"I just want it off my machine! Is that so hard?"
Why is uninstalling so hard?
Back in the good old days, before there was a Microsoft Registry,
a software package pretty much sat in its own subdirectory.
Delete the directory, it's uninstalled. Plain and simple.
The recommended way on a Microsoft system is to use the
Add/Remove Programs feature to Uninstall a package. If
you're here, there's a good chance that didn't work for
you and you're looking for a do-it-yourself solution.
Be forewarned, when you play in the registry, you're taking
your system's life into your own hands. We assume no
responsibilty for what happens next.
Why is this program starting?
Now days, programs on Microsoft platforms can be invoked at startup
from a number of different places. So if you've got a rogue
program that won't go away, you need to check several places.
Just like the DOS days, the file AUTOEXEC.BAT
hold programs to start at boot time. Admittedly, this
method is used less and less with Windows NT, 2000, and XP.
The StartUp Group
Each user has a group that contains a directory of programs (or
shortcuts) that get fired up. This also resides on your
filesystem. Go check out what's in:
Be aware that the Microsoft Registry can also contain a list of
programs to run. You'll need to invoke REGEDIT
, or an alternate registry editor to make these
changes. Check out the location:
The Entry Still Appears in the Install/Uninstall List
If a software package is removed manually, or if something goes
seriously wrong, or if the uninstall process is immature, then
you could be left with orphaned entries in your Install/Uninstall list.
To make them go away, you can delete registry entries under:
Note that the UninstallString tells what program the system
thinks should be run to clean up after the appliation. If you've
deleted it already, you may have orphaned some things you shouldn't.
You might need to download a registry cleaner/scrubber to fix this;
it will scan the registry looking for things that don't belong there
and remove them.
It won't let me edit the Windows Registry...
Sometimes a machine is locked down fairly hard, and you can't make
the registry changes you need. Usually what you can
is find the file on the system that's getting invoked or loaded
and rename it, and if that fails, usually changing the directory name
works well too.