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How to Force Remove incompatible security program on Win 10 machine

Win 10 machine will not update due to EarthLink Protection Program on PC that was originally updated from Win 7.  Win 10 goes in to download updates, then faults out saying it cannot install due to incompatible EarthLink product.  No uninstall for the earthlink product found on pc.

Can anyone suggest a brute force way to uninstall this EarthLink product? so that the machine will do updates?  MS suggested to client to wipe and reinstall.
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Stardotstar
Asked:
Stardotstar
1 Solution
 
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
Uninstalling antiviruses by force often fails due to the invasive nature of such products.  You might have to reload Windows 10 from scratch, but you could try this:

Download the free version of Revo Uninstaller

https://www.revouninstaller.com/start_freeware_download.html

and activate the 30 day trial of the Pro version.  Try it with a normal uninstall first, and if that doesn't work, try Hunter Mode.

The only alternative I know of would be to manually inspect the Registry, key by key, and remove the product that way.  However, I would like to note that I've tried this approach in the past and it didn't work; antiviruses fiddle too much in the Windows system to be disabled this way.  And that's by intent; it should not be easy to disable an antivirus.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
There does not appear to be a force remove program for EarthLink.  Many applications do have a force remove process. So in this case Revo Uninstaller may be your only hope other than to reinstall Windows.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
WARNING: My advice MIGHT render your system inoperable and require a reinstall.

Look through your services for the Earthlink program.  Find out where it's installed.  Note that.

Look through C:\windows\system32\drivers for the earthlink program's drivers (note: they may not be easy to find - you might have to look at the properties of each and every file in there (if you know windows, you can narrow that down, if you don't it could take a while).  Once you find the Earthlink drivers, note them.

Reboot to a Windows install disk.  press Shift+F10 to open a command prompt. change to the local hard disk (it won't be C:) and then from the command prompt, navigate to the folder with the earthlink program - RENAME it (will make recovery easier if this breaks everything).  Then rename the drivers you found in \windows\system32\drivers (add a .bad to end).  Now reboot and try.  You'll probably get warnings about it since windows will try to start it, but it should boot successfully and you can see if the upgrade works.
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dbruntonCommented:
Look for the file mentioned here  https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/startups/EarthLink_Protection_Control_Center_Service-14054.html  and see if it exists.

You might be able to disable the Service.  But again take care.
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StardotstarAuthor Commented:
THANKS ALL!  Will try all and report back.  Sorry to take so long, did not know there were responses.  Guess I did not subscribe to post somewhere?  Things have changed and I am not here a lot!
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StardotstarAuthor Commented:
So I finally got hands on.  Revo found nothing in any mode.  So I did a search for "earthlink" via file explorer.  2 files/applications  were found, actually 2 copies of the offending program.  Deleted them, removed them from the recycle bin and the machine updated.  

Thanks to all, now I need to figure out how to award some thank you points for assistance.
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StardotstarAuthor Commented:
So I finally got hands on.  Revo found nothing in any mode.  So I did a search for "earthlink" via file explorer.  2 files/applications  were found, actually 2 copies of the offending program.  Deleted them, removed them from the recycle bin and the machine updated.
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