XP Updates Take Up Too Much Space!

I had installed xp and security updates about 2 months ago. I checked my "Add or Remove Programs" folder and was shocked to find a ton of XP Updates and Security Updates taking up a lot of storage space. Is it possible to delete many of them to free up space?

Also, Windows Update continues to push updates as recent as September. I thought they stopped supporting updates for XP in April? Anyone know what's going on?
Hello Koolx

Control Panel - Folder Options - View - Under Hidden Files and Folders set it to show hidden files. Ok and Apply the new setting.

Open your Windows folder, you will see hundreds of folders in blue named usually $NTUninst or similar. Safe to manually delete these (I have been doing it for over ten years and no problems).

Grab a freebie named Hard Drive Powerwash - install it and let it do it's thing. You might see Gigabytes of .log .old etc files - follow the prompts and select all and then delete. That might take a while.

After all of the above you might be amazed at how much hard disk space has been freed up.

Usual disclaimer - what works for me may trash your system.

Cheers from Aunty Jack.
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Further to my post earlier today. Do not under any circumstance delete the ie8 folder even if it is blue in colour, recipe for disaster. All of the other folders I mentioned contain an uninstall for Service Packs. With all the updates installed you really don't need Gigabytes of uninstall options. Also, do not use the Control Panel Add/Remove for any of this.

Cheers from Aunty Jack.
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@ OP: You can free up to 2GB of space used by XP using the following trick (at least I did). Note, this may only work for a recent fresh install of XP.

1. Temporarily disconnect from the internet so that the clock does not synch to internet time.
2. Set the date to 6 months ahead.
3. Run Disk Cleanup in Accessories -> System Tools
4. You'll suddenly see HUGE space you can free up by checking "delete compress old files" (up to 2GB).
5. Wait up to 60 minutes for Disk Cleanup to remove those useless 2GB of compressed files.
6. Sometimes a reboot may be required for XP to properly report the freed disk space.
7. Resynch the clock to internet time.

As to what those compressed old files are, I'm a little paranoid, so my theories are as follows: They are either old system files that are no longer needed when you install updates. Or, they are everything you ever put on the computer for forensic scientists to find should they confiscate your computer (this is just coming from a paranoid me, btw)... Sort of explain why you can only delete these files after a few months (hence the need to set the date six months ahead to trick the computer into making them appear in Disk Cleanup).
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Hello Koolx,

The post by eatup is excellent. He obviously knows far more than me. More power to him.

Compress Old Files does slow things up a bit when doing:-

Drive C:\ Properties - Disk Cleanup. Sure, some compressed old files are removed but quite a few stay. Compress Old Files can be disabled permanently but probably at the expense of a small amount of disk space. The upside is that Disk Cleanup becomes so fast.

To permanently disable Compress Old files:-

Run regedit and navigate to the following key in the Windows Registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Compress old files

Simple, delete this key, the one named Compress old files, not the main HKEY etc.

It works for me anyway. Be careful with regedit. A bit like women, best left alone unless you know exactly what you are doing.

Cheers from Aunty Jack.
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for info on update removal and the below info is for generally cleaning up pc:

Advice from Shenan Stanley:

Probably will want to clean up that machine...

Check for malware:
Download, install, run, update and perform full system scans with the following two applications:

Malwarebytes (MBAM): http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free
SUPERAntiSpyware: (SAS): http://www.superantispyware.com/

Removing everything they find. Rebooting when needed. (You can uninstall one or both when done.)
Then perform an online scan with the eSet Online Scanner.

The less you have running all the time, the better the things you want to run will perform:

Use Autoruns to figure out what all is starting up when your computer does/when you log on. Look up anything you do not know about usingGoogle (and/or ask here.) You can hopefully figure out if there are things starting when you computer does (or you logon) that you do not need and then configure them (via their own built-in mechanisms is the preferred method) so they do not start up - using your resources without reason.
You can download and utilize Process Explorer to see exactly what is taking up your processor/CPU time and memory. This can help you recognize applications you might want to look into alternatives for and/or get rid of all together.

Do some house cleaning and dust off that hard drive:

You may wish to free up some disk space (will also aid in getting rid of things you do not utilize) by going through these steps:

Windows XP should take between 4.5 and 9GB *with* an Office suite, Photo Editing software, alternative Internet browser(s), various Internet plugins and a host of other things installed.

If you are comfortable with the stability of your system, you can delete the uninstall files for the patches that Windows XP has installed...


( Particularly of interest here - #4 )

( Alternative: http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_hotfix_backup.htm )

You can run Disk Cleanup - built into Windows XP - to erase all but your latest restore point and cleanup even more "loose files"..

How to use Disk Cleanup

You can turn off hibernation if it is on and you don't use it..

When you hibernate your computer, Windows saves the contents of the system's memory to the hiberfil.sys file. As a result, the size of the hiberfil.sys file will always equal the amount of physical memory in your system. If you don't use the hibernate feature and want to recapture the space that Windows uses for the hiberfil.sys file, perform the following steps:

- Start the Control Panel Power Options applet (go to Start, Settings, Control Panel, and click Power Options).
- Select the Hibernate tab, clear the "Enable hibernation" check box, then click OK; although you might think otherwise, selecting Never under the "System hibernates" option on the Power Schemes tab doesn't delete the hiberfil.sys file.
- Windows will remove the "System hibernates" option from the Power Schemes tab and delete the hiberfil.sys file.

You can control how much space your System Restore can use...

1. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.

2. Click the System Restore tab.

3. Highlight one of your drives (or C: if you only have one) and click on the "Settings" button.

4. Change the percentage of disk space you wish to allow.. I suggest moving the slider until you have just about 1GB (1024MB or close to that...)

5. Click OK.. Then Click OK again.

You can control how much space your Temporary Internet Files can utilize...

Empty your Temporary Internet Files and shrink the size it stores to a size between 64MB and 128MB..

- Open ONE copy of Internet Explorer.
- Select TOOLS - Internet Options.
- Under the General tab in the "Temporary Internet Files" section, do the following:
- Click on "Delete Cookies" (click OK)
- Click on "Settings" and change the "Amount of disk space to use:" to something between 64MB and 128MB. (It may be MUCH larger right now.)
- Click OK.
- Click on "Delete Files" and select to "Delete all offline contents" (the checkbox) and click OK. (If you had a LOT, this could take 2-10 minutes or more.)
- Once it is done, click OK, close Internet Explorer, re-open Internet Explorer.
You can use an application that scans your system for log files and temporary files and use that to get rid of those:

Ccleaner (Free!)

( just the disk cleanup - don't play with the registry part for now )
Other ways to free up space..



Those can help you visually discover where all the space is being used. Then you can determine what to do.
After that - you will want to check for any physical errors and arrange everything for efficient access"


How to scan your disks for errors
* will take time and a reboot.
How to Defragment your hard drives
* will take time