Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Remove orphaned Windows installer files to free up space

Using Microsoft's msizap.exe utility, found in the Windows Standard Development Kit (Windows SDK), you can clean up orphaned installer files from your C:\Windows\Installers directory. I recently found 10GB of orphaned installers using this method on an XP Pro machine, and it was nice to free up that space for other uses. Here's how you check to see if you have any orphaned installers taking up unnecessary space on your machine. If you're not sure what is taking up the unnecessary space, check out my previous post which should help you track it down.

1. Download the Windows SDK from Microsoft
2. Install the Windows SDK
3. Go to Start->All Programs->Microsoft Windows SDK->CMD Shell
4. Type "msizap.exe G!" and press enter. This will search for and remove orphaned installer files without the need for you to enter anything else
5. Once it finishes, close the command prompt window and go back to what you were doing


Mike Loeven said...

What is the safe procedure for removing MSI orphans in windows 7 a lot of the old xp tools do not work or are not safe to use. someone said that msizap was replaced with a ms fixit but sadly when i tested it out it only tries to reset the msi framework but will not clean out orphaned installer info

rslygh said...

I tend to use the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility, even though it has been removed from Microsoft's website because of concerns that it may not work properly. I haven't had any problems with it though, and a quick Google search should point you to or another site that still has a version available to download.