Un-Install.bat

Hello, have a custom application that is unqiue to us, this application is constantly getting updated (about 6 times anually).  The problem we're running into is everytime a new version is posted we have to remove the current version & load the new one.  After about 3 versions of doing this, the application is starting to produce unexpected results to the point of not functioning.  We would like to create a custom "Un-Install.bat" to COMPLETELY remove all remnants for a clean installtion /upgraded process.
ManieyaK_CSSPAsked:
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Joseph HornseyPresident and JanitorCommented:
Okey Dokey - what's your question?  :)
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Joseph HornseyPresident and JanitorCommented:
Honestly, it's going to be very difficult to give advice on something like this.

You need to know what file system changes are being made as well as what registry changes are being made.  You also need to know what the values there were prior to the install.

It's an internal app - do you have documentation for stuff like that?

What are the current install steps?

What are the current uninstall steps?
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Andrew LeniartFreelance Journalist & IT ConsultantCommented:
You would first need to monitor an installation and any upgrades before being in a position to write an uninstallation routine like you're describing.

I both use and frequently recommend Revo Uninstaller Professional to monitor any changes made to both the file system and Windows registry. Monitored installs are very easily reversed, with all traces of a monitored installation being removed, including all registry and file system changes. It's a highly effective tool "if" it monitored the installations. Revo can also be helpful in removing non-monitored installs, however, it's nowhere near as effective when used that way.

A free version is available.

Hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew
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ManieyaK_CSSPAuthor Commented:
Yes we currently have an install guide, very vague we have a "uninstall.bat" now but it hardley does what it should.  This was another thought/question is there anyway to map the registery keys that get modified, everywhere files associsted with it would get place etc.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi Manieya,
Perhaps you should consider a "real" installer for your custom application. I've been using the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS) for all of my custom applications in recent years (although I'm considering a move to Inno Setup, because it offers Pascal as the scripting language, or the AutoHotkey installer, because AutoHotkey is my favorite scripting language these days). There are other installers out there, including, of course, Windows Installer.

With a real installer, you'll be able to create a proper uninstaller that will cleanly remove your custom app, including all files, registry entries, program groups/shortcuts, etc. The install of a new version will easily be able to detect and remove the current version, and, of course, you'll be able to do a proper uninstall via the standard Windows methods, such as Control Panel>Programs and Features. Also, even though it's your own custom app, you could have the installer honor the UAC settings and train your users to make sure that the digital certificate is valid — can't be too careful these days. :)  Regards, Joe
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Joseph HornseyPresident and JanitorCommented:
Andrew and Joe both have good suggestions, but I like Joe's better - if this is an internal app and you guys have control over it, then use an actual installer to keep track of things.  It should also let you do upgrades instead of uninstalls if you choose.
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Andrew LeniartFreelance Journalist & IT ConsultantCommented:
is there anyway to map the registery keys that get modified, everywhere files associsted with it would get place etc.

Yep, there's a host of utilities available for this purpose. I've used Nirsoft's RegFromApp solution a couple of times and found it useful, but it only tracks Registry changes.

There's a pretty decent article/review of 8 tools designed for the purpose you're asking about on the Raymond.cc website and some of them look quite good, but the final yardstick will likely be how much you want to automate the process to be able to just click on an uninstall button to undo all changes made. For this purpose, I'd still suggest Revo Uninstaller and use it to monitor installations and upgrades to your custom software. Once monitored, Revo will remove all traces of the program when using it to uninstall again.

Registry monitoring tools, on the other hand, will take a snapshot of the registry before and after installation, but that won't address the files and folders being added etc. Take a look at the article I've linked to for a few tools you may find useful.

Hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew
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Shaun VermaakTechnical SpecialistCommented:
Custom application, what development language, framework?
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ManieyaK_CSSPAuthor Commented:
Andrew I've downloaded InstallWatcghPro from the link you sent.  Having a hard time retoring back using a snapshot, do you have any insight?
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Andrew LeniartFreelance Journalist & IT ConsultantCommented:
Hi ManieyaK,
Having a hard time retoring back using a snapshot, do you have any insight?

I've not had any personal experience with InstallWatchPro. What do you mean by having a hard time restoring back? Is it failing on the restore or doesn't it want to restore at all. Also, are you talking about just registry entries of folders as well?
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ManieyaK_CSSPAuthor Commented:
Everything you for the comments what I think I'm going to try in Reboot Restore RX,  with this we can test the application if we experience issues simply rebooting will return system to desired stated.  

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Andrew LeniartFreelance Journalist & IT ConsultantCommented:
Thank you ManieyaK_, I'm glad I was able to help and thank you for closing your question and awarding points. If you could also click the Thumbs Up on any comments and chosen answers you found helpful, the experts that assisted will be very grateful for your doing that.

With regards to Reboot Restore Rx, it works exceptionally well, but  you should make yourself aware of a problem I found with it. Suggest you read the final comments in this Question I recently Asked and resolved by uninstalling Reboot Restore Rx.

I've provided a detailed summary in comments towards the end of that question, so please read it to learn about a "gotcha" that many people are unaware of. My final comments start here and I've included information given to me by Restore Rx support personell.

I hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew
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