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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I recently took the plunge and finally upgraded my XP computer from SP2 to SP3. The error log of last night's backup told me that "\f54bbb9d284db3b60891b05bb537\sp2\update\update.e xe" could not be copied. That caused me to wonder how much other SP2 cruft is left on my machine, so I did an Everything search and found 555 objects associated with SP2. The list of objects includes hundreds of folders named similarly to "C:\WINDOWS\$hf_mig$\KB938828\SP2QFE" and many of the type "C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download\8c426bb5 9cb8f380ba397304c1c563d0\sp2gdr". These all look to me like leftover detritus from Microsoft security updates to SP2. There's a couple of CAB files at 18MB each, and zillions of "update_SP2QFE.inf" and "xpsp2res.dll" files within the folders mentioned.

    So the question: since SP3 is supposed to contain all the updates that were issued for SP2, how much of this presumed junk can I clean out? (Yeah, I know it's probably not doing any harm to the PC to have clutter like this lying around; but it does affect my mental well-being. And if it is all cruft, it's damned annoying that Microsoft can't clean up after itself when I allow it into my home for a virtual service call.)

    Thanks,
    S.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    This will depend on whether you downloaded the entire SP-3 separate from the the Windows Update site or not.
    Windows Update will detect SP-2 on your machine and offer that which is missing from an SP-3 install.

    If you downloaded SP-3 by some other means other than via Windows update site, use Windows Update install instead.
    A separate and whole downloaded SP-3 from other than the Windows Update site, is better served for doing a clean install.
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  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    You can completely clear everything in the softwaredistribution folder, infact you can kill the whole folder itself if you like (disable windows updates first). That folder holds all the settings and downlaods for windows updates and it can get quite big because all downloaded updates are stored there, even after they are installed...and actually when windows updates is broken, deleting that folder can often fix it. The folder will be re-created when you start the windows update sergvice aagain and download updates. Keep in mind that any settings you had (like hidden updates) will be removed when deleting this folder. If you ONLY want to delete the downloads and keep the settings then clear the download and datastore folder inside softwaredistribution. In most cases, you cant delete the hf_mig folder

    Also keep in mind that just because a file has sp2 in it, doesnt neccessarily mean that its made obsolete by sp3...there may not be an sp3 versiopn of that particular file, or the file naming could even be a coincidense.
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  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint Rossmere View Post
    This will depend on whether you downloaded the entire SP-3 separate from the the Windows Update site or not.
    Windows Update will detect SP-2 on your machine and offer that which is missing from an SP-3 install.

    If you downloaded SP-3 by some other means other than via Windows update site, use Windows Update install instead.
    A separate and whole downloaded SP-3 from other than the Windows Update site, is better served for doing a clean install.

    I have stayed away from Windows Update in order to avoid the WGA spyware. I did download the entire SP3 installer from Microsoft, burned it to CD, and installed from there.

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Chase View Post
    You can completely clear everything in the softwaredistribution folder, infact you can kill the whole folder itself if you like (disable windows updates first). That folder holds all the settings and downlaods for windows updates and it can get quite big because all downloaded updates are stored there, even after they are installed...and actually when windows updates is broken, deleting that folder can often fix it. The folder will be re-created when you start the windows update sergvice aagain and download updates. Keep in mind that any settings you had (like hidden updates) will be removed when deleting this folder. If you ONLY want to delete the downloads and keep the settings then clear the download and datastore folder inside softwaredistribution. In most cases, you cant delete the hf_mig folder

    Also keep in mind that just because a file has sp2 in it, doesnt neccessarily mean that its made obsolete by sp3...there may not be an sp3 versiopn of that particular file, or the file naming could even be a coincidense.
    Thanks Richard -- that helps. Your last comment is the reason I posted my question -- a lingering suspicion that some of the files might still be in use even though they advertise themselves as SP2-related. I will delete the junk in the distribution folder, at least.

    s.

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