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Removing XP SP2 Backup Files


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John Sparkman's Avatar
John Sparkman John Sparkman is offline
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19-Dec-2004, 09:43 AM #1
Removing XP SP2 Backup Files
I've had SP2 installed on my machine now for sometime and I would like to remove the backups that SP2 created during the install.
I have removed several of the critical update backups, folders in the Windows directory like $KB886185$, and their "Add & Remove Software" entries but I have not been able to find the backup folder that XP SP2 created.

Any ideas?

John
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19-Dec-2004, 01:16 PM #2
Mine are in a hidden folder in \WINDOWS\$NtServicePackUninstall$, the folder is about 300 megabytes. This is for XP-Pro, though I can't imagine they're in a different folder in XP-Home...
John Sparkman's Avatar
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19-Dec-2004, 02:22 PM #3
Hi John,
I don't have that folder, but I do have an unhidden folder named "ServicePackFiles" in the windows folder that's 436 megabytes in size.
What do you think?

John
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19-Dec-2004, 03:21 PM #4
Here's some information I had saved . Maybe this will help.

Installing SP2 leaves a lot of space on hard disk taken up by files you would only ever need if you were to uninstall it. Once you are sure you are happy with it:

A very big restore point will have been made. Once a new regular size one has been made in the ordinary way, clean up by going to
Start - All Programs - Accessories - System Tools - Disk Cleanup
and in 'More Options' click the bottom button to remove all but the most recent restore point

Delete the hidden folder of files that would be restored by an Uninstall: C:\Windows\$NTServicePackUninstall
Once done, if you try to use the 'Remove' for Service pack 2 in Add/remove programs, that will fail and offer to remove itself

There may also be a large folder C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download
depending on how you did the installation. That can also be deleted

Check that the installations temporary folder did get properly removed - it will be on the drive where you downloaded the setup files, so probably C: and have a long name of random letters. If it is still around, delete it. And burn the downloaded file to a CD so as to have it if you ever need to reinstall.

There will also be a large folder C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles. Do not delete this - it will be used in future by Windows File Protection - but on an NTFS disk you can compress it to save about 200MB of disk space. R-click on it, Properties, click the Advanced button, and select 'Compress'
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Alex Nichol, MS-MVP Windows XP


moper
John Sparkman's Avatar
John Sparkman John Sparkman is offline
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19-Dec-2004, 04:44 PM #5
Thanks moper,
Great information. I found the $NTServicePackUninstall folder on my second HD. I remembered the notes I made when I installed SP2 and it seams I had forgotten that I had told the install program to backup my files to my second HD.
Everthing has been deleted and "C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles" have been compressed.

Thanks again
John
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19-Dec-2004, 05:49 PM #6
You could probably remove the ServicePackFiles folder too. If you're somewhat worried about it, burn it to a CD. It's basically the contents of the I386 folder from the CD updated with all the newer files. This will save you a bunch of space on your disk...
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19-Dec-2004, 07:03 PM #7
Thanks John,
I think I'll keep it around for now.

BTW: Now I know why some folder names are in blue and not black. I didn't know that when a folder had been compressed the name changed color.

John
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golfmjc golfmjc is offline
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19-Dec-2004, 08:03 PM #8
I found this thread very interesting. I have all the junk you mention still on my XP Pro machine. Not only do I have the C:\WINNT\$NtServicePackUninstall$ folder but I have 53 other folders named $NtUninstall..... some are black and some are blue. I also have a folder named $hf_mig$. Can all of these be safely deleted?

Furthermore, I have a folder named C:\2705d8d262de7e57d9826738daed11f4. In this folder is an sp2 folder. When I click on it I get a message saying this folder " C:\2705d8d262de7e57d9826738daed11f4\sp2 is not accessable. Access is Denied!". The size of this folder is 0 bytes, but how can I get rid of this eyesore?

Mark
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