Today got a call from a client of mine – one of the machines has full hard drive. You’d think – what can be more obvious – you pile up files, the hard drive gets full! Something seemed odd though – that computer has a lot of space on hard drives. So i decided to investigate. Downloaded WinDirStat, ran it and saw that 2/3 of the space is occupied by a bunch of 100Mb files which are located in C:\Windows\Installer folder. Odd. Started digging, and here is what I found: those are orphaned installer files – microsoft update program had failed repeatedly for some reason (happened to be failing on Office Service Pack 3, a 100Mb pack), and computer had automatic update “on”. Which means that every day for a few months the update program would go, download the file and try to install it, fail, complain in a form of a small pop-up, yet do the same thing next day.
Solution (found here):
a) Download what is known as Windows Install CleanUp Utility which includes program called msizap.exe (this program is also included in Windows SDK, so if you have SDK, no need to download the CleanUp utility)
b) Run the msizap.exe with parameter G! (stands for “delete orphaned packages silently”)
Voila! 2/3 of hard drive space is available!