Downloading and installing Windows updates results in NtUninstall folders being placed in the Windows Directory, pertinent to each download. Do these folders need to be maintained and if so for how long? Over time, these folders accumulate to occupy a significant wad of disk space. If they can be deleted i.e. there are no problems resulting from the update, what is the recommended procedure? Will the deletions have any detrimental effects in on-going operations?
Hmmm… I never knew that ‘wads’ was a unit of disk space, actually. 🙂
More seriously, the files contained within the NtUninstall folder tells your computer how to uninstall the a Windows update that you have downloaded and installed. Each folder has a specific name ending in the name of a particular Windows update.
If you were to go to add/remove programs and select a Windows update to uninstall, the information on how to run this process would come from the corresponding $Ntuninstall folder.
Some of these files are also related to what Microsoft refers to as “hotfixes” and they can be removed if you aren’t planning on rolling back from a hotfix, though it’s not entirely obvious which update is which.
Fortunately, a smart programmer named Doug Knox has prepared a utility that will assist in removing those files if you so desire. It has the surprisingly intuitive name of XP Remove Hotfix Backup. The utility won’t remove all the files in your NtUninstall folder, but it will let you easily remove the ones related to hotfixes.
To summarize, you can delete these folders, just as long as you are sure as you don’t want to uninstall that particular Windows update. Your best bet would be to keep them, but if your are desperate for hard disk space wait for a week or two to insure that the updates you have installed are running fine, and then you can delete the corresponding NtUnistall folder safely.
Hope that helps you reclaim “wads” of disk space!