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Windows 7: I have 117GB of msp files-Can I delete?

29 Jan 2013   #1

XP Pro
I have 117GB of msp files-Can I delete?


After much research on why my hard drive is jam packed, I downloaded WinDirStat and found that my windows installer file has 117GB of my 150GB total space! I've gotten a few mixe messages about running windows installer cleanup and fear doing so without hearing from someone who knows more about this.

I have 19K files in this folder. All of the msp files are 43.4 MB. Something doesn't seem right to me.
I'm not a guru by any stretch...but I am persistent!

Thanks in advance!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Hello slrohlik and welcome to Seven Forums.

MSP files are package files created when Microsoft products (operating system, Office, etc) install updates, patches, hotfixes, etc. These files usually appear in the Installer folder, and sometimes they aren't automatically deleted after the update is complete. Some MSP files can be deleted without creating a problem; however, others can cause data loss. Before deleting any of these files I would suggest you create a new restore point. Better yet, a system image using either the built-in Windows 7 imaging tool or the free Macrium.

System Restore Point - Create

Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup

Imaging with free Macrium

A technique that may help prevent deleting a critical MSP file:

1. Open your Windows Installer folder. You should be able to do this by clicking the start button, type installer folder in the start menu search box, and open the folder(s) that appear in the upper panel.
2. Make note of all the files in the folder(s) that end in MSP. To simplify things you could copy/paste the file names into Notepad or a Word document.
3. Open Registry Editor. In the start menu search box type regedit and click Enter.
4. Click "My Computer" in the registry editor (left panel) to highlight it.
5. Click "Find" in the "Edit" menu.
6. Type one of the MSP file names into the search box.
7. Take note of what happens after you type in the MSP file name. If you get the message, "finished searching through the registry," you can safely delete that MSP file. But if registry editor is able to locate the file and places it in the "Data" column, then the file should NOT be deleted. Doing so may corrupt your Microsoft data.
8. Repeat Steps 6 and 7 for each file.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2014   #3
Alan Snell

32 bit win 7 professional

A workable way of comparing the large list in the registry is by exporting the Registry list of in use MSPs to Excel and compare them with the Windows/Installer MSP list. This will highlight the exceptions that it might be possible to delete.

Extract From Registry to Excel
1. Open regedit as above and select File, Export choose a name, location and export as .reg
2. Go to the directory and right click on the exported .reg file and "open with" Excel
3. You should see the entries all in column A
4. Select all and sort Column A
5. You can now entries such as
6. Highlight the leading text text which may be LocalPackage="C:\\Windows\\Installer\\ and copy
7. Now Select FIND?Replace and choose Replace (paste the above into the Replace box, and leave the "with" box blank
You now have all the Registry MSP files, which I believe you need to keep
Delete the Excel rows that don't relate to MSP files

Extract the Windows/Installer MSP List
1. Start, type CMD
2. Type CD windows/Installer
3. Type DIR *.msp
4. Right click on the top of the DOS window and select EDIT, MARK
5. You should be able to click and highlight the rows with the output
6. Again at the top of the DOS window right click and selelct EDIT, COPY
7. Open Notepad and Paste
8. Save notepad file as txt file callled InstallerMSPList or similar
9. Open txt file in Excel and space delimeter
you should now have a column with your Stored MSP files
You may need to get rid of " in the Replace function

To Compare
1. Copy the registry derived MSP list into an Excel Sheet.
2. Highlight them all and change the colour to Red for visual comparision (red so don't delete the file)
3. Copy the InatalllerMSP list and paste below the entries from step 2
4. You can sort the combined list and look at exceptions, or use data comparison.

Visually the column should be Red then Black in sequence down the list. Any Black entries with no corresponding Red are not in use.
There are likely Excel Data tools that will do a better job, but at least you can compare the two sets of entries.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 I have 117GB of msp files-Can I delete?

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