WinXP recent updates don't succeed...eats up disk space

Discussion in 'Windows Update' started by Himanshu Gohel, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Machine info: WinXP Home SP2, IE8, Office 2007, Visual Studio 2005 SP1

    Recent spate of updates have made my machine extremely irritable. The
    first problem I started noticing is that my C: drive kept filling up and
    running low on disk space. Yes, it was a bad partitioning choice, but I
    haven't managed to correct that error. Anyway I freed up about 1.5Gb to
    alleviate the low disk space error and I think some more updates did

    Now again today I am down to ~0.5Gb free space. Every time an install
    fails, it seems the disk space goes down lower and lower. I don't think
    it's any malware - I keep an eye on running processes and also run MS
    Forefront Client Security.

    Second problems is that if I let automatic updates install updates, the
    machine never shuts down...after a few times and finding that the
    machine was stuck all night at the "do not shut down your computer"
    message, I decided to try and install updates one at a time, manually.

    The .NET framework 2.0-3,.5 update succeed. "Security Update for
    Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 (KB971090)" failed again
    (see log below). I believe it's running out of disk space again...does
    it really need more than 0.5Gb to install? Remember I started off with
    1.5Gb ... how can I recover all this space that I'm losing every day?



    2009-08-02 12:32:28:140 1296 afc Agent *************
    2009-08-02 12:32:28:140 1296 afc Agent ** START ** Agent: Installing
    updates [CallerId = MicrosoftUpdate]
    2009-08-02 12:32:28:140 1296 afc Agent *********
    2009-08-02 12:32:28:140 1296 afc Agent * Updates to install = 1
    2009-08-02 12:32:28:140 2072 c9c COMAPI - Updates to install = 1
    2009-08-02 12:32:28:140 2072 c9c COMAPI <<-- SUBMITTED -- COMAPI:
    Install [ClientId = MicrosoftUpdate]
    2009-08-02 12:32:28:156 1296 afc Agent * Title = Security Update for
    Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 (KB971090)
    2009-08-02 12:32:28:156 1296 afc Agent * UpdateId =
    2009-08-02 12:32:28:156 1296 afc Agent * Bundles 1 updates:
    2009-08-02 12:32:28:156 1296 afc Agent *
    2009-08-02 12:32:28:187 1296 afc Handler Attempting to create remote
    handler process as ASANA\Owner in session 0
    2009-08-02 12:32:28:406 1296 afc DnldMgr Preparing update for install,
    updateId = {E94C4657-5B14-4D22-A156-84403F74F5A1}.102.
    2009-08-02 12:36:05:609 592 f80 Misc =========== Logging initialized
    (build: 7.2.6001.788, tz: -0400) ===========
    2009-08-02 12:36:05:609 592 f80 Misc = Process:
    2009-08-02 12:36:05:609 592 f80 Misc = Module:
    2009-08-02 12:36:05:609 592 f80 Handler :::::::::::::
    2009-08-02 12:36:05:609 592 f80 Handler :: START :: Handler: Command
    Line Install
    2009-08-02 12:36:05:609 592 f80 Handler :::::::::
    2009-08-02 12:36:05:609 592 f80 Handler : Updates to install = 1
    2009-08-02 12:36:50:812 592 f80 Handler : WARNING: Command line
    install completed. Return code = 0x00000663, Result = Failed, Reboot
    required = false
    2009-08-02 12:36:50:812 592 f80 Handler : WARNING: Exit code = 0x8024200B
    2009-08-02 12:36:50:843 592 f80 Handler :::::::::
    2009-08-02 12:36:50:843 592 f80 Handler :: END :: Handler: Command
    Line Install
    2009-08-02 12:36:50:843 592 f80 Handler :::::::::::::
    2009-08-02 12:36:50:843 1296 cb4 DnldMgr *********** DnldMgr: New
    download job [UpdateId = {A9E325EF-3002-4D74-9CC4-2CE1967678FB}.101]
    2009-08-02 12:36:50:843 1296 cb4 DnldMgr Regulation:
    {7971F918-A847-4430-9279-4A52D1EFE18D} - Update
    A9E325EF-3002-4D74-9CC4-2CE1967678FB is "PerUpdate" regulated and can
    NOT download. Sequence 1528 vs AcceptRate 0.
    2009-08-02 12:36:50:843 1296 cb4 DnldMgr * Update is not allowed to
    download due to regulation.
    2009-08-02 12:36:50:843 1296 cb4 DnldMgr *********** DnldMgr: New
    download job [UpdateId = {C89B9346-9511-4C47-8C45-EBC21CE363F3}.101]
    Himanshu Gohel, Aug 2, 2009
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  2. Himanshu Gohel

    JS Guest

    Shows space usage by folder and also list 50 largest files.

    Then use Windows 'Disk Cleanup' to create more space on your C: drive.
    Description of the Disk Cleanup Tool in Windows XP:

    Also take a look at CCleaner as a tool to remove Internet history info,
    cookies, temp files, auto complete and other junk.
    Note that when CCleaner is first installed most if not all the options
    are checked which is far too aggressive. So I recommend unchecking
    all the items listed in 'Applications' tab and in the 'Windows' tab
    selectively place a check mark for only those options that are of some
    value in increasing the amount of free space on your PC.
    The 'Analyze' button allows you preview (without actually deleting)
    what and how much hard drive space you will get back.
    Also available is customization, see Options/Custom to add any
    other/additional folders you want files deleted from.

    Next: Empty the Recycle Bin.

    If you recently installed Windows XP Service Pack 3:
    Look for an odd folder name which is located here
    Note: the apparent random set of letter and number may vary from my
    example above but whatever the name is, it will be more than
    600MB in size and can be safely deleted.
    You may also see a number of other folders or files located in the:
    C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download\ directory
    They also can be deleted.

    You can also free up more disk space by reducing
    the number of 'System Restore' points:
    Select Start/Control Panel/System, then in the System Properties window
    click on the System Restore tab.
    Next select the drive letter where Windows is installed (usually C:),
    Then click on the Setting button
    Now in the Drive Settings window move the Disk space usage slider to the
    left to reduce the amount of drive space System Restore points will use.
    This will remove some of the older restore points and free up some space.

    Disable Hibernation and delete hiberfil.sys file (If you have it enabled):

    If you are using IE7 and then installed SP3 read the info below.
    IE7 users will find the folders listed below on their hard drive:
    They are needed to uninstall IE7. However, if you installed IE7 and
    then installed XP SP3 you can no longer uninstall IE7 and these
    folders can also be deleted.

    Note: The recommended procedure before installing XP SP3 is to
    uninstall IE7 or IE8, then install XP SP3. Now you still have the ability to
    install and uninstall IE7 or IE8.

    Next if you still need more space:
    Remove the files used to uninstall updates to Windows
    These folders and associated files in these folders are safe to remove,
    however once deleted you will no longer be able to un-install a patch or
    update that was associated with the deleted folder/files.
    I would keep the most recent set (last two months just in case) of folders
    and delete the older updates.
    As a safety net I burned these folders to a CD before deleting them.
    These files are located in the Windows folder and have folder names
    like $NtUninstallKBXXXXXX$.
    They are hidden folders so enable viewing of hidden files in Windows
    Warning: One folder you should not delete is: $hf_mig$
    Also See the following web pages on this issue:

    You can reduce the size of the Internet Explorer Disk Cache:
    How and Why to Clear Your Cache:
    Just follow the instructions but instead of increasing the size
    (as stated in the article) decrease it.

    Finally: Check the Recycle Bin one more time and empty it
    if necessary as some of those files you deleted in the steps
    mentioned above may find there way into the recycle bin.

    If you have more than one partition or drive then:
    How to Change the Default Location of Mail and News Folders:

    Change the Default Location of the My Documents Folder
    (Example: move it to the D drive)

    How to move the Spool folder in Windows XP;en-us;Q308666

    MS Office: Move the Local Install Source (MSOCache) location
    (See the section titled: Move LIS Cache folder to a new drive location)
    Note: If your computer already had more than one hard drive or partition
    when you installed MS Office, Office will place the MSOCache on the drive or
    partition with the most available free space during the install process.


    JS, Aug 2, 2009
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  3. <snipped>

    Clear up as much space as possible first - using these instructions (and by
    moving as much stuff as you can out of your "My Documents" and "Desktop" <-
    the usual culprits --> to some external storage):

    If you are comfortable with the stability of your system, you can delete the
    uninstall files for the patches that Windows XP has installed...
    ( Particularly of interest here - #4 )
    ( Alternative: )

    You can run Disk Cleanup - built into Windows XP - to erase all but your
    latest restore point and cleanup even more "loose files"..

    How to use Disk Cleanup

    You can turn off hibernation if it is on and you don't use it..

    When you hibernate your computer, Windows saves the contents of the system's
    memory to the hiberfil.sys file. As a result, the size of the hiberfil.sys
    file will always equal the amount of physical memory in your system. If you
    don't use the hibernate feature and want to recapture the space that Windows
    uses for the hiberfil.sys file, perform the following steps:

    - Start the Control Panel Power Options applet (go to Start, Settings,
    Control Panel, and click Power Options).
    - Select the Hibernate tab, clear the "Enable hibernation" check box, then
    click OK; although you might think otherwise, selecting Never under the
    "System hibernates" option on the Power Schemes tab doesn't delete the
    hiberfil.sys file.
    - Windows will remove the "System hibernates" option from the Power Schemes
    tab and delete the hiberfil.sys file.

    You can control how much space your System Restore can use...

    1. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
    2. Click the System Restore tab.
    3. Highlight one of your drives (or C: if you only have one) and click on
    the "Settings" button.
    4. Change the percentage of disk space you wish to allow.. I suggest moving
    the slider until you have just about 1GB (1024MB or close to that...)
    5. Click OK.. Then Click OK again.

    You can control how much space your Temporary Internet Files can utilize...

    Empty your Temporary Internet Files and shrink the size it stores to a
    size between 64MB and 128MB..

    - Open ONE copy of Internet Explorer.
    - Select TOOLS -> Internet Options.
    - Under the General tab in the "Temporary Internet Files" section, do the
    - Click on "Delete Cookies" (click OK)
    - Click on "Settings" and change the "Amount of disk space to use:" to
    something between 64MB and 128MB. (It may be MUCH larger right
    - Click OK.
    - Click on "Delete Files" and select to "Delete all offline contents"
    (the checkbox) and click OK. (If you had a LOT, this could take 2-10
    minutes or more.)
    - Once it is done, click OK, close Internet Explorer, re-open Internet

    You can use an application that scans your system for log files and
    temporary files and use that to get rid of those:

    Ccleaner (Free!)

    Other ways to free up space..



    Those can help you visually discover where all the space is being used.

    In the end - a standard Windows XP installation with all sorts of extras
    will not likely be above about 4.5GB to 9GB in size. If you have more space
    than that (likely do on a modern machine) and most of it seems to be used -
    likely you need to move *your stuff* off and/or find a better way to manage

    And - well - unfortunately - you may well be seing this problem because you
    should/want to install SP3 and you have such an extremely small system
    partition (I recommend at least 15GB for a system you plan to utilize in
    multiple ways - although Windows XP itself and an assortment of other
    applications would only take up 4-10GB in total.)

    Hard disk space requirements for Windows XP Service Pack 3

    In general, make sure that you have a minimum of 1500 MB of free hard disk
    space in order to successfully install SP3 - however you could need as much
    as 1765MB - so have 2GB free before trying in any way and you should meet
    all requirements.

    Then cleanup and update your Windows Update system and install the latest

    Fix your file/registry permissions...

    Ignore the title and follow the sub-section under "Advanced Troubleshooting"
    titled, "Method 1: Reset the registry and the file permissions"
    *will take time

    Reboot and ...

    Download, install, run, update and perform a full scan (separately) with the
    following two applications (freeware versions are the ones to use for this):



    After performing a full scan with one and then the other and removing
    whatever they both find completely, you may uninstall these products,
    if you wish.

    Download and run the MSRT manually:


    Download/Install the latest Windows Installer (for your OS):
    ( Windows XP 32-bit : WindowsXP-KB942288-v3-x86.exe )



    Download the latest version of the Windows Update agent from here (x86):
    .... and save it to the root of your C:\ drive. After saving it to the root
    of the C:\ drive, do the following:

    Close all Internet Explorer windows and other applications.

    Start button --> RUN and type in:
    %SystemDrive%\windowsupdateagent30-x86.exe /WUFORCE
    --> Click OK.

    (If asked, select "Run.) --> Click on NEXT --> Select "I agree" and click on
    NEXT --> When it finishes installing, click on "Finish"...


    Then follow the instructions here:

    How do I reset Windows Update components?


    Now for SP3...


    1) Download the full SP3 installation file.

    Windows XP Service Pack 3 Network Installation Package for
    IT Professionals and Developers (works just as well for you.)

    2) Ensure (as well as plausible) you have no spyware/malware by doing a full
    scan with SuperAntiSpyware and MalwareBytes. If you are following
    along, you have already done this!

    3) CHKDSK
    How to scan your disks for errors
    * will take time

    4) Defragment
    How to Defragment your hard drives
    * will take time

    5) Ensure your hardware drivers are up to date (from the hardware
    manufacturer's respective web pages.)

    6) Reboot right before you try to install SP3.

    7) Disconnect from the internet before installing (physically disconnect -
    pull the network cable or disable the router/modem.)

    8) Disable your antivirus and antispyware applications when you are about to
    install SP3. Usually right-click on the icon in the taskbar gives you
    a choice to do so.

    Install SP3 by running the downloaded executable. Reboot when requested to
    do so. Logon and let the machine 'settle' for about 10 minutes. Reboot.
    Give it 5 minutes after logon to 'settle' - reboot.

    After that - there will be more updates.

    Log on as an user with administrative rights and open Internet Explorer
    and visit and select to do a
    CUSTOM scan...

    Every time you are about to click on something while at these web pages -
    first press and hold down the CTRL key while you click on it. You can
    release the CTRL key after clicking each time.

    Once the scan is done, select just _ONE_ of the high priority updates
    (deselect any others) and install it.

    Reboot again.

    If it did work - try the web page again - selecting no more than 3-5 at a
    time. Rebooting as needed.

    The Optional Software updates are generally safe - although I recommend
    against the "Windows Search" one and any of the "Office Live" ones or
    "Windows Live" ones fornow. I would completely avoid the
    Optional Hardware updates. Also - I do not see any urgent need to install
    Internet Explorer 8 at this time.

    Come back - let us know if that worked.
    .... Really - come back and let everyone know if that worked.
    Shenan Stanley, Aug 2, 2009
  4. Machine info: WinXP Home SP2, IE8...

    Why isn't WinXP SP3 installed yet?

    About IE7 & IE8 and Windows XP Service Pack 3
    I suppose that might answer my question:

    The hard disk space requirements for WinXP SP3

    You receive error messages if there is insufficient free disk space on the
    system drive to install the Windows XP SP3

    How to reclaim disk space on a Windows XP-based computer that has a hard
    disk capacity of 4 GB or less

    Error message when you try to install Windows XP SP3: "You do not have
    enough free disk space on %SystemDrive% to archive the uninstall files"

    Before installing SP3, you might want to see
    The reference to Regulation in the log suggests otherwise. See...

    Updates are not downloaded or the "Automatic Updates" icon does not display
    the status of downloads when you enable the Automatic Updates service

    You may be able install the updates via Windows/Microsoft Update website
    (WinXP): Understand that by doing so, you're pushing all other Automatic
    Updates users further back in the queue (which may explain, at least in
    part, why Automatic Updates hasn't brought them in for you yet).

    If you have any problem installing KB971090, see the "How to obtain help"
    section of
    ~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
    MS MVP-IE, Mail, Security, Windows Client - since 2002

    PA Bear [MS MVP], Aug 2, 2009
  5. My issue has been resolved, and the cause was clearly low disk space.
    I've posted that in a separate thread, but I'd like to thank you for
    your suggestions and am providing some responses below:
    I alluded to this in my other post, but at this point I think this isn't
    the cause of the disk-full and security patches not being applied
    successfully, so I'll leave it for later.
    I don't believe that WinXP SP3 is being applied - I've asked Windows
    Update to not apply SP3 and not remind me about it. The three sets that
    were being applied were the .NET framework security update, the VS2005
    SP1 security update and Office 2007 SP2.

    The VS2005 SP1 security patch was the most troublesome. In the end my
    guesstimate says this required about 1.5Gb of free disk space to
    install, and 800Mb of permanent disk space, which was wasn't available
    when the patch installation was failing.
    I'm not sure I completely understand this KB, but I believe the
    references to regulation in my windows update log are outside the
    start/end markers for the VS2005 security update patch. Specifically
    for the VS2005 update failure the error code was:

    2009-08-02 12:36:50:812 592 f80 Handler : WARNING: Command line
    install completed. Return code = 0x00000663, Result = Failed, Reboot
    required = false
    2009-08-02 12:36:50:812 592 f80 Handler : WARNING: Exit code = 0x8024200B
    2009-08-02 12:36:50:843 592 f80 Handler :::::::::
    2009-08-02 12:36:50:843 592 f80 Handler :: END :: Handler: Command
    Line Install
    This failed too, until I cleared 2.2Gb of disk space on the C drive and
    then the patch was installed.

    Thanks again for your suggestions.
    Himanshu Gohel, Aug 2, 2009
  6. I don't believe that WinXP SP3 is being applied - I've asked Windows
    You may wish to reconsider: If SP3 isn't installed by early next year, the
    SP2 computer will not be offered any further critical security updates.
    Soon after that, you won't even be able to access/use Windows Update website
    without SP3 installed.

    If SP3 is installed, critical security updates will continue into 2014.

    WinXP SP3 - Read all prerequisites for a successful installation

    Back on-topic...
    While disk space may have been an issue, the 0x8024200B error in the section
    of the log you posted was most definitely pointing to the "Update is not
    allowed to download due to regulation" reference just below (and 30
    milliseconds after) it.

    PA Bear [MS MVP], Aug 3, 2009
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