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leftover in windows registry after uninstalling program

Posted on 2002-07-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
Many times in Windows95/98 the leftover of a program remains in the windows registry even after uninstalling it from the Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel.
1. Does the registry gets loaded in the system memory so that having many such leftover keys might cause the system to slow down?
2. Is there any means to remove such leftover keys other than manually deleting them after opening the Registry Editor?
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Question by:saugat
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by:harrlow
ID: 7162272
1. The registry may be loaded and slows down the system. Some aspects of the program may continue to run because they could not be uninstalled with Add/Remove Programs.

2. You can use programs like Remove-it or Norton CleanSweep to remove the program, but there are always risks involved as parts of other programs may be removed.

If you have Norton Utilities, here's what you can do:
(a) Get Norton Smart Sweep to start logging BEFORE you start the installation.
(b) Install the program and reboot if necessary.

(The steps from this point on is for uninstalling the program.)
(c) Close the program completely or as much as you can find. (This includes those that are running in the back) Either close them from within the programs or use Ctrl-Alt-Delete
(d) Go to Control Panel...Add/Remove Programs to uninstall as usual. Reboot.
(e) Go to Program Files to delete the folder of the program and any other related folders that only contains the files for this program. (this will create some orphan registry.)
(f) Reboot
(g) Run Norton WinDoctor to delete the orphan registries.
(f) Reboot.
(g) Uninstall using the Smart Sweep log file from Norton Utiiities.
(h) Reboot and you are done.
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by:sorgie
ID: 7162571
http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_description/0,fid,4666,00.asp

download regclean does a good job and it is free
Also on the same page is a free DLL cleaner
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LeeTutor earned 25 total points
ID: 7162735
I use a free Pc Magazine utility called InCtrl5 to monitor my installations of programs.  It automatically tracks the changes to the Registry that were made during the installation.  Then, if I find the uninstall left problems, I can use its output (which can be saved as a text file, or as an .html file) to undo the leftover garbage.

http://www.pcmag.com/article/0,,s%3D1478%26a%3D4592,00.asp
PC Magazine's InCtrl5 v1.0
Company: PC Magazine
Version: 1.0
Size: 765.71 KB
Requirements: Windows 9x, NT, 2000, or Me
InCtrl5 is the fifth incarnation of one of PC Magazine's most popular utilities. By monitoring the changes made to your system when you install new software, it enables you to troubleshoot any unexpected problems that come up. Virtually every modern program uses an install utility that installs or updates files, and also may record data in the Registry, and update .ini files or other essential text files. A companion uninstall utility should precisely reverse the effects of the install utility. When a newly installed program causes existing applications to fail, or when the supplied uninstall utility can't complete its task, to restore your system you need a record of exactly what the original install utility did.
InCtrl5 can provide this record. This new version offers a variety of new features, including an attractive new interface, the ability to track changes to text files such as AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS, HTML reports, and command-line switches. It runs under Win95 or higher, or WinNT 4 or higher. Older versions of Windows are supported by previous versions of InCtrl. If you are running Windows NT 4 or Windows 95, you will need Internet Explorer 4 or higher to preview HTML reports within the program. InCtrl5 was written by Neil J. Rubenking, and first appeared in PC Magazine December 5, 2000 (v19n21). Source code is included.

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Expert Comment

by:mark045
ID: 7163678
the answer to your questions 1. Does the registry gets loaded in the system memory so that having many such leftover keys might cause the system to slow down?

the registry does not get put into memory, it is used as the system needs it.

2. Is there any means to remove such leftover keys other than manually deleting them after opening the Registry Editor?

there really is no point unless the software reg key keeps the software from installing (i.e the software uninstalled improperly due to an error) or you have a software trial that lasts for a period and you want to reuse that period(could possibly be in a file aswell). you can use norton utillities to remove the software completely.
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by:stevenlewis
ID: 7163752
mark045 ! Welcome to E-E! Its common courtesy to provide comments unless you know your answer is the only answer and is 300% correct and is what the questioner is looking for and will fix their problem. Please don’t take this personally, (others could let you know before I and not so diplomatically) I made the same mistake when I first arrived and someone was nice enough to point it out to me (It hurt my feelings, but I soon realized its teamwork that’s used here). This accomplishes a couple of things: First: it doesn't lock the question allowing more exposure to other experts allowing a faster fix (many problems require an interactive dialogue to troubleshoot them properly), Secondly: it gives the questioner the option to make an award based on the best comment that helped the most in fixing their problem and it is also is common courtesy to other experts.  Again welcome and look forward to working with you in the future, a lot of teamwork is used at this forum, as you will see! :>)  Quote shamelessly stolen from Dave, Thanks again Dave

Your answer may be correct, and I hope it is, after all the main goal here is to help the questioner, but when you propose an answer it removes the "accept comment as answer" button thereby robbing the questioner of the choice to choose which expert helped the most. If your comment is chosen by the questioner, you will be awarded the points.
Thank you  
Steve  





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by:stevenlewis
ID: 7163763
saugat please see here, especially he part about REGISTRY MEMORY USAGE

http://www.windowsitlibrary.com/Content/224/3.html
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by:harrlow
ID: 7163818
An example of how leaving behind registries can slow down the system.

Program is loaded on startup because it is listed in the HKEY_local machine\....(etc)..\run or runonce. Not all programs can be terminated after they are started. Uninstalling at Add/Remove Programs does not remove this program because it is running, similarly for its registry. So, these programs will continue to be loaded on each windows startup even after you have apparently "uninstalled" the program.
one way to resolve this is to use MSCONFIG..Startup..and uncheck these programs..then reboot before attempting to uninstall.
But then again, some uninstallations are not designed to do a full clean uninstall.

This is just one possibility. There are many others.
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by:Computer101
ID: 7375075
For reasons stated below, proposed answer rejected.

Computer101
E-E Admin

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by:Computer101
ID: 7376286
Hello all,
I am Computer101 from Experts-Exchange and also an expert within this topic area. This question has been open a long time.  What I am going to do is allow feedback from the questioner and xperts.  If it is not resolved, I will delete or accept an answer based on the info I have been given, Experts, feel free to offer input.  I will monitor these questions for a period of 5-7 days and come back and evaluate.  I will have another moderator (who is also an expert in this topic area) look at the question also to ensure we do the right thing for this question.

Thank you
Computer101
E-E Admin
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 7376367
Only the 1 question asked, and not a single reply to our comments.  I think my comment fits more in "useful and helpful information" than a direct answer to the question, but otherwise a split seems appropriate.
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by:YensidMod
ID: 8679631
Split points between LeeTutor and stevelewis

YensidMod
EE Moderator
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by:YensidMod
ID: 8679648
stevelewis,
   Get your points here

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Win98/Q_20641242.html

YensidMod
EE Moderator
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