Windows Installer (Service) is ____ RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Hi,

    I am an experienced user of Windows 7 x64 Ultimate andIMHO the most annoying part of the system is actually Windows Installer (Service).

    First of all - I really cannot understand why the ____ somebody invented the idea that practically all software installed with this system get unsolicited copy of its installation package in a hidden folder residing on my C: drive partition. Like many pro-users I used to install OS on a separate partition. I allocated 60GB for C: drive. After 6 months it was proven it is far too less. Every application, like Adobe Creative Suite or MS Office and many other practically duplicate its installation copy on my drive. Also - every system update find its way to drop its complete installer on my drive too. Consequently - drive real estate is consumed in a rapid pace.

    What makes the siuation even worse - many application updates build-up on this stack and place their installation packages as if I had endless disk space resources. Most of these applications never ask do I like it or not providing no option of choice.

    And I would not complain so much if that mechanism guaranteed perfect removal of programs what I decided to uninstall. NOPE - unfortunately, this is not the case. For whatever reason - while the functional application files are most often acually removed form local HDD, the damn installation package - once installed - used to stay unnafected, what I can only notice with free drive space never returning to it's initial state. It is pretty regular, that if I install an application form 200 MB CD/DVD disk, some 500 MB are actually deployed but only 300 MB are stored in "Program Files" or "Application Data" while remaining 200 MB is obviously the hidden installation package copied onto my precious partition. Then - if I uninstall the thing - I can only see 300 MB returned back while damn 200 MB is gone forever...

    Last but not least - it seems nobody cares about the system registry. Whatever application I uninstall, I can see hundrets of registry entries being left undeleted as if my system registry were some kind of garbage bin. Dozens of DCOMs, legacy drives, some endless classes, whatever virtual devices - all that ____ stays left in my registry despite I sucessfuly uninstalled the software. In the worst case scenario, this ends in some irreversible changes to the system what even cannot be reverted via "System Restrore".

    I work as a multimedia developer. On a daily basis I test new applications just to see what is their value. Most of them are worth nothing, so I uninstall them after some testing period. And I am unhappy to see my system destabilized with this sort of ____. On the other hand I am very suspicious with all sort for "registry cleaners" - these are good to get rid of broken paths or orphaned DLLs but I find incompetent to decide about removal of "abandoned" classes or virtual devices. Here - one mistake can be simply deadly.

    I dream about some kind of system-wide watchdog, what keeps a solid database of all changes in the file and registry structure done by application installers, able to restore initial state while the application is being uninstalled. The one exception could be dedicated and limited structure of "licenses" storing data necessary to keep record of trial periods etc.

    In my humble opinion, current System Restore service is just a poor "erzatz" of this fine functionality: it is very expensive in terms of dsk real estate and it is actualy uncertain - one can never fully trust it. The problem wih System Restore is that it does not trace changes made to the system but it relies on discrete snapshots of its critical infrastructure. This approach is absolutely pointless and is unsuited to work well with a system where applications are constantly installed, uninstalled and updated.

    On the other hand - Windows Installer service, while probably implemented as at least partial solution for installation-related issues, is actually source of more problems and annoyances.

    What do you think about the above?

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010 11:55 PM

All replies

  •  They already have this to some extent with App-V, where it tracks the
    changes that an application makes in order to create a version that can
    be sent to any PC and run in an isolated container without conflicts
    with other applications.
    What it sounds like to me is that you might want to make use of more
    than one system, possibly keeping a system that you reinstall frequently
    that you use to test these applications and another that you keep all of
    the tools that you regularly use and keep licensed. Unfortunately, the
    reality of the situation is that orphaned devices and registry entries
    aren't Microsoft's fault, rather they are the fault of the application
    developers since installation and uninstallation are their responsibility.

    -- Mike Burr
    Saturday, October 9, 2010 10:15 PM