Windows SP2 Uninstall Directory
Do you use Window’s Service Pack 2 (SP2) on your computer? Maybe you’ve been enjoying its benefits for some time now or maybe if you haven’t gotten it yet, you will soon. Before I go any further, if you’re not sure if you have it or not, there’s an easy way you can check. Right click on the My Computer icon on your desktop and choose Properties. Under the General tab, you will see all of the current information about your computer. It will tell you what version of Windows you have and if you have SP2 or not.
Okay, onward we go! When you first install SP2 on your Windows XP computer, it automatically creates an uninstall directory for you. This comes in handy if you ever need to remove SP2 from your system for some reason. The directory does take up quite a bit of space on your computer, so if you’d ever like to remove it, you can do so. Below are the simple instructions you’ll need to follow to do this. Read them carefully and take your time. When you’re done, your hard drive will be free of some unnecessary clutter!
The uninstall directory can take up from 300 MB to 450 MB of disk space on your computer. Wow, huh?! So, as you can see, it’s a good idea to get rid of these files. You may also want to remove any uninstall files for the hotfixes you installed before you got SP2. Those files were kept on your computer in case you ever needed them again. You can remove all of the hotfix files that you installed after you added SP2 to your system as well. If you’re satisfied with the way things work on your computer, there’s no need in keeping them around.
Before you do anything else, you’ll want to make a backup copy (on CD or DVD) of all your SP2 files, along with all of your hotfix files. This is just a standard procedure just in case you ever need those files again for anything. You shouldn’t, but it’s safer to keep them around.
Windows XP usually keeps the uninstall files in the C:/Windows folder as hidden files. Since they are hidden, you’ll need to enable the “Show hidden files” choice. To do that, go to Start, Run and type in “explorer.” Once there, go to Tools, Folder Options and choose the View tab. Double click on “Hidden files and folders” and make sure the “Show hidden files and folders” feature is checked. Once you have that done, you will be able to find the files you’re looking for pretty easily.
Usually all SP2 and hotfix files start with a $ and end with a $. SP2 files usually look something like $NTServicePackUninstall$ while the hotfix files generally look like $NTUninstallKB######. The KB###### is in reference to the Knowledge Base article ID number that describes the hotfix. Once you find those files, you can pretty much pick and choose which ones you want to back up and eventually remove. While you’re doing this, you can always right click on the file and select Properties to see how much space that particular file is taking up. Just look through the Scan On Disk section under the General tab.
Once you figure out which ones you want to remove, you basically just have to delete the folders out. Since you’ll probably have several to delete, you’re obviously going to fill up your Recycle Bin in a hurry. It’s better to bypass the Recycle Bin altogether in this case. The best way to delete the folders is to hold down the Shift key as you click the Delete button. That will take it completely off your system without any hassle.
Now, even after you remove these files, they may still show up in your Add/Remove programs list in the Control Panel, so you will want to remove them from there as well. To do this, go to Start, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs. Once your list populates, scroll down and find the entry called “Windows XP Service Pack 2.” When the complete list comes up, click on the Remove button. Once you do that, you will receive an error message telling you that it can’t remove that particular program, but just click Yes and the process will continue. To remove the hotfixes, scroll through your programs list and look for the “Windows XP Software Updates” section. Once there, choose a hotfix you want to eliminate and then click on the Remove button.
That sounds easy enough, right? It really is a simple and pretty quick procedure. When this process is brought up in conversation, some people think that it will interfere with the Windows File Protection feature. They mistakenly think that it will stop it from doing its job, but that is just not true. Windows is able to detect what you’re doing and it takes care of everything for you, so you don’t have to worry about anything going wrong.
So, if you want a little extra space on your computer, you might as well get started!