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Add Remove Programs problem

Posted on 1999-12-09
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I recently had to remove a game from the computer and did so like dozens of other times by way of the add remove programs icon in the control panel but this time it removed all the programs from the list.
Even though all these programs were removed from the list they still work, how do I restore the original list so if need be they can be removed from the computer properly.
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Question by:GraemeA
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24 Comments
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2270007
sounds like the entries were removed but not the programs with the exception of the game.  You can probably fix this through the registry.

1)  Restart to DOS
2)  at the c: prompt, type:  scanreg /restore and hit enter
** this should bring up a list of backups of your registry
3)  Choose a backup created before you removed the program and follow the prompts.
4)  As the computer is restarting, continually hit F8 to get to the Windows Start Up Menu
5)  Choose safe mode command prompt only
6)  At the C: prompt, type:  scanreg /fix and hit enter
7) follow the prompts and restart

what happened?
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 2270016
Graemea,

Are you saying that everything in the programs list is missing, as in Start, Programs etc?

Dennis
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Davy070599
ID: 2270040
Hi,

Did you look in your Recycle bin?  If it wasn't in there you'll not be able to restore them.  

Don't wory about deleting your programs.  If you want to delete one, go to 'control panel', 'software'.  In there you'll find all you installed programs.

Byeee...
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2270050
from what i understood, you were saying that the programs were missing from the add/remove programs dialogue.  If I'm incorrect, DON'T follow my above post.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 2270563
Or just reinstall the programs
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 2270689
Acutally, you can recreate them for the program menu, but first we need to know exactly what happened and what isn't present in the programs menu.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2270768
GraemeA,

help us.

are we talking about the start/program menu or the add/remove programs menu?
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Expert Comment

by:V0RTON
ID: 2271458
THE CORRECT ANSWER


YOU HAVE TO FORMAT YOUR PC COS YOU NEED TO REINSTALL WIN98 AGAIN

IT IS A PISSER BUT YOU HAVE TO DO IT
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 2271618
I spoke too soon 1Cell!

GraemeA, like most internet sites, at times we have to deal with sometimes difficult people like Vorton who posted the proposed answer. Kindly reject it and we'll see what can be done to prevent his kind of abuse in the future.
Dennis
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2271877
I thought we got rid of this moron.

Here's a challenge for you vorton.  Instead of wasting your time bugging people who really don't give two squirts about you anyway, why don't you go to a mirror, bend over, pull down your pants and try to figure out the difference between your ass and your head.

After you do, you might find it's time to format and reinstall.


GraemeA,

let me know if my comments helped though if you haven't tried them yet, Dew can probably accurately guess what will happen when you do.
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 2271894
!Cell, don't participate in the language, you could wind up getting yourself tossed. Just let this turkey go until they get him out of the server.
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Author Comment

by:GraemeA
ID: 2271908
To reinstall win98 from scratch is the most simple solution and I don't need a forum such as this to be told that. Also if I have to reinstall the programs from scratch I will use the opportunity to remove Windows completely and reinstall it from new in order to clean out the system.
 Okey, we are talking about the add/remove programs list and not the start/program menu which is still intact.
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Author Comment

by:GraemeA
ID: 2272247
To 1cell, thanks for your interest and I will consider the possibility of using your first answer and use a backup version of the registry,the only problem with this is what happens to prgrams installed or changed since the backup.
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LVL 25

Accepted Solution

by:
dew_associates earned 200 total points
ID: 2272362
GraemeA, short of a reinstall, there are only two ways to recreate the programs listed under Add/Remove Programs list presuming that what was done destroyed the associates registry keys. That would be to restore a former good registry using scanreg/restore from a true dos prompt (using the boot disk) or reloading your third party programs. The easiest way to determine the extent of damage is to open the registry editor by click Start, Run and type in regedit and click OK.

Now drill down to this registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

Beneath that uninstall key will be the uninstall info for all of your programs. If those keys are damaged or missing, then there are only the two options I note above aside from a clean install.

Dennis
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2272684
GraemeA,
",the only problem with this is what happens to prgrams installed or changed since the backup."

Anything which was installed before would have to be reinstalled to associate the registry keys.

As dew mentioned, short of a clean reinstall, this is the only way I could see fixing the problem.

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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2272686
and as dew mentioned, reinstalling the programs
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Author Comment

by:GraemeA
ID: 2273498
dew associates,In your prposed answer you have given me an idea for another solution and I would appreciate your opinion. In the registry uninstall list are just two progams that were installed after the accident and all that is written beside each entry is program name and uninstall path. My question is if it would be possible to recreate the list manually which while time comsuming is still much faster than reinstalling all the programs. Does this process of uninstall only apply to the programs in the start/programs list. Thankyou
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 2273891
GraemeA, I'd like to be able to say that your idea would work, but unfortunately it wouldn't, as each key under uninstall has what is referred to a a CLSID, a group of numeric values enclosed in a set of brackets { }. These CLSID would be extremely difficult if not impossible to replicate without some sort of reference as they are generated randomly by a CLSID generator when you install something. Beyond that there are the uninstall parameters which include registry references for entry removal.

There may be a way though to do this "IF" you have a registry backup that has the entries. I'm advising you up front that it won't be easy, as it will require a real mode registry edit of the backup copy, and extraction of the necessary keys to a reg file and then an import of those keys into your present registry. You will then have, I believe, what you need. Again, this won't be any picnic even for a knowledgeable person who is familiar with the regsitry editing process. I don't say this to scare you off, but only to warn you that it won't be easy. Some of the uninstall entries under the key for Word as an example, have 20 entries.

Let me know if you want to try it and you'll need to determine whether you have a registry backup that pre-dates the error.

You should find these registry backup cab files at: \Windows\Sysbckup and they will have a .cab extension.

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Author Comment

by:GraemeA
ID: 2274673
To Dew associates, although your answer looks like an interesting exercise and an opportunity to learn a little more how the registry works I think we have to accept the fact that we have found yet another bug to windows that has no simple solution.Thankyou Graeme.
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 2274681
Graeme, I often muse over why people do the things that they do. Like you for instance, I spent a few hours trying to come up with a way for you to recover from a problem caused by the uninstallation of third party software, and after having given you a possible way out, you accept this a grade it with a "D". You will, no doubt, in the future be asking more questions, however I doubt that I will spend much time answering them.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 2274702
GraemeA
"I think we have to accept the fact that we have found yet another bug to windows that has no simple solution"

What you should have said was that stupid people should not be allowed to own computers, this was not a windows bug, this was caused by stupid owner tricks, you deleted them somehow and don't want to admit you messed up?????
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:1cell
ID: 2274834
I will try my best to not be rude as I say this but:

Dew, in all of my experience in Experts-Exchange, has been the best provider of obscure and hard to find information on this site.  This thread is a perfect example.  While I figured that this was a registry thing and could be fixed by trying to recover a previous version of the registry, Dew told us exactly and precisely what causes this issue as well as possible solutions which I believe would work for the problem.  To grade this information that was not even available from Microsoft in Technet with such a low score is an insult not just to Dew but to this site which prides itself on knowledge sharing.  The knowledge has been shared and the grade, if truely a D, is insufficient to say the least.  I for one wouldn't offer you information in any other post fearing the same result.  I realize that this might be none of my business as I'm not really affected but this blatent display of unappreciation is in one word, wrong.

Fortunately for Dew, I'm sure his reputation at this site will not be tarnished in the slightest.  GraemeA's on the other hand, well.....
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Author Comment

by:GraemeA
ID: 2275336
To all concerned, I'm sorry if I have upset everybody, maybe I don't undersand the grading system because like 1cell said at the beginning the easiest solution was to install a backup copy of  the registry which as it turned out was the most logical way out. As a way of appreciating the work put in by Dew Associates I awarded them the points for an answer that I thought was beyond my ability to cope with and which involved alot more work than simply using a backed up copy of the registry, so the d was simply an indication of how I thought your answer could help me. Again sorry I had no intention of being unappreciative.
 Also  to 1cell  it is twice that you have offered opinions here that were just a little rude, it doesn't help.
 rayt333, comments like this don't deserve a reply.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 2275385
GraemeA
Maybe my comments was RUDE but more then likely it was the truth, Operator Error is the biggest problems with personal computers, the thing is some people admit their mistake and others say "it just happened, I didn't do it"

You had a problem and asked for help, you got that help , and by your own addmission stated you thought the answer was too complicated, it is clear you are not a very experienced user since you rejected a very simple answer as too complicated and chose to blame this on a bug from Microsoft. If you fail to apprecieate the help you do receive then don't be surprised if others don't jump in to help when the next time you need help
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