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Tech: Deleting a program

Lurgainn 02 Dec 08 - 07:14 PM
JohnInKansas 02 Dec 08 - 07:36 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 02 Dec 08 - 08:28 PM
Nick 03 Dec 08 - 08:20 AM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Dec 08 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,lurgainn 03 Dec 08 - 07:38 PM
Joe Offer 03 Dec 08 - 07:52 PM
JohnInKansas 03 Dec 08 - 09:42 PM
Amos 03 Dec 08 - 09:56 PM
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Subject: Tech: Deleting a program
From: Lurgainn
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 07:14 PM

I want to remove an old guitar tutorial prog from my pc. It's taking up a fair amount of space.
Tried the control panel / add- remove progs, but a msg came up saying the file was invalid or corrupt, uninstall will not continue .
I'm not that tech minded where pc's are concerned, but if there's any fairly simple fix for this, I'd be glad to hear it.
I'm using windows xp.
Hope someone can help.
Thanks L.

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Subject: RE: Tech: Deleting a program
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 07:36 PM

If you still have the installation file(s), frequently the easiest way to uninstall a "reluctant" program is to reinstall it first, which overwrites and gets rid of any corrupt files, and then uninstall it using the Control panel.

Just be sure that you choose the same (original) location for the reinstall.

Some programs that don't respond favorably to Control Panel uninstall may come with an "Uninstall" - sometimes with funny names like "Not Recommended.dll" or "Warning.exe" or other. Any such program should be in the main folder where the program was originally installed. The Control Panel removal attempt might have removed any such, so again a reinstall would be needed to get a clean copy of the "dedicated uninstall." A right-click on the file, and look at properties should tell you if you've found an uninstall.

The most common failure is due to corruption of the "installation .dll" file, that keeps a record of what was done during installation. Uninstalling just runs the list backward.

If any files have been moved or updated, the list may be wrong, files it names won't be found, and Control Panel thinks the file is "corrupt" when it's actually just obsolete.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Deleting a program
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 08:28 PM

"Revo Uninstaller helps you to uninstall and remove unwanted programs installed on your computer even if you have problems uninstalling and cannot uninstall them from "Windows Add or Remove Programs" control panel applet."

this is very effective freeware for this purpose. Recently recommended in Sound on Sound magazine.

Then after deleting any surplus software, it might be worth running
"Eusing Free Registry Cleaner" and/or "CCleaner"
to help optimise system performance.

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Subject: RE: Tech: Deleting a program
From: Nick
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 08:20 AM

If the worst comes to the worst and you know where the folder with the program which is taking up the space is, you could always delete it

It will probably leave bits and pieces littered round the machine but you'll regain the space which seemed to be the problem rather than its mere existence

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Subject: RE: Tech: Deleting a program
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 09:42 AM

After Nick's suggestion, one could try a Scandisk to make sure things are clean (no lost sectors)/

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Subject: RE: Tech: Deleting a program
From: GUEST,lurgainn
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 07:38 PM

Thanks for the advice guys. Went with Nicks suggestion, found the prog and deleted it, plus a few others that are no longer used.
Cheers L.

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Subject: RE: Tech: Deleting a program
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 07:52 PM

Installing programs on Windows XP and Vista leaves entries on the registry. Occasionally, I've found program removal instructions that tell you to delete the program files, and then go to the registry and delete the entries for the program. I've done it, but it's a tricky operation and I wouldn't want to do it without exact instructions. I understand that cleaning up the registry does make the computer run better, but just deleting the program files usually works.

Do registry cleaners like "Norton System Works" clean up these registry entries for programs that have been deleted? When I ran System Works the first time, it said it corrected 187 errors. The computer ran notably better after that.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Deleting a program
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 09:42 PM

For "Windows compliant programs" a record is generated that lists every change made during installation, including changes to the Registry.

In theory when Control Panel Add/Remove Programs removes a program, it works its way backward through the list to "undo" everything that was done.

In theory an uninstall should remove anything added to the Registry when the program was installed.

One clinker in the theory is that sometimes the record made during installation may "disappear." A few "overzealous" applications in things like Disk Cleanup can cause deletion. "Setup Log Files" is one selection you can click/check to be removed in Vista. These are/include the files needed by uninstall to do a clean removal. The choice is not quite as transparent in WinXP and earlier versions (as I recall), but it is there.

There also are many "third party" letusfixyouup programs that remove great masses of "unused junk" - some of which may be unused at the moment but which might be useful at another time.

A second problem with a simple "back-it-all-out" of all the changes made during installation is that many files are shared between programs. A file added during one program installation may be needed by another one installed later. If the file is already there, in a usable form, the second program will use the one that's there, and will NOT RECORD the addition of that program. If the file is there, but the second program has a "newer version" it normally will be added, and will then be in both lists, but with the wrong version in the first list. (Or with the result that the file added by the first program is no longer there to be removed.)

If the second program is uninstalled first, it should leave the "newer version" of a file that replaced another, on the assumption that something else also uses the file.

If the first program is uninstalled first, it should leave the "newer version" of a file, added after the first program was installed, on the assumption that something else updated - and uses - the file.

Thus neither program may automatically remove a file that was once or ever "shared" by the two programs. This could lead to some "clutter." The Control Panel uninstall appears to make some additional checks to resolve whether or not a file is still in use and this is sometimes successful. If Windows can confirm that the file is not in use, it gets removed; and if it is still needed, it gets left. When Windows can't make a decision, you sometimes will see a "This file may be used by another program. Are you sure you want to delete it?"

In the ambiguous case, I usually assume that if Windows can't be sure it's needed it probably isn't; and as yet I have not had a "file not found" error from doing so. (Note that I don't do a lot of changes, so I don't have a large statistical sample on which to base an argument that it's always best to delete.)

Since all the files truly necessary for Windows are on the disk before any programs are installed there is no reason for any program to be adding a "Windows critical" file, so a program uninstall should never remove one. The worst case is that a single "add-on" program (or program suite) may burp and belch a bit if you delete one that the program needs, in which case you just put the file back (i.e. usually - reinstall the "other program" that needs it).

To answer Joe O -

The official advice from Microsoft, and from most of the "establishment advisors," is that "registry cleaners" are of little use. Controlled testing has failed to show any significant actual improvement in performance after using the popular ones on machines deliberately "trashed up" before running the cleaner. Although the machines tested were pretty messed up, they may not have been quite as thoroughly mangled as someting "Joe the @#!%" might be running. None of the "cleaners" I've looked at (fairly casually) tell you much about what they actually do, so general statements about whether they do a specific kind of "removal" are speculative, at best.

Most of the authoritative advisors say they're unlikely to hurt anything, so "do it if it feels good." (Almost always good advice.)

As noted, some "system cleaners" may remove seldom-used-but-sometimes-useful things like installation logs, error logs, and .cab folders, which can impede subsequent maintenance of the computer; but this isn't likely to be too serious as long as you (like everyone always does, of course) keep your original installation disks handy.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Deleting a program
From: Amos
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 09:56 PM

Gee. Life is simpler when you have a Mac.


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