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Solved: How do I remove remnants of uninstalled software?


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12-Jan-2010, 09:13 AM #1
Solved: How do I remove remnants of uninstalled software?
I recently got a new computer with Windows 7 (64-bit version). I have been unable to get the software for my HP Photosmart Plus B-209 printer install. It would partially install and and then Windows installer would crash. I couldn't get the HP uninstaller to work. I did a system restore to a pre-installation (I think) but still have remnants of the HP printer software scattered throughout the registry. The HP printer installation program wants to uninstall all HP components before running again, but is unable to do so.

I have now installed all my other software twice (very time-consuming and would rather not have to go through it again. Is there any way out of this mess without doing a clean install"
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12-Jan-2010, 10:58 AM #2
Many people here recommend and have had great success with Revo Uninstaller.
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12-Jan-2010, 06:06 PM #3
Agree completely with TerryNet's suggestion regarding Revo. I offer the following variation. TerryNet's link is for a 30 day free trial of the pro version after which one must pay for the program in order to keep using it. Click here to download the free version. The site does not state the free version is compatible with 64 bit Win 7, but I can tell you it does indeed work quite well. I installed it on my daughters new HP G71 laptop running Win 7 64 bit and removed all the crapware that comes with a new computer these days.

In order to use Revo to completely remove remnants of the program giving you a problem, you first must install the program again. Revo can't find just the remnants of a program already uninstalled using Add/Remove programs.

Revo will first run the normal uninstall process, then it will scan for left over registry entries and files. Be very sure to remove ONLY the registry entries in bold type. Expand (+ box) any entries shown with no bold entries visible until you find the ones in bold type. In the next step, you can remove all of the files found.

Raybro
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12-Jan-2010, 06:15 PM #4
Thanks, TerryNet, for responding to my post. I have already tried Revo Uninstaller. Unfortunately the HP software remnants don't show in the Revo scan of installed software. This is the first time I have used it. Maybe there is is some way to get it to recognize and remove software where the main files are gone, but I couldn't get it to find the remnants I need removed.

I backed up my registry, and have gone into regedit to delete entries with words like Hewlett-Packard, hp.com, Photosmart, 209(a-m). So far I haven't screwed anything else up, but there are still more registry entries related to the printer software.

Is too risky to approach it this way? Is there a better way to remove these registry entries?

Shrimpman
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12-Jan-2010, 06:19 PM #5
You must reinstall the program in order for Revo to find it, then uninstall using Revo.

And 'YES", editing the registry is very risky.

Raybro
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12-Jan-2010, 06:20 PM #6
Raybro, thanks for the tip on using Revo Uninstaller. The problem I'm having is that the installer immediately recognizes that there was a previous installation and prompts me to uninstall that before it re-installs the software. The HP software wants to run its own uninstaller (the one installed in the first installation), but its not there. So that's why I'm stuck. I must say, I am not impressed with HP's programming.

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12-Jan-2010, 06:26 PM #7
As an alternative... HP has what they call a"non-destructive" restore. This process will restore your hard drive to the configurations it was in when you purchased it while leaving any files and programs you have installed since you got the machine. I don't recall the exact process you need to do to access the restore partition, but it is hitting a specific key (or set of keys) at startup. I've used it before and it works quite well.

Having said that, it's always sensible to backup any files you dont want to lose when attempting something of this sort.

Raybro
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12-Jan-2010, 06:54 PM #8
I've received knowledgeable and helpful replies from HP's email tech support.
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12-Jan-2010, 09:37 PM #9
Thanks guys. That sounds like what I need. I guess I'll have to get the HP support team to let me know how to do a "non-destructive" restore. I'll also Google that to see if any instructions turn up. I'll let you know how that goes.

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12-Jan-2010, 09:41 PM #10
I was thinking that HP support may also know how to get their installer/uninstaller working.
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12-Jan-2010, 09:44 PM #11
Back again. Apparently the non-destructive restore is an option available to owners of HP Pavilion computers to allow you to return to the original factory installed configuration. You need the installation CDs shipped with the computer. My problem is with HP printer software. My computer is a Velocity Micro. I guess I'll get on the phone with HP technical support in India to see what they suggest. I agree, their technical support is pretty good.
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12-Jan-2010, 11:56 PM #12
Beginning to look like another clean install is going to be your best option in the long run.

if you elect to do so, I suggest you consider getting yourself a backup program and creating a backup image of your hard drive after you have all your programs installed and everything setup the way you want. Obviously, do this BEFORE you try installing the printer software again. That way, if you have another problem with the install, a simple recovery to the backup image would save you a whole lot of time and trouble.

You would need a separate medium to store the backup image. An external hard drive is ideal, but it can also be put on DVD. For a program, I use Acronis True Image, but there is also Macrium Reflect, which is a free download.

This setup would also have value in the future for backup purposes. To paraphrase.. Data you do not backup, is data you don't care about.

BTW... Sorry about the false lead on the recovery thing. I got the idea your computer was an HP machine.

Raybro
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12-Jan-2010, 11:58 PM #13
You can use jv16 reg cleaner (just promise me you will only use the first screen which says "Registry"only) and the very first screen will show you every entry in the registry by vendor so you can remove them one by one but make a registry backup first of course, and again use no other feature of this product.
www.jv16.org
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13-Jan-2010, 01:12 AM #14
Don't worry about the false lead, Raybro. Easy mistake to make. Anyway, I have some good news. I manually removed a few more hp related registry keys using regedit and was able to at least get the HP installer package to begin an installation. It got part way through the installation before crashing. After a crash the installer tries to uninstall the partial installation . I quickly started up Task Manager and closed the installer application before it could uninstall it's handiwork. I was hoping that this would leave a new HP uninstall program behind. It did. Next I ran Revo Uninstaller to clean up the mess left behind and voila! This time it worked. After that I was able to at least install the basic HP printer driver and get the printer working.

I still can't get the Installation program for the rest of the printer software to work though. It keeps giving me the message: "The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed. This can occur if the Windows Installer is not correctly installed. Contact your support personnel for assistance." Well, at least I'm part way there and I think I have avoided the need to do a clean install of Windows.
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13-Jan-2010, 02:03 AM #15
Glad you at least got to the point you have. Hang in there, perseverance can often pay off.

Raybro
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