How to Remove Internet Explorer 7 Manually from XP Home SP2 ?

Last call before a fresh install...

How do I remove IE7 Beta w/o having the entry in Software Add/Remove Programs (updates=visible) _nor_ the uninstall files (see http://reviews.cnet.com/4531-10921_7-6470326.html ) ?

Background: As my XP Home Edition SP2 was getting slow and freeze prone I used a tune-up utility clean/repair... and I left the default of deleting the hotfix packages checked. As the system stability did not improve much, I then made a repair installation of Windows XP Home SP1, applied SP2 and all updates. All looks fine, with the exception of Internet Explorer 7 which will not even start anymore. Clear case of file version mix-up. But I also can not re install IE6 (Message "There is a newer version on your machine..."). Tried Windows Update and all updates related to IE failed. Firefox 1.5 is running fine. Is it time for fresh install ? As I have more applications and hardware than is reasonable, this is a daunting task.
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criAsked:
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war1Commented:
Greetings, cri !

You can try this manual uninstall approach of IE7
http://geekswithblogs.net/timh/archive/2005/09/16/54068.aspx

If no joy, you may need to back up your data and reinstall Windows.

Best wishes!
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criAuthor Commented:
The first link (i.e. "click here") in the a.m. blog is outdated, the other tip (editing the "installed by" string) does not apply as the user which installed IE7 is the same idiot as the one which is trying to remove it, i.e. myself. If you meant the first link, do you remember roughly the procedure ?
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criAuthor Commented:
Forgot to add: Simply reinstalling IE7 does not work (Message: IE 7 is already installed, please use Add/Remove....). Waiting for a newer Beta most probably is no solution either, I read somewhere that Beta1 had to be removed first before Beta2 could be installed.
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war1Commented:
As I said above, if my first link does not work, you may have to reinstall Windows.  Good luck!  Next time, create an image of the system or at least a system restore point before you install a test software.
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war1Commented:
cri, are you able to uninstall IE7?
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criAuthor Commented:
Yes. I used the brute force method: Format c:\ and re-install. Everything.

The _other_ alternatives were:

a) Install IE7 on another PC, copy the uninstall directory to my desktop, apply your link if necessary. Doubtfull chances of sucess, due mixed-up version.

b) Find out which files to delete and hope for the best.

c) Forget IE

As for the future: To my experience restore points are good to revert 1-2 installations gone sour, but not a slow deterioration caused by too many software trials and obsessive security & speed tweaking. Have no experience with ghosting, mainly because my 80 GB HD is quite full. But saving the base installation (patched OS and key software) certainly is a big time saver. Can you recommend a decent freeware ?
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war1Commented:
cri, glad you got rid of IE7.  If you are often trying out new software, best would be a backup image of your system with Acronis or Ghost.

http://www.acronis.com/
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criAuthor Commented:
war1, thank your for tackling this one.

I think I will try (...) the following:

a) A freeware partition backup utility like  http://www.runtime.org/dixml.htm or similar

b) Setting up Virtual PC (VMware)

c) Restrain my tinkering
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