Save Time and Space for VS 2005 SP1 by Disabling the Patch Cache

Save Time and Space for VS 2005 SP1 by Disabling the Patch Cache

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The upcoming Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 can take a while to install and can require a lot of disk installed, and even more disk space while installing the patch. You can save a little of both by disabling the Windows Installer patch caching feature.

Before doing so, understand that this patch cache contains copies of the files that were replaced by the service pack (a minor upgrade), so if you remove the cache or prevent it from being created in the first place, you will be required to have the original source media during uninstall of the service pack. Future patches may also require the original source media. If you have the disk space, it is highly recommended that you do not disable the patch cache.

If you prevent the patch cache from being written in the first place, you can save some time to install the service pack patch because of a decrease in disk I/O of about 1.3 GB when patching Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite. You can do this using the MaxPatchCacheSize system policy for Windows Installer. Because this property value may be read from an in-memory cache, it is recommended that you restart the Windows Installer service properly (never kill any msiexec.exe process as this can lead to system instability).

Consider the following basic example of a batch script:

reg export HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer installer.reg
reg add HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer /v MaxPatchCacheSize /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
net stop msiserver
start /wait VS80-KBnnnnnn-X86-mmm.exe /qn
reg delete HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer /v MaxPatchCacheSize /f
reg import installer.reg
net stop msiserver
del /q installer.reg 2>nul

The previous policy value – if any – is backed up first before setting it to 0 to disable the patch cache. The script uses start /wait because the patch wrapper runs in the windows subsystem and will return immediately, just like msiexec.exe. You can pass additional switches after the executable such as /quiet.

Updated: to reduce time even more, install the patch silently. I changed the install command in the script above to add /qn to install silently.

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  • (1) I think the second "net stop msiserver" should be a start instead of a stop?


    > never kill any msiexec.exe process as this

    > can lead to system instability

    Sometimes I've killed msiexec.exe processes when they appeared to be hung and I hadn't read your advice yet.  In the future should I do a reboot instead, or should there be some other way to retry an install operation?

    (Though if I recall correctly I've ended up needing reboots after killing msiexec.exe processes anyway.)

  • 1. It should be a stop. When msiexec.exe invokes a client install it will start the service automatically if not already started. So, the script stops the Windows Installer service so that the next client doesn't get the changed value.

    2. Msiexec.exe hangs around for 10 minutes and if there's no further activity it will stop the service (the msiexec.exe process that seems to "hang around" running as SYSTEM). If you're doing an install and nothing seems to be happening, you might use something like Process Explorer from SysInternals to see if new threads, handles, etc., are being created and destroyed.

    One thing that can - and had, to some people who reported doing it - happen when you kill msiexec.exe is that any clean-up wouldn't happen (if you killed the server process).

  • Do we have any idea when SP1 is released.

    Even with the problems I have had with the beta is still an improvement.

  • Good pointer for those that can't wait :) Sorely needed SP1 is out soon... Link to Heath Stewart's...

  • VS 2005 SP1関連Blogめも

  • Does anybody know how to split stream / integrate this package into the original installation just like we always do with windows xp or office 2003?

  • Teoman, read just posted.

  • WOW! Installing it without this, i still wasn't 100% complete after 3+ Hours, using this tip it cut it down to 30 minutes, thanks!

  • 1. Save Time and Space for VS 2005 SP1 by Disabling the Patch Cache (via Heath Stewart ) The SP1 requires

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  • 1) Read the release notes 2) Check out Save Time and Space for VS 2005 SP1 by Disabling the Patch Cach

  • Installing VS 2005 Service Pack 1 - It went well!

  • Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 can take a long time to install and may apply to multiple products

  • Heath Stewart has written several very useful blog posts about Visual Studio 2005 SP1 that I wanted to

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