Program Inventory and Uninstalling

Hello everyone...

I know how to install programs in win95,98... but when I go into the Windows explorer, I see many files and folders, and sometimes I don't know which of these represent which programs. I'd like to know how to make an inventory of them, and also a safe way of uninstalling them to recover hdd space (additional to "control panel - add/remove programs, which only works when the program has an uninstall routine)

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

You can use a program such as Symantec's Cleansweep. It runs in the background and detects any installation that starts. It then makes a database of the changes the installation made and it can undo them if you wish it to.
But there is a problem in all this. If you install a program today and another one later and then fully uninstall the first, you may have problems running the second program. This is because there may be files used by the second program that will be removed if you uninstall the first one. It would be better if you stuck with Add/Remove Programs utility, since it will detect files that are used by other apps and it will notify you.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Alexiad, your are new to this site, and with that welcome. However, we do observe a protocol here that is not observed elsewhere such as in Usenet and Newsgroups, in that we do not post as answers what should have been posted as a comment. As you can see by the question and by your proposed answer, both are speculative and should have been left to the questioner to select the answer he or she wishes! We would appreciate your cooperation in this, as by posting as you have, you have locked the question without a resolution and other experts will view it as being resolved. Onviously, you solution is not the only solution to this question.

Hi Eduardo1:
Although Cleansweep is an alternative, it is an extrememly poor one given the enormous amount of problems that it creates with crashes and removal of shared files. If you were to search this site, you'll find many questions dealing with this program.

There are a few good programs though, and one is called Go Back, by Powerquest.

Eduardo1Author Commented:
Thanks for the info...

I went into the Powerquest site... quite beautiful web page! but...
I did not find any product by the name of Go Back...  ?
Keep up with what's happening at Experts Exchange!

Sign up to receive Decoded, a new monthly digest with product updates, feature release info, continuing education opportunities, and more.

Dennis, where is the speculation in my answer? I describe two ways to overcome the problem and pin out the preferred one. Of course, i can't oblige eduardo1 to do anything i say but that does not prevent my answers from being answers.
Are you suggesting that your answer is an answer because you propose only one way to deal with the problem? There are a thousand ways.
Eduardo1Author Commented:

What I'm guessing is that you can post a reply as a "comment" or as an "answer," and if you do the former, my question's open to input from other people, but if it's the latter, only you can participate on it and it's locked to other people.

I personally would appreciate getting as much input from as many people as possible.

Best regards,
Eduardo, my apologies. They have a product released for NT developers called Go Back, but its not on the site, however their Win9X companion product is:

Also, you may want to review the following, as it gives you complete control over removing a product, right down to selectable features such as saving registry entries.

Alexiad, I didn't propose and answer to Eduardo, I only gave him a suggestion and will continue to do so until such time that he finds exactly what he needs.

As for you, I asked that you follow the protocol of this site. If you don't wish to do that, we can deal with it in another manner.
Eduardo you can still accept or reject my answer. Please do so. It is your responsibility now.
Eduardo1Author Commented:
Thanks to both...

I will definitely check out the Smart Uninstaller first, because I'm on a budget...

Powerquest has quite a nice site... I will consider that product, as I believe it is the better quality one. It's good to know that cleansweep is also available.

Hope you work out your differences...
Thanks for the help...
Take it easy...
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.