VS2005 SP1 is suckin' up your drive

Remember this old song about Windows 95? Softwares on Windows have always been demanding on hard disks, and it seems that disk capacity will never be enough. As mine is quite fixed, I am doing my best to optimize disk usage.

First thing I do is to regularly clean my temporary folders. Here are sample command-lines for this:

DEL /f /s /q %SystemRoot%\Temp
DEL /f /s /q %TEMP%
DEL /f /s /q %TMP%

Second thing is to use the Cleanup Tool. Either use it manually (launch %SystemRoot%\system32\cleanmgr.exe and follow the instructions) or automate it.

But all this is not enough, and I recently checked my drive for wasted space. And I happened to find that my %SystemRoot%\Installer folder was taking up more than 2.6Gb! I tried to google this folder to find more about it, but I found that documentation is rather scarce. I could only find that what lies in there is very application dependent, and more research showed me that in fact a single application was responsible for about a 2.2Gb bloat : Visual Studio 2005. Or, to be more precise, VS2005 Service Pack 1 alone was responsible for this. So for those interested, here are two links about this matter and possible fixes by Heath Stewart: about VS2005 SP1 and about the patch cache.

IMHO, there must be something wrong in design about this cache feature…