How to Safely Delete Orphaned Patches

How to Safely Delete Orphaned Patches

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If Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 fails to install, you might find additional .msp files under %WINDIR%\Installer for each failed attempt. You should not simply delete these patches, however, because if one of the patches was applied successfully to one target product, deleting that patch will cause future maintenance installs – including repairs, patch install, patch uninstall, and even product uninstall – to fail.

After safely identifying orphaned patches, you can delete them. There are a couple of different ways to identify orphaned patches.

If you have the Windows SDK or the older Platform SDK installed or are willing to install either, you can use msizap.exe to identify and remove orphaned data files such as patches. Run the following command. You will find msizap.exe in the bin folder of the Windows SDK or Platform SDK installation directory.

msizap.exe G!

If you don't want to install either SDK just to get this executable, you can determine which patches are registered and applicable and delete extra patches you find under %WINDIR%\Installer. I have attached a simple script to identify which patches are registered – those patches you should not remove.

To successfully install the patch if you are having problems, please read about known issues with Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 and available workarounds.

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  • Thanks for this information! We were having a problem with a bunch of orphaned failed Office 2003 patches, and your solution cleaned them up for us!

  • When installing Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 , there are a number of errors that might occur due

  • MsiZap.exe is also available inside Installer Cleanup Utility package (349KB):;en-us;290301

  • When installing Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 , there are a number of errors that might occur due

  • FYI if you install the Installer Cleanup Utility package then MsiZap.exe is placed at c:\Program Files\Windows Installer Clean Up\MsiZap.exe

    This whole process from download to execution took about a minute or two and freed up several gigs of orphans from my attempted VS SP1 installs - highly recommended.

  • Yuhu!! Thanks for the tip! Recoverd 23 GB from the trash vs sp1 left on my hd.

  • Awesome,, I have been able to recover heaps of space from my computer.

    I was having trouble finding why my C:/ drive was filled up.



  • Excellent!  This gave me about 3 GB more space from failed attempts of VS 2005 SP1 under Vista Ultimate.  Having a problem getting SP1 to install for some reason.  Can't seem to access the temp folder under which the MSP is running.  But that's a separate issue...

  • Wow - this was a huge help. The remaining space on my system partition jumped from 175 MB to 1.17 GB. Thanks for posting this - I'll be spreading it to my other IT buddies to help them with their patch installs . . .

  • This helped a TON after a couple of failed VS2005 sp1 failures and very little freespace on an old t42 40GB disk.

    Thank you so much!

  • I am also suffering from the VS Sp1 rollback install problem on XP Sp2. I installed msizap.exe and ran it a recommended above, but I got the errors below (and I'm still in a hosed state). I'd really appreciate any ideas anyone has:

    MsiZapInfo: Performing operations for user S-1-5-21-2385871623-2839697288-657975


    Removing orphaned cached files.

      Error opening 9040111900063D11C8EF10054038389C\InstallProperties subkey of Pr

    oducts key for S-1-5-18 user. Error: 2.

      Error opening 9040711900063D11C8EF10054038389C\InstallProperties subkey of Pr

    oducts key for S-1-5-18 user. Error: 2.

      Error opening AAE908DA9CFCDAA43A47BD69582F2C62\InstallProperties subkey of Pr

    oducts key for S-1-5-18 user. Error: 2.

      Error opening E75939E100E5E5640B3B31E95079FC5A\InstallProperties subkey of Pr

    oducts key for S-1-5-18 user. Error: 2.

      Removed file: C:\WINDOWS\Installer\c9b6d.msp

    FAILED to clear all data.

  • Tomsp, those are just specifing that the key is not found. However, XP SP2 does not use Windows Installer so the problem is not exactly the same, though it manifests similarily. I recommend contacting Customer Support Services at or look for an existing Knowledge Base article on the same site.

  • When installing Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 , users may see an error that reads, Error 1718.File

  • You seem to have used C-style comments which don't work in vbs. It gave me error on Line 1, Character 1.


    // Identify which patches are registered on the system, and to which


  • Tanveer, you're right. Sorry about that. I ":r license.txt" the script at the last second before I zipped it. I've updated it on this site. Thanks for pointing this out.

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