Tag: Windows 7

HOW TO: Clean out Windows\Installer folder correctly

When disk space is running out on a system disk, may it be on a server or a client, there are certain things to clean out. One of them being the %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Windows\Installer folder. You cannot under any circumstances delete files from this folder manually as this not only may but most likely will break software that is installed using MSI files, or Windows Installer files.

The %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Windows\Installer folder is a cache for installation files and patches (MSP files) and removing those will cause you to not being able to repair or uninstall applications, and in some cases not removing patches or applying new patches to software. In the event when you actually did delete this cache you can rebuild the files you need manually by extracting the files from original installation media, from patch packages etc but this is a time consuming and not that easy task to accomplish.

But let me get to the point. If you do want to free disk space you can clean out the %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Windows\Installer folder by downloading Windows Installer Cleanup Utility (NOTE: This tool has been retired and is no longer available from Microsoft) and then running the command

msizap.exe G!

When running this, the installer and patch packages are enumerated and unreferenced packages are considered to be safe to delete and are thereby also deleted. Depending on the age of the system and the number of applications installed, this action can free a significant amount of disk space.

Pin federated search connectors to the Start menu

Normally when you search for something in the start menu in Windows 7 you see a link at the bottom of the search results which say “See more results”. If you have installed a customized search connector you can easily make a setting so that a link to your search connector appears above this “See more results” link. The changes for this are made via group policies which means you can easily let your users’ search in for instance your Intranet based on SharePoint.

Create a new GPO and look for the setting under (Policies) > User Configuration> Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer. The policy name is “Pin Libraries or Search connectors to Search again links and start menu”. What you enter in the various “location” fields in the GPO is the full patch to the search file. You can get the path by right clicking the search connector in Windows Explorer, choosing Properties and then copying the entire path from the “Target” field.

A few words about 71-680 Windows 7, Configuring

So yesterday I took the 71-680: TS: Windows 7, Configuring exam. As the exam is a beta exam the score will not be known until two months from now. Today I validated a few of my answers to the questions in the exam and it appears that I actually missed a couple of questions which I thought were safe. Anyways, I have to wait two months before I know if I passed the exam or not.

If you haven’t already done so sign up for the beta exam, more info at http://blogs.technet.com/betaexams/archive/2009/04/15/register-for-beta-exam-71-680-ts-windows-7-configuring.aspx

Easy uninstall of patches in Windows 7

Windows Vista introduced patches in MSU (Microsoft Standalone Update) format which has many advantages over the traditional Windows XP patches format. However, if one want to uninstall patches in Windows Vista, this is kind of tricky.

You will be glad to learn that in Windows 7 the wusa.exe command line tool has been improved so that you can use an uninstall switch and just supply the KB number for the update you want to remove.

wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:940102 /quiet

Could it become easier to uninstall patches using scripts?

Windows XP mode for Windows 7!

So it seams it isn’t a secret anymore that Windoyws 7 will get a feature (separate download) that using the latest Virtual PC technologies will make it possible to run applications in Windows XP directly integreated into the Windows 7  operating system. The feature is almost the same as MED-V which accomplishes basically the same thing, but The “Windows XP mode” has advantages like it is available for anyone running Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate SKUs.

With this Microsoft can guarantee compatilibty in a way no one could ever expect. This also makes the step from Windows XP to Windows 7 much easier and now there cannot be any apps holiding anyone back from upgrading the clients to Windows 7.

More information: Winsupersite

Windows 7 RC in the wild

Windows 7 Release Candidate is now finalized as build 7100 and it has already found its way out to infamous torrent sites. The other day I learned a very interesting thing about Windows 7 through my participation in what is called the Windows 7 Ignite program. Apparently Windows 7 is not that feature complete after all and the feature that is coming is quite astonishing, but unfortunately I cannot discuss this further now. For those who wonder the Windows 7 Ignite program is a program which lets Microsoft partners and its small sized customers use Windows 7 at an early stage.

Help improve app compatibility in Windows 7

Microsoft is working more active than ever to improve application compatibility in Windows 7. Recently two Swedes announced Microsoft’s willingness to help improve application compatibility in general but also for non-English applications.

First Jesper Holmberg, working with localization at Microsoft in Redmond, announced the face that Microsoft actively wants applications in non-English languages to test with Windows 7. Second Danwei Tran, a new IT evangelist at Microsoft Sweden, offered everybody to send emails to a specific address to report compatibility issues with applications. Microsoft will then contact the developers to see how they can resolve the problems, to everybody’s benefit.

These two actions will of course make compatibility for Windows 7 superb, but never to forget, compatibility for Windows Vista will improve as well as a direct result of these actions.

Just a final note, Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.5 got released yesterday, more about this later on.

Windows Update client in Windows 7 also coming for Windows Vista

If you have tried out Windows 7 you know that it includes some changes when it comes to Windows Update. The good news for Windows Vista users is that the Windows Update client included in Windows 7 also will be available for Windows Vista. A few days ago the beta program for the next version of the Windows Update client started on Microsoft Connect.

Some of the improvements that can be seen in Windows 7 and that will be available in Windows Vista are as follows:

  • Reduced number of UAC prompts and the option to allow all users to install any updates.
  • Much better interface and separated optional and important updates.
  • More information when errors do occur, now also with descriptions.
  • Better notification for the user telling them that the computer will be restarted at xx:xx hours and that the user need to save all open documents, if the settings are set to automatically install and restart the client that is.

If you want to try the new Windows Update client for Windows Vista, go to http://connect.microsoft.com and apply to the program called “MUv4 Beta”.

More information about setting Microsoft Update to be the default instead of Windows Update by script can be found in this post I made quite some time ago. I’ve also verified that this works in Windows 7 as well as in Windows Vista.