Monday, December 07, 2009

Moving the C:\WINDOWS\INSTALLER Directory

Often servers or workstations will run low of disk space on the system partition.  This is especially true I’ve found with older Dell servers that shipped with a 12GB system partition.

The c:\windows\installer directory often occupies several gigabytes of storage.

While Windows does not provide a mechanism to re-point this directory via the registry, you can use NTFS junctions/reparse points to re-point the directory to a different local volume.  Re-pointing to UNC paths is not supported.

  1. Obtain junction.exe from

    I found it handy to add the executable to c:\windows\system32 for easy access

  2. Create the destination Installer folder on the new volume (ie: D:\Installer)

  3. Move all content from c:\windows\installer to your new directory

  4. Make sure to close any explorer windows with these folders opened.  Junction.exe requires that there are no open file handles to these directories

  5. Create the junction

    junction.exe c:\windows\installer d:\installer