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Recommend an Uninstaller ...

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by Bryan84, Sep 14, 2003.

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  1. Bryan84

    Bryan84 Thread Starter

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    Recommend an Uninstaller ...
     
  2. TP109

    TP109

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    Add/Remove Programs works just fine along with a good registry cleaner such as JV16 Power Tools or RegCleaner. For programs, I have used Add/Remove Plus and it's OK, but not much better than the built-in uninstaller in Windows. However, Total Uninstall is a very good program because it monitors the changes made to your system by an installation and then rolls it back to a pre-install condition should you decide to remove the program. System Mechanic is another program that can monitor changes to your system by an installation, although it doesn't include a roll-back feature.
     
  3. Bryan84

    Bryan84 Thread Starter

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    Hey,

    Thanks for mentioning Total Uninstall and System Mechanic.

    I was afarid people would recommend Your Uninstall or Ashampoo one. Because I tried them and don't feel they are good.

    Actually you mentioned about just having a good registry cleaner. I do have what you mentioned. So actually, I do not need any good Uninstaller as I can use those registry cleaner to get rid of the leftover entries by uninstalled programs?

    Bryan
     
  4. telecom69

    telecom69 Gone but never forgotten

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  5. TP109

    TP109

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    Yes, in most cases that would be all you needed, especially if you don't constantly experiment with software. Although other freeware tools exist to take care of leftover dlls, folders, etc., they usually are not needed if you only occasionally uninstall software programs.

    However, like I mentioned, the roll-back programs like Total Uninstall will uninstall every detail. Remember, the uninstall features of programs are largely determined by the creator, so what gets uninstalled using the built-in or Windows uninstaller can vary from program to program. This means that program folders, .dll files, links, registry settings, and menu items often remain, depending on the intent or carelessness of the author. Although these leftovers usually do no harm, they do take up space and can sometimes create confusion or system errors (which often can usually be prevented by using a registry cleaner). So if you are the type who constantly installs and uninstalls programs, I would suggest using a rollback program like Total Uninstall.
     
  6. slipe

    slipe

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    I’ve used Cleansweep for years and wouldn’t be without it. If you monitor the install with csinject active and “fast analysis” off it does an excellent job of monitoring so it can uninstall everything including registry entries made during install. Starting with version 2001 it also monitors the changes made on restart for installations that require that – I don’t know whether other roll-back programs do that.

    Cleansweep will uninstall programs it didn’t monitor as well. It doesn’t do as complete a job but it still makes a backup, which is important. If the uninstall causes a problem you can always restore it back just like it was. It seems to do a more complete job of cross checking for shared files than the Windows uninstall as well.

    I have found over the years I do better not messing with cleanup. Cleansweep does a decent job of the uninstall and any residual registry entries made by the program when you run it are best left alone IMO. A registry backup is great if a problem you induce shows up right away. But if it causes a problem in a program you don’t use for a week or so you have problems. You should keep the Cleansweep backup for at least a month because the same can apply to missing DLLs and VXDs as well as registry entries. I’ve never had Cleansweep cause problems with an uninstall since I learned to not try to out think it, but I keep the backups just the same.

    Cleansweep will also move programs to other drives or computers. It is more reliable for programs it monitored, but that applies to everything for me as Cleansweep is the first thing that goes on my computer. There is a short list of things it shouldn’t monitor. Office and IE are the only things I have it isn’t supposed to monitor. Cleansweep is a good troubleshooter as well. You can start uninstalling programs until you find what is causing problems and just restore the others back exactly like they were with all their links and settings still intact.

    Roll-back programs like Total Uninstall are great for short term to try out a few programs to decide which you like best as long as you uninstall one before trying the next. But it isn’t sufficient for putting on your computer after a fresh install and keeping track of everything. As you install more stuff, files from the earlier installs provide shared files to later installs. The last thing you want to do is roll back the earlier installs with later installed programs depending on sharing files in them. You are better off taking your chances with Add/Remove programs in control panel. Cleansweep provides a totally safe uninstall whether it monitored the install or not. And it provides an uninstall at least as complete as programs like Total Uninstall for programs it did monitor with the added benefit of shared file cross-check and backup of the uninstall.

    It comes on the System Works Pro CD and Eagle has the 2003 version for $10, so it isn’t pricey.
     
  7. Bryan84

    Bryan84 Thread Starter

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    Thanks all for the respond! Yeah I am one who like to experiment with softwares :D
     
  8. slipe

    slipe

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    Another option is GoBack. Make a reference point and go back to it after you have played with the software and decide you don’t want it. The computer is just like it was when you started and you don’t have to worry about anything being left or shared files being removed. SW Pro comes with GoBack. It also comes with Ghost which is even better if you have a partition or drive to store the image on. If you want to mess with a lot of freeware I think SW Pro is well worth the $10: http://store.yahoo.com/saveateaglestore/symnorsyspro3.html
     
  9. TP109

    TP109

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    Slipe made many good points and provides solid information. Yep, I agree Go-back and CleanSweep are good programs, but I don't like the fact that they run in the background, taking up system resources. Total Uninstall is not designed to run in the background, but only as needed. I'm sure that Go-back and CleanSweep can also run optionally on demand, but then that defeats the purpose of these programs-- to sequentially monitor all installations or system changes 24/7. Total uninstall is freeware, and while both Go-back and CleanSweep are not free, they can be bought for cheap. If it wasn't for the fact that to use them effectively, they need to load on startup and stay resident, I would probably use them myself. For some this may not be an issue, but I prefer to keep what programs load at startup to a minimum. For this reason, I don't use either one although I own both as part of Nortons Systems Works (I don't use NSW either). So, if I was to use CleanSweep or Go-back in an on-demand manner, why should I pay for them when I can use Total Uninstall for free.

    BTW, System Mechanic does not do roll-backs, but rather documents the changes made by an installation and issues a report. I own System Mechanic but never used it for that purpose before now. After posting to this thread, I decided to try it out and found it doesn't do roll-backs. So my comments relate only to Total Uninstall. Sorry for any confusion.
     
  10. slipe

    slipe

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    Cleansweep doesn’t take measurable CPU cycles or resources to run in the background. I had Win98/SE running 24/7 for years (sometimes a month without a reboot) with usually 14 items checked in the msconfig startup. I booted to 87% resources with Zone Alarm and 94% with it off. Even with Zone Alarm, which is a resource and CPU hog, I never went below 70% resources. I had a clean running computer and did it by being aware of what was taking my resources and CPU cycles rather than just blindly counting how many were checked. Cleansweep takes a total of 552k of RAM to stay active and I can afford the 25c lifetime investment to keep it running. My XP computer has been running for 3 days and Cleansweep hasn’t used a second of CPU yet. If I go a month without a boot I can sometimes get it to use a whole second of total CPU cycles. Of course resources do not exist on XP, but it didn’t use any in 98 or SE.

    Does Total Uninstall re-reverse the install? In other words, when you have it reverse the install process does it store the reversal so it can put the program back just like it was? If not, it is a short term function only – install a program and if you don’t like it have the install reversed within a short time. That is limited utility IMO. If you aren’t checking for shared programs and not backing up the uninstall you are asking for problems to reverse an uninstall after other programs are installed. Even if it stores the uninstall so it can re-reverse it you will have problems with constantly losing shared files if you put Total Recall on your machine after a clean Windows install and have it monitor all of the installs. If you later use it to remove one of the early installs you can almost count on other programs not working because of shared files being removed. So you have to re-reverse and use the regular uninstall anyway. Cleansweep monitors the install and does a good job of reversing. But it does a thorough job of checking for shared files and stores the uninstall so it can be reversed. You can safely uninstall a program you installed a year ago. You get what you pay for.

    I don’t have GoBack on my computer so I can’t give exact numbers, but on 98/SE it wasn’t a resource hog and didn’t use a lot of CPU. It did take HD space and other people reported little glitchy hiccups when it made a restore point – I never noticed that. I am tech support for friends and family and keep it on their computers though. I have been able to easily fix their computers by phone when they screw them up using GoBack. GoBack butts heads with Ghost – no big deal to work around but I just don’t bother with it. If there is one program you don’t want to be without it is Ghost.
     
  11. hewee

    hewee

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  12. TP109

    TP109

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    I am using Win98SE right now and have Zone Alarm running. I have not had a problem with it ever. I also have WinXP Home on another computer with Zone Alarm. I have uninstalled Zone Alarm with no problems. However, I have had issues with Norton products. Have you ever tried to uninstall Norton Systems Works or other programs? It is a nightmare. That is another problem I have with Norton products, they imbed themselves so deeply into the OS that special removal tools are required from Symantec to remove them and they still don't remove them 100%. In addition, I had constant System errors that I traced to Norton products, and I am not the only one. I don't care for any product that integrates itself with the OS so thoroughly. So it is not only a matter of using resources, but the fact that it is messing with the OS and causing possible errors. In addition, hewee pointed out the Symantec themselves recommend not monitoring certain products. I have a feeling that the list of programs provided is not a comprehensive one.

    I know people who use Goback and it seems to be a good product for newbies. I would say the same thing about CleanSweep. Yes, for newbies I would recommend them, especially if I was responsible for their computers. They probably won't notice the used diskspace and clock cycles anyway. For XP, programs like CleanSweep and GoBack are not as critical because of the ability to restore the computer using the OS itself.

    Yes, you are correct about Total Uninstall being a short-term solution. I want to test software, sometimes for a few minutes, and sometimes for a couple of hours or couple of days. It usually doesn't take long to decide that I don't want it. Like I said before, the Windows add/remove programs feature is sufficient in most cases. It's for suspicious programs that might not uninstall completely that I use a program like Total Uninstall.
     
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