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Add or Remove Programs

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by wingerx5, Feb 8, 2007.

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  1. wingerx5

    wingerx5 Thread Starter

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    When I go to "Add or Remove Programs" and scroll part way down there is a black rectangle. It is quite large in that it occupies about 95% of the scroll bar. When I use "sort by name it is always between Lexmark and Logitech however it doesn't appear to be attached to any program since it shows up next to different programs when I use a different sort. Actually, it is not a perfect rectangle, it start out that way and as I scroll down it becomes vertical black bars and toward the bottom it becomes a rectangle again. I tried deleting and reinstalling a couple programs to see if that would reformat it but it made no difference.

    As far as I can tell it is not hurting anything, all my programs seem to be intact on one side of the black or the other, but I would be happier if it were gone. If anyone has any suggestions to remove this I would appreciate it.
     
  2. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    I have the same thing, so it may be the result of a program installation that we have in common. It is undoubtedly caused by incorrect entries in the registry, but since, as you say, it causes no problems and doesn't interfere with the operation of Add/Remove, I have chosen to leave well enough alone and didn't investigate further.

    If you feel the need to pursue this, I will try to track it for you, but I don't believe it is worth our time and trouble.
     
  3. Frank4d

    Frank4d Retired Trusted Advisor

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  4. valis

    valis Moderator

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    elvandil.....nice to see you back.....

    fwiw, at work, at least on the dell machines, about half of them have that. I've searched high and low, as has the rest of the staff, and the best answer we could get was to flash the bios, which seemed to be rather like swatting a fly with a .50 calibre rifle. As it has caused zero problems other than the 'what the heck is THAT thing' from users that stumble into the add/remove applet, we just let it be. I have yet to see it cause any degradation of system performance, and we've got some pretty processor intensive stuff going on that would, and does, ferret out any weak points.

    Just my plugged nickel's worth.
     
  5. valis

    valis Moderator

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    frank:

    forwarded that to work, will let you know the next machine I run across that has that....good find.
     
  6. Frank4d

    Frank4d Retired Trusted Advisor

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    I have also found "DisplayIcon" entries like "-11" and "-12" that cause the same problem. The "RemoveWhitespaceFromAddRemovePrograms" software won't it fix because the software is only looking only for "-1" without caring about the character following the "-1".

    In this cases I have to manually delete the registry entry. But you have to search all the registry entries in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall to find it.
     
  7. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    It turned out that for me the problem was caused by an exe in the Program Files folder that did not contain an icon. When the exe was removed temporarily from the folder, the black disappeared and the correct entry showed in Add/Remove.

    One solution is to find what entry is causing the problem by comparing the programs you see before and after the black mark to the uninstall entries in the registry:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\

    Then, delete the key for the offending program since it is not visible in Add/Remove anyway and would have to be uninstalled by running the uninsxxx.exe from the program folder.

    But my black area was clearly above and below entries in the programs list--it sounds like yours may be beside some entries in the list, so it may not be the same problem.

    Another solution would be to use another Add/Remove program that is not so sensitive to a missing icon, such as the free MyUninstaller.
     
  8. wingerx5

    wingerx5 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for all the reply. As it seems to be more or less common and hasn't caused anyone any trouble I think I will follow the path of least resistance and ignore it. When I dabble in the registry to fix a minor problem I usually live to regret it.

    wingerx5
     
  9. valis

    valis Moderator

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    frank:

    trick worked great, thanks for pointing me towards it.......
     
  10. Hiawatha

    Hiawatha

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    The problem appeared on my Dell machine when went to remove Google Destop, my programs were list alphabetically and when I checked after removing Google desktop, all the programs starting with letters A to F remained intact and the remainder starting with H to X where repositioned below black rectangle which I found by scrolling to the bottom of the window. The only thing which I did was to install a later version of Google Desktop without removing the original version, could this has caused the problem which appears to be a largely cosmetic one? I spoke to Dell and Microsoft but couldn't get any sense out of them.
     
  11. wingerx5

    wingerx5 Thread Starter

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    Copy of Email sent to Eivandil:

    Hiawatha added a post to this thread that he said was originally posted by you, relating to removing a key in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\ to correct this problem but that section of the my registry does not seem that easy to interpret. The first 36 entries are 30 character entries that appear to be combinations of hex numbers. Then 15 applications identified by name, followed by about 100 numbers starting with KB identified as MS updates, and finally another 31 applications identified by name. The total of hex entries plus named entries is equal to the number of programs shown in the add/remove programs list.

    I suspect it is the KB entries creating the black space but I certainly am not sure and do not know if there is a downside to deleting them. I can't imagine any use for them as they don't appear in the add/remove list, but there is so much I don't know. I am tempted to create a restore point, send them to the bit bucket and see what happens but I don't really know exactly how restore works this might not be a great idea. Especially since the black don't seem to be anything but a nagging nuisance.

    Wingerx5
     
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