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Monday, March 28, 2011

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What is the Config.MSI Folder and Can I Delete it?

I had a problem the other day reinstalling Quickbooks for a customer. The program would not open and when I tried to reinstall it and an error appeared about not being able to overwrite some files in the CONFIG.MSI folder. Let me explain what the CONFIG.MSI folder is, where its located, and if you can remove it safely.

First of all, the CONFIG.MSI folder is a hidden folder on the root drive of Windows, usually Drive C. The folder is used by the Windows Installer process during an installation of software. It saves files with the extension of .RBS and .RBF. These are Rollback Script Files used by the installer to uninstall recent changes if an install fails somewhere along the way. The rollback script file (.rbs) is always stored in the Config.msi folder on the disk where the operating system is installed. The .rbf files are stored in the Config.msi folder located on the disk where the program that is being backed up currently resides. These can be two different drives.

Can the CONFIG.MSI folder and its files be deleted safely?

Essentially the CONFIG.MSI folder contains backups of files that are being installed or updated during a program installation. Upon a successful completion, this folder and files are deleted automatically. However, sometimes the installer program fails to remove these files. In this case, you may safely delete the CONFIG.MSI folder and files from your hard drive. Follow the steps below to access and remove the CONFIG.MSI folder.

Reboot the computer and try to download Windows Updates, if they still fail to install, continue with the next step.

Show Hidden Files and Folders

    Open My Computer
    Click on Tools, Folder Options
    Click on the View tab
    Under the Hidden Files and Folders section, select "Show Hidden Files and Folders"
    Click Ok

Find CONFIG.MSI folder Using My Computer

    Open My Computer
    Double-click on Drive C (or whatever drive Windows is installed on)
    Look for the MSCONFIG.MSI folder (it should be a faded folder since its hidden)
    Right-click on the MSCONFIG.MSI folder and choose Delete
    Click Yes to confirm deletion of the folder and files
    Close the My Computer window


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