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Security Updates and general Updates for Windows XP

Discussion in 'General Security' started by Dhanishta, Jan 9, 2008.

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  1. Dhanishta

    Dhanishta Thread Starter

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    I have a whole ton of security updates for windows XP going back over 2 years in my Add/Remove programs list and I want to know if it is safe to delete those older than the most recent ones. Its taking up too much space on my computer and because of that I have stopped any current regular updates by switching off the automatic updates settings. Could someone please advise me if it is safe to do this?
     
  2. stantley

    stantley

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    Hi, welcome to TSG.

    Well first don't uninstall any of the updates, that would undo the patch. But what you can do is delete the C:\WINDOWS\$NtUninstallKBxxxxxx$ folders if you want to free up some disk space, just delete the ones that have a KB 6 digit number. Then I would go to the Windows Update site and pick any that you've missed.

    How big is your hard drive and what percentage of it is being used? Maybe there are a few other files that can be deleted to free up some disk space.
     
  3. Dhanishta

    Dhanishta Thread Starter

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    Ok I had a look in windows explorer and found a long list of these files at C:\WINDOWS\$NtUninstallKBxxxxxx$ folders. They each have sub folders called spuninst with some file types in them that I dont know much about. I dont even understand what all these uninstall folders are or why they are there. You say it is safe to delete them. What then is it I will be deleting and will it impact on my pc's proper functioning? And if i delete these folders do I just do it in windows explorer or what? You have to excuse my ignorance as I am new at this type of stuff. I hope you can explain it for the layperson like me. Thanks.
     
  4. stantley

    stantley

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    They're used if you want to uninstall an update which you don't want to do, so you can delete them with Windows explorer.

    How big is your hard drive and what percentage of it is being used?
     
  5. Dhanishta

    Dhanishta Thread Starter

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    aha..trying a different tact to understand what you mean, I gather those folders contain just the uninstall commands (along with some dll. files) for removing them from the Add/Remove list ? So by deleting the folders in windows explorer (just by clicking on delete?) without clicking on the uninstall commands within each folder will it free up only the folder space and not take out the updates in my Add/Remove list? Im really trying to get my head around it. LOL. As to your other questions, I have 4 gigabytes of space left in my C-drive. But I have a D-drive which has 17GB of free space, but dont know how to use it as all my programs and files are on my C-drive.
     
  6. stantley

    stantley

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    How big is your hard drive and are c: and d: two partitions on the same drive or are they two separate drives?
     
  7. Dhanishta

    Dhanishta Thread Starter

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    My HD is approx 40 GB and it is split on two separate drives - C and D Drives, each with about 17GB capacity. They are not partitioned. I dont use the D-drive at all as I dont know what to do or how to use it. All my files and installed programs are on my C-drive.
     
  8. stantley

    stantley

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  9. Dhanishta

    Dhanishta Thread Starter

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    Thank you for the great information Stantley and for taking the time to help me. You have been very helpful and I shall move all my documents folder to the D-drive. I didnt realize it was so easy to do that but it will help free up space on the C-drive and make defragging more bearable again...May I ask if it is possible if I can also move some of my installed software programs to the D-drive as well or should it be done when installing the software?
     
  10. stantley

    stantley

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    No, you should keep all of your installed programs on C:, moving them will only cause problems. But you could save some space by uninstalling programs that you never use. Also have you run Disk Cleanup?

    You could also get WinDirStat, which is a freeware space manager. It will give you an idea of what files are taking up the most space so you can see what you want to delete.
     
  11. Dhanishta

    Dhanishta Thread Starter

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    Thanks thats good advice and I will check out the space manager. I moved my documents to the D-drive and everything went smoothly and it has helped me a lot. I was able to free up another gigabyte of space on the C-drive thanks to you! Also I regularly run Clean Up and try to keep my pc running at optimum levels including cleaning out the registry occasionally - of which I am very careful and check everything I do. For that I use jv16 PowerTools which does not seem as harsh as some other registry cleaners Ive heard about. But when it comes to stuff like mucking with the registry generally my motto is, "if in doubt, dont!" So I tend to leave that alone for long periods of time and give it a scrub out every now and then. LOL. :)
     
  12. strouprob

    strouprob Guest

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    I started a new post for this questions. But really, in theory Microsoft should remove any patches that are included in latest service pack. I am not sure if that happens. If it does, then you should not remove any of the updates. You can go into the updates site and select only the security updates instead of letting everything download and install automatically. I only install security patches from the update site, unless I am having an issue with a certain piece of hardware that they are patching.

    Hope this helps to build a clearer picture for you.
     
  13. strouprob

    strouprob Guest

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    Dhanishta,

    I do not think that updates take up that much space. I would be very careful in removing any OS updates, in fact I would advise against it. If you need to clean up space I would do it outside of any OS files or updates. Also, Cleaning the registry can get the most seasoned administrator in trouble. I would not touch the registry unless you have an issue, and have a very good reason for it. Once I read through this post again, I got chills. My thoughts are that we would see a post from you soon asking for assistance in re installing your OS. The registry is the heart and soul of your Operating System. Microsoft allows for software to place entries thru out the registry and for a single piece of software you can have more than a hundred entries.
     
  14. Dhanishta

    Dhanishta Thread Starter

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    Fear not Strouprob..I am pretty sensible. LOL. I have partially solved the space problem by moving my files (my docs folder) to the D-drive and now know not to delete the OS updates eventhough they do take up quite a bit of space. (I have many updates going back over a few years including patches). And with the registry, I only clean it rarely and when I do, I generally know what it is I am deleting. I have had a high turnover of software programs that Ive installed and uninstalled and usually only delete files relating to those things I have uninstalled previously. When it comes to things like that I am always very careful and if it is something I dont understand, I leave it as it is. Of course mistakes can be made and we do stuff up from time to time, but I have the windows OS installation disks and I do regular back ups and have my files burnt on CDs so it wouldnt be such a disaster if I have to start from scratch all over again. Thanks mate for your help. I promise not to give you too many chills up the spine.. LOL :)
     
  15. strouprob

    strouprob Guest

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    Sounds like you got a handle on it. I rotate through machines like bed linen. So I do not have an example showing me the high disk cost of updates, that is outside of service packs. I started a separate thread based on this one, and found that when a service pack is installed the previous updates are not removed. I will have to do some research because what I am still not sure of if the installation program for the service pack identifies what updates are already on your machine and does not re-install them, or if it just installs everything. I have watched service packs on machines install and it looks like it installs everything. So, my second question would be, is there redundant update data or is the update over written? This would seem to only be a problem if you decided to remove an update, and with older machines/Servers.

    Thanks for the update, I will sleep well tonight....:)
     
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