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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    Safe to delete Win update uninstall files?

    In my Windows/System folder I have a large number of folders with the contents in blue in the form $uninstall***. These include SP3 and in agregate comprise up to a thousand individual files, which must slow down my computer, apart from taking up about 1Gb of drive space. I have never uninstalled an update - is it safe to delete the lot.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    If you are sure you will not need to uninstall an update, then the uninstall info may be deleted. These will not be of assistance if you have to reinstall your OS, so once you have determined the update works properly and you will not uninstall it, get rid of the uninstall info.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike21 View Post
    is it safe to delete the lot.
    Mike,
    Hello... Check out this article XP Uninstall read through the links provided... I would also "Burn Em" to DVD just to be on the safe side ...Or Image the files ... Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  4. #4
    2 Star Lounger
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    uninstall files

    Thanks for the info, which has been very useful - I have decided to copy all the files to an external drive and delete the lot from the computer

  5. #5
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Be aware, that further down in that same directory, there will be a KB*****.log file for every one of those uninstall folders (they ARE folders, not files). If you're taking out the folders, take out those log files too.
    That can greatly speed up all your virus scans and defrags. And, can also make backups go a lot faster and take up less space.

    Those uninstall folders and log files are just the tip of the iceberg as to the stuff that Windows likes to hang onto.

    Before I back up my C: drive, I delete over 4 gigabytes of just plain old JUNK, that windows would never get rid of by itself.

    Good Luck,
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  6. #6
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    As mentioned in the XP Uninstall link above, you can't just delete the files/folders, because there are also associated registry entries. These are KBxxxxxx entries in HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uni nstall. The uninstaller, also mentioned in that link, will remove both the folder and the corresponding registry item, and also gives the option of uninstalling the update if you wish. I keep the uninstall folders for three months, assuming that if no problem has emerged after three months, the update is OK and will not need to be uninstalled. So I run the tool once a month and delete anything three months (or more) old. I think that always having the most recent three months worth in my Windows folder is not too much of an overhead.

  7. #7
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    link is already non existent...

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain Fred View Post
    Mike,
    Hello... Check out this article XP Uninstall read through the links provided... I would also "Burn Em" to DVD just to be on the safe side ...Or Image the files ... Regards Fred
    this link is already gone and not working....

  8. #8
    Gold Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by calikoala View Post
    this link is already gone and not working....
    calikoala,
    Hello.....Just checked and it seems to be OK ... Regards Fred

    PS: just scroll down the page..
    Attached Images Attached Images
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    Removal tool

    This link will get you a program to uninstall both the backup files and the registry links:
    http://www.tech-pro.net/windows-update-remover.html

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to dpoellot For This Useful Post:

    Just Plain Fred (2011-12-01)

  11. #10
    Gold Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpoellot View Post
    This link will get you a program to uninstall both the backup files and the registry links:
    http://www.tech-pro.net/windows-update-remover.html
    dpoellot,
    Hello.... Nice find ...Thanks Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  12. #11
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    For an OS that is soon to be Dumped by MS, the updates coming out of MS are causing more problems than they are fixing.
    I usually keep Updates turned off on my XP machine. But recently I turned on Updates and got 11 new updates. Since then, I've had to do repair installs on several of my programs and I had to Uninstall one add-on called, "Office File Validation" because it was messing up Office 2003 Excel. So now, updates is turned OFF once again and I think I'll just leave it like that.

    I don't need any more updates from MS that are going to cause problems with my PC.

    I find the update UNinstall files on customer's PC's going back YEARS and doing nothing but taking up a lot of space. They are really easy to uninstall, so no problem there. It only takes a few seconds to clean out that mess.

    Happy Holidays Everyone!
    The Doctor
    Last edited by DrWho; 2012-11-15 at 15:52.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

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  13. #12
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    Thanks ! I have cleaned up Win Update files on XP for years. It's comforting to know I've done the right thing before I joined Windows Secrets. I did not see mention of deleting entries in Add/Remove Programs for the updates, after deleting their install folders. Or maybe I missed that ?

    Now somewhat off-topic, I recently installed Windows 7. I do not see 7 managing Win Update install files as easily as XP did. I am surfing around to find out how to cleanup Win Updates on 7. But I am getting lazy. Have I missed an article on Win Update install cleanup for 7 ? AtDhVaAnNkCsE !

    Larry a/k/a Zep Head

  14. #13
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Cool

    Make sure you have elected to "show hidden files".
    Many things go a lot easier if you do. I use a registry script for that purpose.

    You might also want to install either "Take Ownership" or "Grant Full Admin Control" to give you permission to deal with files and folders, as you please.

    If you change Disk Cleanup to the Advanced Disk Cleanup, it can remove those old files for you.

    Cheers!
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  15. #14
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    fred...

    i would like to backup selective folders and files to DVD..how would you do that?..i'm on XP SP3 and getting ready to clone my drive..

    but would like to back up my Documents and Settings mostly..i have been using ntbackup to my E:\ drive but that will be cloned shortly..

    i have an XP SP3 bootable DVD created and tested..

    i guess i'm looking for software that will let you select certain folders..not the whole drive..and burn them to DVD..

    don

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by crossd View Post
    fred...

    i would like to backup selective folders and files to DVD..how would you do that?..i'm on XP SP3 and getting ready to clone my drive..

    but would like to back up my Documents and Settings mostly..i have been using ntbackup to my E:\ drive but that will be cloned shortly..

    i have an XP SP3 bootable DVD created and tested..

    i guess i'm looking for software that will let you select certain folders..not the whole drive..and burn them to DVD..

    don
    Don,
    Hello... As i use a 3rd party backup software Macrium Reflect and Acronis 2010 to do my backup chores, I'm not aware of any Free Backup programs that will do file and folder backups ... the pay for versions will . If i were you i would use Macrium Reflect free to create an Image of your whole OS ( to Flash drive, DVD's or some kind of external)... after it's created you can then use Windows Explorer to open (mount) the files that your interested and copy them to wherever you wish if you want ( if for some reason the originals were compromised ) Regards Fred

    PS: Macrium Reflect Free
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

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