I'm trying to clear up some space on C:\ drive by copying contents of C:\Windows\Installer folder to another NTFS Partition and create a junction point(Symbolic link) from C:\Windows\Installer to D:\Installer. BTW, I'm running Windows Server 2003 SP2.

Then I came across this blog post that suggests against this procedure.Does anybody know if MS fixed this issue since then? I tried this procedure on a test machine and it seemed to work fine.

3 Answers 3


I know nothing about the practice, but I'd recommend against it simply because it's unlikely that the Windows Installer team tested against such a scenario. You'd love it to work if it did, but it's not likely that it will.

The poster in that article refers to creating a junction point for this folder as being a "approved, documented, standard approach", but it hardly is. Even in Unix OS's, where symbolic links have been around for a long, long time there can still be edge cases that come up in applications when a symbolic link is substituted for a real file. It's not surprising that applications running on Windows, which has had symbolic links for many fewer years than Unix, would also have edge cases that cause problems in such situations.


It is better to leave the system directories in place and just move the oldest subdirectories to somewhere they can be restored from when needed.


Some of the Microsoft patches actually traverse the Installer directory to see if prerequisite patches exist. If they can't find them they may deem that a new patch isn't needed.

I would find other areas to thin instead. Tends to be safer.

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