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Completely Uninstall a programme

Posted on 2013-01-08
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Last Modified: 2013-01-27
Hi,
Is there any way tracking exactly what is installed by a programme.

Background:  I am install a programme on a computer and I would like to know all the changes that it makes to the PC. When I uninstall it does not return the computer back to the original state.  The reason I know this is when I install it again... it has remembered some of the settings that I previous set.

However after the uninstall I have cleared out the Programme Folder and run CCleaner. But it is leaving something on the PC and failing to remove something.

Is there an application out there that can log all changes made so I can completely uninstall it.

Thanks

A.
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Question by:amacfarl
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11 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:akhalighi
ID: 38754751
use filemon and regmon utilities and start the installation ; the result will be huge but It'll show you changes that are  made to files and registery.
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Expert Comment

by:akhalighi
ID: 38754758
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Expert Comment

by:akhalighi
ID: 38754765
also see if the program that you are installing can be run with a switch to create a verbose log file. that log file should have all foot prints.
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Author Comment

by:amacfarl
ID: 38754970
Thanks.

Is there any way of doing a scan of the system pre install and then another one post install and see what the deltas are?

Thanks
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:awawada
ID: 38755043
The best software we ever found was:
SysTracer

http://www.blueproject.ro/systracer

We use it daily for our work.
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LVL 50

Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 38755909
amacfarl--When you uninstall using Programs and Features, Registry entries are often left behind.
Use Revouninstaller.  Step 4 will show you what Registry entries remain and offer to clean them up.
http://www.revouninstaller.com/revo_uninstaller_free_download.html
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 38757966
here another good tool :  http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/myuninst.html
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Expert Comment

by:eXpeLLeD_4RM_heLL
ID: 38758525
I use Process Monitor from Sysinternals and monitor the Installation Process
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Accepted Solution

by:
deroode earned 1500 total points
ID: 38758727
Most of the time issues like descibed by the poster are not due to the fact that program files are not removed, but that any custom settings that are in your windows profile are not removed.
When running a program it will save it's settings in your windows profile (registry settings in Hkey_Current_user\Software\[your program name], files in %APPDATA%\[your program name];
An uninstaller will never remove custom settings (because it doesn't know who ever ran the program, and thus in which profiles custom settings are saved)

Thus, after uninstalling a program, check your registry and profile and remove any traces from there as well.

When using Systracer or similar programs to trace any changes made to your system it is wise to make two traces:
One when installing the program
One when first running the program and making customizations.
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Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 38761356
You also have the issue that sometimes time-limited trials will deliberately leave a trace somewhere in the registry so that this is detected by the installer process and it prevents a user from uninstalling then reinstalling software to keep squeezing an extra 30 days free use from the software each time.  I'm not saying that is the case here, but it is possible.
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Author Closing Comment

by:amacfarl
ID: 38824286
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