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What is the best way to go about uninstalling programs?

Posted on 2007-11-15
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
I need to uninstal some programs for several reasons. 1. I don't use them and want to free up the space, 2. They no longer function correctly or the files have become corrupted or  are missing, 3. I want to re-instal some of them to make sure that they are firing on all cylinders so to speak.  Is there a best way to go about this?  I have heard that the uninstall program that is on XP and also that are part of some of the applications don't always do a very good job and often leave things behind, and/or do not fully uninstall the entire program.  Is there a uninstaller program that is known to be good?Can anyone recommend one that they have used ?, thanks,Rick
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Question by:slooprv
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11 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Pc_Idiot
ID: 20295755
By default, the Add/Remove Program button is somewhat the best software to perform uninstallation from your system. Not only that it removes the program from your system (depends on the programme sometimes too)

To perform a clean uninstallation, make sure the programme you would want to uninstall is not running in the background as complications might arise. After uninstallation, please restart your system would be advisable. At times, even when u just uninstall some softwares like Adobe Reader, it will leave some files in the Adobe folder in ur C:\Program Files folder but u can just safely delete it away as the programme is not longer there.
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Expert Comment

by:Pc_Idiot
ID: 20295764
Alternatively, you may wish to try this, my cilents have personally tried this and feel that it's working for them while Add/Remove Program is more than enough for me.
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Expert Comment

by:Pc_Idiot
ID: 20295766
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Expert Comment

by:macentrap
ID: 20295780
I think add/remove programs from start/ control panel do quite a trick .you dont need any other program. and so does the change option on particular program if it provides.

You can try to click on the program it gives u two tabs change and remove. Using change try to re- install the application.
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Expert Comment

by:macentrap
ID: 20295782
opps had it in my Q open for long....multi -tasking  :)
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Accepted Solution

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souseran earned 500 total points
ID: 20296137
It depends on the program. Microsoft's Windows Installer CleanUp Utility is a good tool for catching most of the leftovers that can remain after a program is removed using Add/Remove programs.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301

CCleaner can also remove leftovers and registry entries.

http://www.ccleaner.com/

With RegCleaner you can easily get rid of those old and obsolete registry entries created by software that you have destroyed ages ago.

http://www.worldstart.com/weekly-download/archives/reg-cleaner4.3.htm

If you're having a problem with a specific software application, for example Norton/Symantec or McAfee Antivirus, they have removers you can use. If you're having a problem with a printer driver, there are usually instructions for how to do a manual uninstall of those. Is there a particular program about which you are inquiring or is your query of a generic nature?
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Author Comment

by:slooprv
ID: 20298029
Thanks everyone for clearing up my thoughts about removing programs.  Sousran asked if I had any specific software applications that I am having problems with.  Well, the question was generic in nature, but there are a few that I wonder if really are being removed completely.  My HP printerfails to carry out automatic up dates , or even manual updates for that matter. I tried to uninstal it and re-instal it but that did not help.  Picture this no longer works , so I want to reinstal that or perhaps justy get rid of it totally and use another picture appication,  ALso , I installed a trial download of Microsoft office whiich after the  trial period I tried to remove but there seem to be alot of file for it left over. I have CCleaner, so I will try usingthat , now that I know it has a removal feature.
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:souseran
ID: 20299039
What model is the HP printer?

I am not familiar with Picture This. Can you give us more information about that program. What does it do? Who makes it?

For the Microsoft Office trial, which version?
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Author Comment

by:slooprv
ID: 20310371
My HP printer is psc 1315xi all in one, Picture This is a microsoft photo application that came on my SONY VAIO PCG-GRT280zg, , The Office Trial is version: 12.0.4581.1014     I am seriously considering abandoning further attemps to straighten out this computer and just doing a complete re-format and re-installation of c&D drives. I guess I mean a complete clean ijnstall.  While  I have managed , with all your help, to take care of each issue and  my system is running better ,(faster) It seems everytime I fix one issue ,I get two more problems in return!!  I have also been in touch with VAIO support(CHAT) regarding and issue where after I installed windows security update KB920872, I would loose the sound to the Gigapocket TV application.  After  reinstalling drivers, and finnally the whole appication, it seems to be resolved , but... now My Quicken will no longer let me e-mail my invoices. If I try to click to e-mail them I now get a error mesage that my mail system support is not available!! This is somthing new as of just the past few days!!  Also, my CA EZ-antivirus realtime scanner now keeps turning off and I have to restart my computer in order for it the download again, but then after a whille as I work it closes again!  I have spent so many hours, days and weeks trying to sort out this mess but it seems like there are so many programs that have glitches in them that I feel that maybe I should just start over, even though I dread having to reinstal not only all the programs again, but all the updates for everything!!  ALso, I am sure I will loose atleast some files, along the way.Oh, another problem If I unplug my USB peripheral 160G hardrive, I loose all my desktop icons and it seems that my original VAIO installed programs have wound up there too as when I went to re-instal the Gigapocket from the restore wizrd, it would not work unless I connected the maxtor160G hardrive.  ANythoughts about where I should go from here would be appreciated, Rick
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:souseran
ID: 20313494
It does sound as though a clean install would be worthwhile. My recommendations, if you decide to go that way are these.

1. copy all important data to an external source such as a USB drive.
2. download all necessary drivers, paying particular attention to make sure you get hard drive controller drivers if you have SATA or RAID.
3. download DBAN from http://dban.sourceforge.net and create a bootable disk.
4. boot to the DBAN disk. At the menu prompt, type AUTONUKE. This will completely wipe the drive(s).
5. Now that the drives are clean, reinstall the OS.
6. If you reinstalled from manufacturer's recovery disks, download the PC Decrapifier from http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/ and use it to remove all the crapware that is often loaded on a new PC.
7. Install necessary drivers, etc.
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Author Closing Comment

by:slooprv
ID: 31409492
I am giving myself alittle more time to try and resolve my computers problems before committing to a clean instal.I have cleaned up my computer alot so the next thing is tyo get rid of the malware. Thanks everyone for all your help, Rick
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