning tools at least once a month.
 

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i take a look in c:\windows\installer...

 

i found also a lot of temorary empty folders with no function for w8.1 -> i think this behavior of windows is the same in w10 too and diskcleanup dont work correctly how it seems

 

"msif761.tmp-" (122 of this kind of empty folders from year 2016) -> i can delete it safely but manually

 

i mean it would be nice if ccleaner can take it to nirvana

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