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Removing programs that appear in add/ remove when they dont actually e


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#1
fixinit

fixinit

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I show a few programs in my add/ remove programs list that dont seem to appear on my computer. I want to remove from this list. How do I do this? I get error message saying uninstall file doesnt exist.

Edited by fixinit, 13 April 2008 - 12:45 PM.

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#2
John Hook

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fixinit,

Generally this problem occurs when users manual delete program files instead of using "Add/Remove" programs in the Windows Control Panel. The program cannot be deleted because add/remote cannot locate files/scripts needed to perform the normal, orderly uninstall. While the program itself (most of it) has been removed from the hard drive, the Windows Registry entries for this program remain, making it continue to show up in Windows list of installed programs.

There are a few different ways to fix this.

Microsoft offers a step-by-step way to manually remove such programs from the Windows Registry. It's a rather involved process, especially if you're not comfortable getting into and manipulating the Registry. If you take this approach - BE SURE to make a BACKUP copy of your Registry BEFORE proceeding with this solution:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314481

It's unfortunate that Microsoft soft doesn't include (that I'm aware of) a user-friendly program with it's Windows products allowing users to easily "forcefully uninstall" third party applications that have missing files/uninstall programs. Disk Cleanup, which is part of Windows will clean up potentially unnecessary files on your hard drive but won't allow you to forcefully remove programs like this. All of that said - there ARE commercial, shareware and freeware programs out there that WILL uninstall these "uninstallable" programs. The utilities available as part of Utility suites published by major, well-known software vendors are probably the safest bet. Shareware and freeware stuff can be questionable. I am NOT going to recommend any such software commercial, sharware, freeware or otherwise because this site has a very strict policy against doing so. This site DOES offer some free, downloadable tools that have been sanctioned by the admins & techs on this site. You can find these programs/utilities in the "Downloads" link at the top of this site's page. I personaly don't have the authority to offer or suggest any 3rd party software solution that might offer a much easier, user-friendly way to "forcefully" uninstall programs which cannot be uninstalled using Windows Add/Remove programs.

If there are any admins or techs on this site who can suggest such a program that has been tested and approved by this site - PLEASE reply and suggest such a utility as I know that Microsoft's registry manipulation method of doing so can be cumbersome, involved and intimidating to end-users with limited technical skills or those who don't feel comfortable getting into the Windows Registry.

If you decide to use the Microsoft Knowledgebase solution and have specific questions or issues, I'll be happy to help. If you're considering some 3rd party software solution - I would first ask that you ask for feedback from authorized admins and/or techs on this site.

- Hope this helps.

- John
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#3
fixinit

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John- Thanks for your help! I went ahead and followed the Microsoft article. I don't like deleting out of the registry but I took it slow and exercised absolute caution.

I would like a recommendation for a registry mechanic or utility if possible.

fixinit

Edited by fixinit, 14 April 2008 - 08:07 AM.

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#4
g33kgirl

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I haven't used this but http://windowsxp.mvps.org/MSICLEAN.htm appears to be what you're looking for
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