The case of a full hard disk

Today I was working on a clients computer with a strange problem. It had a 80GB hard disk, and very few applications installed on it but the disk was almost full. What was even stranger, was the data was being stored on the server. As this was a very old Windows XP machine, I thought it could be anything. first I verified it had the proper service packs installed, and that looked fine. Then I looked at directories trying to find what was using up so much space. I found that the C:\Windows\Installer folder had over 50GB of space.

Doing a little googling, I came across some articles that talked about the same issue. One I found, was . This article pointed to using the MSIZAP.EXE application.

On this perticular computer, I downloaded the MSICleanup tool, and then dropped to the command prompt. I executed the command “MSIZAP.EXE G!” which removed all of the orphaned .msp patch files. This cleared the disk space back to almost 80%, which was a lot better then 1%

Another tool I used to help figure this out was VisDir, which shows all the directories and how much space they are taking. Please visit

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