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uninstalling programs

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Jo-Anne, May 31, 2010.

  1. Jo-Anne

    Jo-Anne Flightless Bird

    A number of the programs I've installed on my WinXP computers come with
    their own uninstaller programs. To uninstall, is it better to use Windows
    Add-Remove Programs or the individual uninstallers?

    Thank you!

    Jo-Anne
     
  2. Richard in AZ

    Richard in AZ Flightless Bird

    Typically the uninstall program provided with the software should do the
    best job.

    "Jo-Anne" <Jo-AnneATnowhere.com> wrote in message
    news:%23IgWZFQALHA.5476@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
    >A number of the programs I've installed on my WinXP computers come with
    >their own uninstaller programs. To uninstall, is it better to use Windows
    >Add-Remove Programs or the individual uninstallers?
    >
    > Thank you!
    >
    > Jo-Anne
    >
     
  3. Jo-Anne

    Jo-Anne Flightless Bird

    Thank you, Richard!

    Jo-Anne

    "Richard in AZ" <me@mailinator.com> wrote in message
    news:ebvR8TQALHA.4400@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
    > Typically the uninstall program provided with the software should do the
    > best job.
    >
    > "Jo-Anne" <Jo-AnneATnowhere.com> wrote in message
    > news:%23IgWZFQALHA.5476@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
    >>A number of the programs I've installed on my WinXP computers come with
    >>their own uninstaller programs. To uninstall, is it better to use Windows
    >>Add-Remove Programs or the individual uninstallers?
    >>
    >> Thank you!
    >>
    >> Jo-Anne
    >>

    >
    >
     
  4. Daave

    Daave Flightless Bird

    Jo-Anne wrote:
    > A number of the programs I've installed on my WinXP computers come
    > with their own uninstaller programs. To uninstall, is it better to
    > use Windows Add-Remove Programs or the individual uninstallers?
    >
    > Thank you!


    Six of one; half-a-dozen of another. :)
     
  5. Twayne

    Twayne Flightless Bird

    In news:%23IgWZFQALHA.5476@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl,
    Jo-Anne <Jo-AnneATnowhere.com> typed:
    > A number of the programs I've installed on my WinXP
    > computers come with their own uninstaller programs. To
    > uninstall, is it better to use Windows Add-Remove Programs
    > or the individual uninstallers?
    > Thank you!
    >
    > Jo-Anne


    Unless they tell you different, use the Add-Remove Programs.
     
  6. VanguardLH

    VanguardLH Flightless Bird

    Jo-Anne wrote:

    > A number of the programs I've installed on my WinXP computers come with
    > their own uninstaller programs. To uninstall, is it better to use Windows
    > Add-Remove Programs or the individual uninstallers?
    >
    > Thank you!
    >
    > Jo-Anne


    The installer used by the program may record an entry in the Uninstall
    registry key which you see as an entry in the Add/Remove Programs applet
    in Control Panel. So whether you use the uninstall shortcut provided by
    the installer or use the Add/Remove Programs applet, both point to the
    same command and you end up running the same uninstaller program.

    If their installer doesn't show an entry in the Add/Remove Programs
    applet then all you have is their shortcut to run their uninstaller.

    When you install a program, and after it completes, go check if they
    added an entry that shows up in the Add/Remove Programs applet. If you
    see it there, it's the same program that their uninstall shortcut will
    run. If it doesn't show up there, use the uninstall shortcut they gave
    you.

    Not all installers provide for a clean uninstall. In fact, most
    uninstallations are dirty. Part of that is the developers really don't
    want to thoroughly test their uninstaller (I've been in QA long enough
    trying to push the Dev group to build a decent uninstaller to know that
    they are typically very sloppy about this aspect of their software and
    often rely on the uninstaller program to do all the work). Part of why
    an uninstall is dirty is that Windows generates registry entries and
    creates files after the install has completed, like when you first run
    or configure the program which after the install is all done. Part of
    why dirty installs happen is that someone (like Marketing) pushes Dev to
    only do a partial uninstall because, gee, all their customers must
    really want their software so they leave behind settings in the registry
    or files that permit a subsequent reinstall to reuse all that data
    (i.e., their viewpoint is that you are only doing the uninstall to fix a
    problem and will follow with another reinstall). Best is to use a
    logger that monitors all registry and file changes made by an install
    program. That includes not just monitoring the install of a program but
    also loading the program to record its first-use changes to the registry
    and any files it creates or modifies. To uninstall, you use their
    uninstaller (whether in Add/Remove Programs or their uninstall shortcut)
    and then follow with an uninstall (cleanup) by the install logger.

    Currently I use Zsoft's Uninstaller but only because it's free. There
    might be better uninstallers but I'm not forking out the money for them.
    Some uninstallers are guessers: they don't monitor the installs and
    instead make guesses as to what additional cleanup might be needed.
    They may have some hardcoded rules for cleanup for well-known
    applications and some of the versions of them but they don't know how to
    cleanup all apps or all versions of the well-known apps. Revo
    Uninstaller is one of those. However, no matter that you use the
    uninstaller provided by the software or an install logger or a guesser
    uninstaller, there will still be remnants left in your registry and
    often some files are still left behind so for the most perfect cleanup
    you end up doing it - provided you have the expertise to understand the
    registry. Even then there may be entries left in the registry simply
    because you cannot or should not delete all references to the
    uninstalled software. For example, some programs save known algorithms
    regarding other software in the registry and you don't want to delete
    those references even if you uninstall the referenced software. Those
    references may, for example, be indexed and deleting them would screw up
    the references used by the program in how it manages conflicts or
    behaviors between it and those other programs.

    My rule is that you don't install anything that you might consider later
    to uninstall. Don't pollute your system and then hope you can get it
    completely clean later - unless you're willing to same image backups and
    restore to them and lose everything you installed after that image
    backup. Test unknown or untrusted software of which you are unsure that
    you want to keep inside a virtual machine, or use multi-booting to load
    a separate instance of the OS from another partition that you don't care
    about polluting (and probably use imaging to revert to a baseline image
    for that testing partition).
     
  7. Bob CP

    Bob CP Flightless Bird

    On 5/31/2010 7:36 PM, VanguardLH wrote:
    > Jo-Anne wrote:
    >
    >> A number of the programs I've installed on my WinXP computers come with
    >> their own uninstaller programs. To uninstall, is it better to use Windows
    >> Add-Remove Programs or the individual uninstallers?
    >>
    >> Thank you!
    >>
    >> Jo-Anne

    >
    > The installer used by the program may record an entry in the Uninstall
    > registry key which you see as an entry in the Add/Remove Programs applet
    > in Control Panel. So whether you use the uninstall shortcut provided by
    > the installer or use the Add/Remove Programs applet, both point to the
    > same command and you end up running the same uninstaller program.
    >
    > If their installer doesn't show an entry in the Add/Remove Programs
    > applet then all you have is their shortcut to run their uninstaller.
    >
    > When you install a program, and after it completes, go check if they
    > added an entry that shows up in the Add/Remove Programs applet. If you
    > see it there, it's the same program that their uninstall shortcut will
    > run. If it doesn't show up there, use the uninstall shortcut they gave
    > you.
    >
    > Not all installers provide for a clean uninstall. In fact, most
    > uninstallations are dirty. Part of that is the developers really don't
    > want to thoroughly test their uninstaller (I've been in QA long enough
    > trying to push the Dev group to build a decent uninstaller to know that
    > they are typically very sloppy about this aspect of their software and
    > often rely on the uninstaller program to do all the work). Part of why
    > an uninstall is dirty is that Windows generates registry entries and
    > creates files after the install has completed, like when you first run
    > or configure the program which after the install is all done. Part of
    > why dirty installs happen is that someone (like Marketing) pushes Dev to
    > only do a partial uninstall because, gee, all their customers must
    > really want their software so they leave behind settings in the registry
    > or files that permit a subsequent reinstall to reuse all that data
    > (i.e., their viewpoint is that you are only doing the uninstall to fix a
    > problem and will follow with another reinstall). Best is to use a
    > logger that monitors all registry and file changes made by an install
    > program. That includes not just monitoring the install of a program but
    > also loading the program to record its first-use changes to the registry
    > and any files it creates or modifies. To uninstall, you use their
    > uninstaller (whether in Add/Remove Programs or their uninstall shortcut)
    > and then follow with an uninstall (cleanup) by the install logger.
    >
    > Currently I use Zsoft's Uninstaller but only because it's free. There
    > might be better uninstallers but I'm not forking out the money for them.
    > Some uninstallers are guessers: they don't monitor the installs and
    > instead make guesses as to what additional cleanup might be needed.
    > They may have some hardcoded rules for cleanup for well-known
    > applications and some of the versions of them but they don't know how to
    > cleanup all apps or all versions of the well-known apps. Revo
    > Uninstaller is one of those. However, no matter that you use the
    > uninstaller provided by the software or an install logger or a guesser
    > uninstaller, there will still be remnants left in your registry and
    > often some files are still left behind so for the most perfect cleanup
    > you end up doing it - provided you have the expertise to understand the
    > registry. Even then there may be entries left in the registry simply
    > because you cannot or should not delete all references to the
    > uninstalled software. For example, some programs save known algorithms
    > regarding other software in the registry and you don't want to delete
    > those references even if you uninstall the referenced software. Those
    > references may, for example, be indexed and deleting them would screw up
    > the references used by the program in how it manages conflicts or
    > behaviors between it and those other programs.
    >
    > My rule is that you don't install anything that you might consider later
    > to uninstall. Don't pollute your system and then hope you can get it
    > completely clean later - unless you're willing to same image backups and
    > restore to them and lose everything you installed after that image
    > backup. Test unknown or untrusted software of which you are unsure that
    > you want to keep inside a virtual machine, or use multi-booting to load
    > a separate instance of the OS from another partition that you don't care
    > about polluting (and probably use imaging to revert to a baseline image
    > for that testing partition).


    Revo Uninstaller works well for me. Will remove every file and every
    registry reference to your preferences.
    http://download.cnet.com/Revo-Uninstaller/3000-2096_4-10687648.html
     
  8. Jo-Anne

    Jo-Anne Flightless Bird

    "Daave" <daave@example.com> wrote in message
    news:uW7MQERALHA.1888@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
    > Jo-Anne wrote:
    >> A number of the programs I've installed on my WinXP computers come
    >> with their own uninstaller programs. To uninstall, is it better to
    >> use Windows Add-Remove Programs or the individual uninstallers?
    >>
    >> Thank you!

    >
    > Six of one; half-a-dozen of another. :)
    >

    Thank you, Daave!

    Jo-Anne
     
  9. Jo-Anne

    Jo-Anne Flightless Bird

    "Twayne" <nobody@spamcop.net> wrote in message
    news:-OF54bdRALHA.2332@TK2MSFTNGP04.phx.gbl...
    > In news:%23IgWZFQALHA.5476@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl,
    > Jo-Anne <Jo-AnneATnowhere.com> typed:
    >> A number of the programs I've installed on my WinXP
    >> computers come with their own uninstaller programs. To
    >> uninstall, is it better to use Windows Add-Remove Programs
    >> or the individual uninstallers?
    >> Thank you!
    >>
    >> Jo-Anne

    >
    > Unless they tell you different, use the Add-Remove Programs.
    >

    Thank you, Twayne!

    Jo-Anne
     
  10. Jo-Anne

    Jo-Anne Flightless Bird

    "VanguardLH" <V@nguard.LH> wrote in message
    news:hu1h4f$aui$1@news.albasani.net...
    > Jo-Anne wrote:
    >
    >> A number of the programs I've installed on my WinXP computers come with
    >> their own uninstaller programs. To uninstall, is it better to use Windows
    >> Add-Remove Programs or the individual uninstallers?
    >>
    >> Thank you!
    >>
    >> Jo-Anne

    >
    > The installer used by the program may record an entry in the Uninstall
    > registry key which you see as an entry in the Add/Remove Programs applet
    > in Control Panel. So whether you use the uninstall shortcut provided by
    > the installer or use the Add/Remove Programs applet, both point to the
    > same command and you end up running the same uninstaller program.
    >
    > If their installer doesn't show an entry in the Add/Remove Programs
    > applet then all you have is their shortcut to run their uninstaller.
    >
    > When you install a program, and after it completes, go check if they
    > added an entry that shows up in the Add/Remove Programs applet. If you
    > see it there, it's the same program that their uninstall shortcut will
    > run. If it doesn't show up there, use the uninstall shortcut they gave
    > you.
    >
    > Not all installers provide for a clean uninstall. In fact, most
    > uninstallations are dirty. Part of that is the developers really don't
    > want to thoroughly test their uninstaller (I've been in QA long enough
    > trying to push the Dev group to build a decent uninstaller to know that
    > they are typically very sloppy about this aspect of their software and
    > often rely on the uninstaller program to do all the work). Part of why
    > an uninstall is dirty is that Windows generates registry entries and
    > creates files after the install has completed, like when you first run
    > or configure the program which after the install is all done. Part of
    > why dirty installs happen is that someone (like Marketing) pushes Dev to
    > only do a partial uninstall because, gee, all their customers must
    > really want their software so they leave behind settings in the registry
    > or files that permit a subsequent reinstall to reuse all that data
    > (i.e., their viewpoint is that you are only doing the uninstall to fix a
    > problem and will follow with another reinstall). Best is to use a
    > logger that monitors all registry and file changes made by an install
    > program. That includes not just monitoring the install of a program but
    > also loading the program to record its first-use changes to the registry
    > and any files it creates or modifies. To uninstall, you use their
    > uninstaller (whether in Add/Remove Programs or their uninstall shortcut)
    > and then follow with an uninstall (cleanup) by the install logger.
    >
    > Currently I use Zsoft's Uninstaller but only because it's free. There
    > might be better uninstallers but I'm not forking out the money for them.
    > Some uninstallers are guessers: they don't monitor the installs and
    > instead make guesses as to what additional cleanup might be needed.
    > They may have some hardcoded rules for cleanup for well-known
    > applications and some of the versions of them but they don't know how to
    > cleanup all apps or all versions of the well-known apps. Revo
    > Uninstaller is one of those. However, no matter that you use the
    > uninstaller provided by the software or an install logger or a guesser
    > uninstaller, there will still be remnants left in your registry and
    > often some files are still left behind so for the most perfect cleanup
    > you end up doing it - provided you have the expertise to understand the
    > registry. Even then there may be entries left in the registry simply
    > because you cannot or should not delete all references to the
    > uninstalled software. For example, some programs save known algorithms
    > regarding other software in the registry and you don't want to delete
    > those references even if you uninstall the referenced software. Those
    > references may, for example, be indexed and deleting them would screw up
    > the references used by the program in how it manages conflicts or
    > behaviors between it and those other programs.
    >
    > My rule is that you don't install anything that you might consider later
    > to uninstall. Don't pollute your system and then hope you can get it
    > completely clean later - unless you're willing to same image backups and
    > restore to them and lose everything you installed after that image
    > backup. Test unknown or untrusted software of which you are unsure that
    > you want to keep inside a virtual machine, or use multi-booting to load
    > a separate instance of the OS from another partition that you don't care
    > about polluting (and probably use imaging to revert to a baseline image
    > for that testing partition).


    Thank you, Vanguard, for the education! I've copied your post into my
    software file for reference.

    I'm pretty careful about what I install, but I've found that on occasion I
    need to uninstall a product in order to install a later version. Avira
    AntiVir is a case in point. On one of my computers I just upgraded to
    version 10 over version 9, as recommended at the Avira website. However, the
    program's virus definition updater refused to work. I had to manually update
    and then fiddle with it some more before it appeared to begin working--and
    I'll be checking it for the next few days. I asked about this on the Avira
    forum and was told I needed to uninstall version 9 before installing version
    10. I did that on my second computer, and it worked fine.

    I try to use only well-known software, but I've also taken to installing new
    programs on the computer I use least often and that doesn't have my most
    important data on it.

    Thank you, again!

    Jo-Anne
     
  11. VanguardLH

    VanguardLH Flightless Bird

    Bob CP wrote:

    > Revo Uninstaller works well for me. Will remove every file and every
    > registry reference to your preferences.
    > http://download.cnet.com/Revo-Uninstaller/3000-2096_4-10687648.html


    Yep, that is one of the guesser uninstallers. It has a pre-defined set
    of actions to commit for well-known applications (but not always for all
    versions of those apps). It fails if it is not a pre-defined app in
    their database. "Algorithms" and "heuristics" are just another way of
    saying "pre-defined rules". That's why you have to update this
    uninstaller to get their newest database of rules.

    The Pro version of Revo Uninstaller has its real-time install monitor.
    This is akin to Zsoft's Uninstaller or other installer loggers. I was
    only comparing the free versions. There is a lot of features missing in
    the free version; see:

    http://www.revouninstaller.com/revo_uninstaller_free_download.html

    Revo Uninstaller Pro costs $39. Their free lureware version doesn't
    have it. Zsoft Uninstaller is completely free (no payware version and
    no lures to one in the free version) and doesn't need rules or updates
    for them. It scans your registry and file system to take a snapshot,
    you do the install, then you do an analyze which does before and after
    snapshots to check for all the changes (and why you really should start
    the installed program after installing it to capture all those changes,
    too). You could always combine the free versions of Revo Uninstall and
    Zsoft Uninstaller but probably won't effect any better cleanup. Zsoft
    would remove all the changes that Revo missed in its preset rules.
    Zsoft is more like an Undo. The *paid* version of Revo Pro with its
    real-time install logger would probably obviate the need for Zsoft. Of
    course, reverting to partition image backups would guarantee you return
    to the exact prior state (since neither Revo or Zsoft provide exact
    reversions to a prior state); however, restoring an image means you lose
    ALL changes since the image backup, not just those for one particular
    install out of many that may occur are saving the image.

    Not all installations use Microsoft's installer (MSI). Some may use a
    3rd party installer that totally bypasses all recording performed by
    MSI. Others may simply unroll a .zip file and create the shortcuts for
    you so they didn't really install but just copied some files onto your
    host. Revo won't work for those (unless you pay for the Pro version and
    also trigger it to record an install since unzipping files probably
    doesn't get recorded as an install). Zsoft won't work unless you log
    the installation (take a 'before' snapshot, do the install [and run the
    program], then analyze [to create an 'after' snapshot] to do a compare
    and record the changes).

    I might use Revo (free version) to do uninstalls for those installs that
    used MSI or were in Revo's pre-defined app rules. That would eliminate
    me accidentally forgetting to log an install using Zsoft. However, if I
    remember to log all my installs using Zsoft, I don't need Revo. Having
    both installed gives you a choice plus you could use both methods.
     
  12. Daave

    Daave Flightless Bird

    Jo-Anne wrote:
    > "Daave" <daave@example.com> wrote in message
    > news:uW7MQERALHA.1888@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
    >> Jo-Anne wrote:
    >>> A number of the programs I've installed on my WinXP computers come
    >>> with their own uninstaller programs. To uninstall, is it better to
    >>> use Windows Add-Remove Programs or the individual uninstallers?
    >>>
    >>> Thank you!

    >>
    >> Six of one; half-a-dozen of another. :)
    >>

    > Thank you, Daave!


    YW. When you use A&R, it executes the uninstaller for that particular
    program.
     
  13. Jo-Anne

    Jo-Anne Flightless Bird

    "Daave" <daave@example.com> wrote in message
    news:-OyJSsXTALHA.4400@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
    > Jo-Anne wrote:
    >> "Daave" <daave@example.com> wrote in message
    >> news:uW7MQERALHA.1888@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...
    >>> Jo-Anne wrote:
    >>>> A number of the programs I've installed on my WinXP computers come
    >>>> with their own uninstaller programs. To uninstall, is it better to
    >>>> use Windows Add-Remove Programs or the individual uninstallers?
    >>>>
    >>>> Thank you!
    >>>
    >>> Six of one; half-a-dozen of another. :)
    >>>

    >> Thank you, Daave!

    >
    > YW. When you use A&R, it executes the uninstaller for that particular
    > program.
    >

    Got it, Daave! Thank you again!

    Jo-Anne
     
  14. dadiOH

    dadiOH Flightless Bird

    Jo-Anne wrote:
    > A number of the programs I've installed on my WinXP computers come
    > with their own uninstaller programs. To uninstall, is it better to
    > use Windows Add-Remove Programs or the individual uninstallers?
    >
    > Thank you!
    >
    > Jo-Anne


    It doesn't matter. The Windows "uninstaller" uses the one that came with
    the program. Many (most?) of those don't dump everything either. If you
    want to get rid of all use something like Total Uninstall to monitor the
    install and use it to uninstall. Revo Uninstaller is another one.

    --

    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
     
  15. WaIIy

    WaIIy Flightless Bird

    On Mon, 31 May 2010 19:53:21 -0400, Bob CP <ctcboater@sbcglobal.net>
    wrote:

    >
    >Revo Uninstaller works well for me. Will remove every file and every
    >registry reference to your preferences.
    >http://download.cnet.com/Revo-Uninstaller/3000-2096_4-10687648.html


    Well, it will remove more than a regular uninstall, but not everything
    100%.

    Does a great job, though.
     
  16. VanguardLH

    VanguardLH Flightless Bird

    dadiOH wrote:

    > If you want to get rid of all use something like Total Uninstall to
    > monitor the install and use it to uninstall.


    Total Uninstall is payware.
    Standard version: $30
    Professional version: $40

    The free adware version of Revo Uninstaller does not include the real-
    time install monitor. You only get install logging with the Pro version
    which costs $39.
     
  17. Jo-Anne

    Jo-Anne Flightless Bird

    "dadiOH" <dadiOH@invalid.com> wrote in message
    news:-Op3HWHYALHA.1448@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
    > Jo-Anne wrote:
    >> A number of the programs I've installed on my WinXP computers come
    >> with their own uninstaller programs. To uninstall, is it better to
    >> use Windows Add-Remove Programs or the individual uninstallers?
    >>
    >> Thank you!
    >>
    >> Jo-Anne

    >
    > It doesn't matter. The Windows "uninstaller" uses the one that came with
    > the program. Many (most?) of those don't dump everything either. If you
    > want to get rid of all use something like Total Uninstall to monitor the
    > install and use it to uninstall. Revo Uninstaller is another one.
    >
    > --
    >
    > dadiOH
    > ____________________________
    >
    > dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    > ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    > LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    > Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
    >
    >


    Thank you!

    Jo-Anne
     
  18. dadiOH

    dadiOH Flightless Bird

    VanguardLH wrote:
    > dadiOH wrote:
    >
    >> If you want to get rid of all use something like Total Uninstall to
    >> monitor the install and use it to uninstall.

    >
    > Total Uninstall is payware.


    Right. There is also v2.35 which is the last freeware one, gotta Google for
    it.

    --

    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
     

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