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How to disable Dell Freeware

Posted on 2014-04-11
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Just launched several new Dell W7 Pro PCs.  

Every boot up, our users are getting the prompt to encrypt their drives. Is there a way to stop the popup? We do not want to use this feature, and we really do not want users to get tired of saying no, and then going through the wizard on their own.


If that is not possible, is there a best practices approach to remove this program?

I am asking because we have had "adventures" with Dells and TPM and other "enhancements" in the past.

In the same vein is Dell Backup and Recovery which is also popping up... we are using StorageCraft ShadowProtect which for image backups and like the options with that product.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Question by:Tomster2
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8 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:Tomster2
ID: 39994338
Additional info:

What I see listed in Programs and Features is:

Dell Data Protection
Dell Data Protection | Client Security Framework
Dell Data Protection | Encryption
Dell Data Protection | Security Tools Authentication
Dell Digital Delivery
Dell Protected Workspace


From some previous nightmares with TPM on Dells, I am wondering what order these would be removed in, and if there are additional adjustments that need to be in the BIOS.

I have posted to Dell Forums and there have been zero replies.
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 39994343
I've installed a ton of dell desktops and never saw an app that offers to encrypt the data. that sounds like a spyware type situation.

Regarding both items you mentioned, I would go into programs and features and uninstall both items.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:RAdministrator
ID: 39994390
OP, uninstall every item you listed. None of it is core; it's just OEM junk.
Also, maybe you should consider imaging your PCs before rollout, to send them out to your users with a clean Windows install with just the bare essentials.

Look into deployment with the Windows AIK or MDT, there are lots of tutorials online (Youtube) and lots of info freely available from Microsoft.
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LVL 22

Accepted Solution

by:
Joseph Moody earned 250 total points
ID: 39994418
You can turn off the MSConfig startup with group policy:

http://deployhappiness.com/kill-msconfig-startup-and-speed-up-your-logons/
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LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:RAdministrator
RAdministrator earned 250 total points
ID: 39994430
Posting again, since my original post didn't really add anything new to the conversation.

About the encryption prompt and without seeing it for myself, it might just be the Windows Action Center suggesting to encrypt with BitLocker. That can easily be disabled in the Action Center itself.

About the Dell freeware uninstall order: there is a specific order to follow when uninstalling Dell junk components. Some uninstalls may fail, but they will also inform you of what other components must be uninstalled beforehand. Just make a note of that and follow the correct uninstall order and you should be freeware-free in about 20 minutes. I've done this a few times before and it's relatively easy once you get the interdependencies. Unfortunately there is no quiet uninstall :/
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Author Comment

by:Tomster2
ID: 39996397
For everyone's reference - looking in Programs and Features I have the following:

Dell Data Protection
Dell Data Protection | Client Security Framework
Dell Data Protection | Encryption
Dell Data Protection | Security Tools Authentication
Dell Digital Delivery
Dell Protected Workspace

I removed Dell Protected Workspace first, as that appeared to be a standalone freeware. That uninstalled fine.

Dell Digital Delivery I am leaving in place for now as that is what Dell uses to download the programs you ordered with the PC, but were now on it as it shipped. It downloaded those programs fine.  The thought is: Will it be necessary for updates of those programs?

I next tried to uninstall Dell Data Protection... and as indicated by RAdmiministrator above, I received a message telling me I had to uninstall the Dell Data Protection Applications first... in the following order:

Dell Data Protection | Encryption
Dell Data Protection | Client Security Framework
Dell Data Protection | Security Tools Authentication

After I received that message I had to reboot to start the uninstall process of the apps.

I then proceeded to attempt to remove the Encryption app but received the following error: "Error opening installation log file.  Verify that the specified log file location exists and is writable."

Since I never started Dell Data Protection, there should be no log installation file. And Dell's manual says: "If DDP|E has not been used, you may simply uninstall DDP|E..."  Well I see where my Saturday afternoon is going to go... this is why OEM freeware is never free.

Will provide an update in my next post.
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Author Comment

by:Tomster2
ID: 39996463
OK.  Here's the deal.  This is one of those "When is an administrator not an administrator?" events.

You will need to enable the "Administrator" account... and log in as that account.

Then go back to the uninstall in the order listed above.  The uninstall then works - but you will need to reboot after each component is removed.

You can then disable the Administrator account or whatever your preference happens to be.

Dell also advised that you can stop the popups by editing MSConfig.  I was already in install mode so I did not explore that.

I have several machines in the same situation... on to them on Monday.

Thanks to everyone for the comments. Will be splitting the points two ways.

tomster2
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:TWAINdriver
ID: 40146152
+1 for the solution to the "Error opening installation log file" when trying to uninstall Dell Protected Workspace application.  I've uninstalled this before with an administrator account "other" than the built-in Administrator, but on one Dell Latitude laptop I uninstalled the two Dell Data Protection programs before attempting to remove Dell Protected Workspace and got that error.  Performing the uninstall from the built-in Administrator account worked like a charm.  Bravo to you!
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