I pit software companies who make their programs un-uninstallable.

So the computer I’m using is a hand-me-down from my father. No complaints there. The 37.2 GB hard drive however, is getting a bit cramped for my needs. So tonight I decide to uninstall some programs I never use.

I open the control panel and find about 2-3 GB worth of programs that I never even knew I had. I go to uninstall the first one. Requires the source CD. I try the next. And the next. And the next. All of them require the original CD to uninstall. Safe to say, these are all programs that came pre-installed on the computer, like “i-LEARN My Dell PC”. :rolleyes: The chances of me ever finding these CD’s are pretty much nil.

Fuck you, software companies, for requiring source CD’s to uninstall your useless programs. Fuck you for not including the uninstall file in the original install. Fuck you for wasting valuable hard drive space that could better be used for games, porn, or school work. Fuck you, Dell, for pre-installing the useless programs in the first place. When your time comes to stand before the Pearly Gates, I hope to God that St. Peter asks you for a source CD for entry.

On a related note, does anyone know how to uninstall programs that require a source CD? :o

Sure. Take a standard, ball-peen hammer…

PM me with your system specs. We’ve been using Dell for years so I may have a dozen or so of the CDs stuck in a drawer somewhere.

Disclaimer: I’m not a computer technician, but I’ve had to do this myself.

Locate the relevant files on the hard-drive (Usually in your C:\Program Files\ directory) then do a search on the net to see if you can find their registry entries. Usually, you’ll find a .txt file with the registry identities, particularly if you have a look in their forums. From there you can delete the .reg files manually (you can even just search through your registry for associated files) or pen up a .bat file to delete them all automatically. This is basically what an uninstaller does, but if it’s the hard-drive space that switches your bottom, you can stick to just removing the actual files on your hard-drive.

ETA: If you have any particular programs you’re having a hard time removing, you could just stick their names up here and I’ll have a look around. If it’s a common cleaner, you never know, someone might have made a user-made uninstaller or a compilation of file and .reg locations.

ETA2: Oh, if you want to make it easier again, you can just delete the stuff from your hard-drive and then use a program like RegCleaner to remove the stuff that’s no longer plugged in.

You might try one the crap-removal suites, such as CCleaner or PC-Decrapifier. Both are a google search and a free download away and sometimes can help get rid of stuff.

Search for the PC DeCrapifier. It’s a free program designed specifically to remove these free-trial POS program crap that comes pre-installed on new computers. (The author originally wrote it for Dells, but it has been expanded to deal with many brands now.)

When you run it, it provides a list of all this ‘crap’ that it finds on your computer, then you select which ones you want to delete.

It’s really great for this. Maybe we should ask Dell, Gateway, HP, etc. to pre-install it on their new computers?

You can (mostly) clean them up manually, assuming this is an XP box.

Open the registry: Start => Run => regedit <Press Enter>
Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Uninstall

This key holds all the information used by Add/Remove Programs. The first bunch will probably be nonsense entries like “{0F71228-EF…” blah blah blah. Skip those.

Highlight the first key with a standard English name. (Use the arrow keys to scroll up and down.) Look on the righthand pane. If there’s only a few values, this isn’t an application to uninstall. If there’s around 12-20 values, this is an uninstallable application. The main values of interest are:

DisplayName: This is the name of the application listed in Add/Remove Programs.
InstallLocation: This is where the application is installed.
UninstallString: The command line for the uninstaller.

You can go to the InstallLocation and manually delete the application. This frees up the harddrive space. You can also delete this key, which will remove it from the Add/Remove Programs list, greatly reducing your blood pressure whenever you open that screen.

Before you do that, though, you may want to clear a little more out of the registry. If you can suss out a company name for the software, look for a key with the company name under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software&lt;company>. If you find one, you can delete it. Same deal with HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software&lt;company>. The LOCAL_MACHINE holds computer-wide settings for the software, while CURRENT_USER holds user-specific settings. This isn’t terribly useful, so you can skip this step if you feel like it.

If the program has associated documents, (double-clicking a file opens it in the program,) locate the extension immediately under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. Expand and highlight HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, then quickly type a period followed by the associated extension. If you find it, look in the right pane. The (default) value holds the name of another key, also immediately under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. (It’s a crowded root.) You can delete both of these keys. (Your “Open With” menu won’t refresh until next time you reboot.) This step will actually speed things up, so it’s worth doing.

Finally, it’s pretty rare but you might want to check Application Data. These are hidden folders, so you have to manually type them in. Open My Computer, expand \Documents & Settings&lt;Your User Name> and then put the cursor in the address bar. At the end of the path, start typing \Application Data. It should eventually appear; if not, finish typing it out and hit Enter. Again, looking for a folder with the company name. Same deal as the registry; delete individual applications for this company, or the entire company folder. Your choice. Also check \Documents & Settings\All Users\Application Data. Same deal.

Let’s see, what else. Oh, the most anoying one of all: putting shit in startup. Obviously you’ll want to clear your startup folders of any crap, but the more annoying ones hide in the registry under the following keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Run
HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Run

Those keys are probably loaded with actual legitimate Windows stuff. A good rule of thumb is to be suspicious of anything under those keys that doesn’t begin with your Windows folder. (eg: C:\WINNT…)

Now that the application is deleted, go back to the first step, finding the uninstall info for the next application you want to banish with extreme prejudice.

That’s basically what those clean & sweep programs do.

That right cracked me up. :smiley: Thanks.

Oh, one more thing. Check \Program Files\Common Files&lt;Company Name>. If you find one of them, try not to get too pissed by the unmitigated gall it takes for them to think you might want to install more than one of their crapware apps; just delete their whole company folder. Fuckers.

Heck, I’ll take your pit and raise you one - Install programs that require you to reboot the computer. Fucking lazy programmers! I’ve written installs before, for a company who was conscientious enough that if you were a coder writing an install program, and you required a reboot, you had to document the exact reason why you couldn’t code around the reboot. In other words, it had to be really really REALLY necessary to reboot.

The only thing we couldn’t code around was a very low level change to the file system filter. Pretty much only two types of software might require code at this level - fancy pants storage management software, and (maybe) anti virus programs.

So fuck you, everything else that “requires” me to reboot my computer to install your bleeding hemorrhage of an application. You’re just too fucking lazy to unload dlls or free up resources. Get some real coders. And quit making me reboot!

Even worse than that are the programs that require a reboot and don’t give you the option to wait for the reboot. You know the message box that says “You must reboot to complete the installation,” and there’s only an “OK” button that forces the reboot. No “Wait till later,” or “No, thanks,” or “Go fuck yourself.”

ETA: This is particularly galling for automatic installs, such as security patches.

Man, I miss the days of System 7, when I knew what every single little file in the System Folder was and what it did. That was one lean computer.

Or just tell Windows to show hidden files and folders. With My Computer or any folder window open, go to Tools | Folder Options… | View and check “Show hidden files and folders”. You can then get to Application Data in the usual fashion.

I mildly pitted this some time back, especially MS’s ‘you really should reboot now’ messages. I know that I’ve got a computer that can be reinstalled from scratch, and apart from the XP install and SP2 CD it doesn’t need a single reboot. So stop telling me it does.

Whadaya mean miss? I’m still using it. :stuck_out_tongue: