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Windows/Installer Folder

I recently work on a Laptop that had a 70gig harddrive. The owner was getting the disk is full error and was puzzled, because he did not have much installed on the harddrive. I checked it out and he did not indeed have anything much installed but the harddrive was showing only 255MB of space left on the 70 gig drive. I could not find any folder with any amount of files it on the C: drive. I removed some unneeded software but only got it to 455 MB of free space.
I next decided that perhaps there was something that was creating files that were filling up the drive, so I downloaded Malwarebyte Anti-Malware a free program. I updated it and started the full scan. About 10 minutes later I checked and it was scanning a C:WINDOWS/Installer folder, OK, came back 10 minutes later and it was still scanning files in that folder. I went to Windows Search and did a search for that folder, nothing, hmmm! So I went to Windows Explorer and set the View Hidden Folders in the Folder Options, still there was no Installer folder. Ok, next I unchecked, Hide protected operating system files and sure enough there it was. When I right click on it and went to Properties it showed over 61 gigs of files.
I checked my computer and I had a similar folder but with only 252 MB of files in it. Now the difference was that I do not have MS Office 2003 installed on my computer and his did and there were 60 gig of just Office 2003 install files in the main folder. Now you cannot just delete the folder or all the files, these are used to add updates to Windows or other software and or remove the software. These files were .msi files and 99.99% from what I could tell were Office 2003 install files. I went to add/remove in the Control Panel and Removed Office 2003 from his computer, it was trial software anyway's and you can get OpenOffice.org free. Here is a screen shot of that folder:
Windows Installer folder

I randomly checked files as I scrolled down the page, there were over 4500 files, I only found one different file for Roxio, I checked and he did not even have it installed. So I started highlighting blocks of files and deleted them. After I got them all deleted I rechecked the folders Properties, now it was only a few hundred MB. I had also tried to Defrag the drive earlier and it showed a full harddrive and not even enough free space to degrag the drive. I went back after deleting the files and defrag worked perfectly, I used Error-Checking (Scandisk) first before I defraged the drive. The drive now shows over 60 gig of free space left on the drive.
This may only be a problem with Laptops not sure or just a problem with Office 2003. This is the first time in 10 years of fixing computers I have ever run into this or ever realized that folder existed, lol. If your harddrive is filling up for some odd reason it maybe the Installer folder, but like I said before, you cannot just delete all the files in that folder, you can, but you may not be able to get Updates from Windows Update or be able to update any software installed on your computer or be able to remove them, so be careful. Also I am running on my D: drive, not my C: drive, that is why the picture shows D:\WINDOWS\Installer.


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