Why would anybody ever want to clean out this hidden directory?  Simple, it gets full of junk that you don’t need or want any more.

Anytime an MS update fails to install or gets interrupted, regardless of the product, pieces get left in \windows\installer so that you loose disc space.   This appears to be by design as MS has now removed the download for MsiZap.

If you ever wish to see how much space you can reclaim from all those uncessary installation files leftover to rot in your windows folder, download MsiZap.exe.  I have chosen to link it right here for all to download as needed.  This tool is a must and why on earth MS chose to remove it I will never know.

So now that you have this important file here is how to use it.

Press Start=>run and type cmd.  If you are using the new crappy windows, don’t use this program cuz you know your version of windows is just too cool to need anything like this.

Navigate on the command prompt to where the file is located.  I place the file in \%systemroot%\msizap.exe so that it was all ready to in my path.

Now that you have the location down just type:

msizap.exe !G

Watch as lots of stuff scrolls by on your screen, or not depending on how long windows has been installed.  Then go check your system drive and see how much space you have saved yourself.

This program has been able to save me and several family members lots of space.  Normally its about 2-10 GBs but this one time while camping it was over 60GBs :)

Hope this program helps you as much as it helped me.

If you want more information and an actual reference guide please see below:

http://rafaelwolf.com/?p=263

http://www.pagestart.com/msizap.html

http://thebackroomtech.com/2009/01/19/howto-use-msizap-to-remove-orphaned-cached-windows-installer-data-files-to-increase-free-disk-space/

http://www.symantec.com/connect/articles/windows-install-clean-utility-using-msizap

http://sqlblog.com/blogs/linchi_shea/archive/2008/08/12/msizap-is-your-friend.aspx

18 Comments on MSIZAP.exe — The only way to clean up \windows\installer

  1. Rafael says:

    I bumped into something INTERESTING that relates to what you said about M$ removing msizap from being downloaded! I had to figure out how to automatically uninstall M$’s One Care Antivirus solution for a few PC’s so I downloaded the “One Care Install Cleanup Tool” here:

    http://social.microsoft.com/fo.....61e3965943

    The FUNNY thing is, after extracting their .exe just to see if I could see what they were doing it turns out they use msizap.exe to do it!!! Talk about hypocrites!!! :P

  2. ahmad82 says:

    thanks! u saved my pc!

  3. Patrick says:

    Excellent – dropped 30gb like nothing. Thanks for the info

  4. Clint says:

    A happy camper here from New Zealand.I have had a battle keeping space on my computer,did what you daid and just freed up 23GB of space.
    You rock.
    Thanks

  5. defim says:

    Thanks for the binary!

  6. Harriet says:

    Thanks for writing this. I was wondering how you clean those useless hidden folders and save some space.

  7. DT says:

    One of the reasons why MS removed MSIZap is that it can cause problems with newer operating systems, or remove files that are necessary for future patching of already installed products.

    If you’ve ever tried to patch a system and find that Windows is prompting you for a source .MSI file, this may be because the file was stored in a hidden folder and then removed by someone who “thought” it was no longer necessary.

    It’s still a useful tool –but it needs to be used with caution.

  8. Achyuth says:

    Hi,

    I got the below message when i tried this. Also it saved no space for me.

    MsiZapInfo: Performing operations for user xxxxxxxxxxxx
    Removing orphaned cached files.
    No product/patch data was found.

    Achyuth

  9. Mark says:

    This is a great tool and tip. One word of caution though, only do this if you need it, using this tool and clearing that folder will make it so that most of your installers can no longer use the Repair and/or Change function. There will be no more repairing programs or changing what is installed until you reinstall each program manually.

  10. ssgt2002 says:

    Welcome to world of ms. Sometimes it helps sometimes not. Normally a useful tool in nt5, not sure about nt6

  11. ssgt2002 says:

    Exactly. This is a how-I repository. Not necessarily for anyone specific other than me.
    Also, if yu dont have original msi files, maybe stop stealing software?

  12. Bobthemoose says:

    Same with Achyuth, I tried it and got that error message.

  13. [...] For more info on this and File itself….go to http://nerdoftherings.net/wp/?p=66 [...]

  14. Anonymous says:

    According to this: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-u.....70523.aspx

    msizap is still available as part of the Windows SDK. It might be a newer version however and I am not sure it is in the latest SDK or not.

  15. joe smith says:

    Thanks for posting this!! I was trying to find this without installing the SDK junk on a computer… I have some dell computers with over 100 GB installer directories to clean up.. they basically just keep going until they fill up and crash from the installer directory..

  16. [...] can download a Microsoft tool called msizap.exe ( link http://nerdoftherings.net/wp/?p=66 ) Put this exe file on the root of the c:/ drive and go to command [...]

  17. Kevin says:

    Thanks for posting this. I don’t think it’s necessary anymore. This resulted in 0 space savings for me.
    The reason, I think, is because I had already run “cleanmgr.exe” as administrator and cleanup up everything.

    I don’t think msizap.exe is needed anymore.

  18. Ray says:

    Reclaimed 174GB on a long neglected server! BAZINGA!

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