We currently inventory the Windows Installer Cache folder msi's in order to get the products installed on the workstation together with its product code.

I want to know in case any product is removed from the workstation would the msi's also get deleted or it varies.

Answer Summary:
The cached versions of MSI installers are deleted when said MSI is uninstalled from the system.
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They normally get deleted too.

 

Wouldn't it be easier to inventory the registry keys at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

to get a comprehensive list of installed software? You can extract the ProductCode from the UninstallString value.

Answered 05/23/2012 by: pjgeutjens
Red Belt

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Yes it would be easier. But I was researching over this Installer Cache thingy. Can you highlight a few major cases where the installer chache would not purge?

Answered 05/23/2012 by: adilrathore
Fourth Degree Black Belt

  • As far as I understand the principles involved, the cached versions of MSI installers are deleted when said MSI is uninstalled from the system.
    However for patches (MSP) it's a different story, since Windows Installer stores not only the msp itself, but also the originals of the files that the msp replaces when it installs, so they can be restored when the patch is removed.

    So for the msp data to be purged, you need to remove the patch from ALL the products that it applies to.

    this might be an interesting article to read on the topic:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/heaths/archive/2007/01/17/the-patch-cache-and-freeing-space.aspx
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