Anyway to remove programs remotely?

I have a bunch of users with those icon programs that change their mouse pointer etc. Is there anyway to remove this remotely?  VNC or Terminal Services isnt running on the machines.
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Julian HansenCommented:
If you know how and where they are installed and you have the permissions to do so you can remove any program remotely. Program installations are just file and registry settings both of which are available remotely assuming you have the right permissions and in the case of the registry the Remote Registry service is running.

If you don't have any intelligent agent on the workstation that can do this for you then your only option is as follows

1. Connect to the remote drive using map network drive or a UNC path in explorer

   \\server\c$ is an example

2. Browse to where the program is installed and delete the folder

3. Open your registry editor and select Connect remote computer from the Registry menu. Enter the name of the machine and when you press ok you should see the remote computer's registry available in regedit. You can then browse through the registry and remove any keys and values associated with the program.

BUT - this assumes you know exactly what files and registry keys you need to remove. Most applications today install files and registry keys all over the place making it very difficult to find out exactly what should be removed. This coupled with the fact that many applications share common files and registry keys means you should delete both with absolute caustion and knowlege of what you are doing.

For complex applications the above method is not recommended. However, if the application is fairly simple i.e. does not install files outside of its program directory - creates minimal registry keys and does not share files or settings with other applications then the above method should be ok.

More information on the application could help in providing a more targeted solution. For instance does the application have an uninstall option - is it visible in Add/Remove programs. Is it an option to get the user of the machine to run an application that does the remove etc - depending on how your environment is setup will determine what options you have available in this regard.

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dissolvedAuthor Commented:
Hi. Yes these programs can be removed via Add/Remove but I dont have physical access to the machine.
I do have access to her registry and C$ remotely.
Julian HansenCommented:
As I said before unless you have some agent on the workstation that knows about uninstalling applications your only recourse is to do it the manual way.

However, I say this only to highlight it as an option - to be used as a last resort. If you know exactly what to do to remove the file then you can do it as described above. If you are not sure then you must proceed with caution or else you could corrupt the computer by removing something that other applications require.

To find out what an application does during installation you need to get hold of a tool that monitors what happens during an installation. There are a number out there - I remember using a program called InCtrl some time ago from PC Magazine - but there are others - including many commercial options. These programs usually work on snapshot technolgy - taking a before and after snapshot of the registry and filesystem and comparing the differences.

The output from these will show you what you need to delete.

If you do follow this route then aim to err on the side of caution - in other words if you are unsure about an application file or registry setting then leave it.

The best bet would simply to remove the application shortcuts and any files they refer to as well as any references in the following locations

Start/Programs/Startup - for both the user and All Users

Once you have removed the links and the files they refer to the application is essentially uninstalled. You can choose to remove any other program files or not - the only real benefit is a cleaner file system and registry and more available space on the disk.

If you need to uninstall a service - that is a little more tricky - post if you need help there.
dissolvedAuthor Commented:
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