Uninstallers - Do you use any?

Discussion in 'polls' started by tempesto, Apr 6, 2009.


Uninstallers - Do you use any one?

  1. Total Uninstall

  2. Your Uninstaller! 2008

  3. Revo Uninstaller

  4. Other (Please, name it).

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. blacknight

    blacknight Registered Member

    I've used Totall Uninstall, but I prefere to clean the system after an unistall using cleaning programs and then handing in the registry. Basically, I periodically restore a clean disk image of True Image.
  2. Someone

    Someone Registered Member

    CCleaner's uninstaller.
  3. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

    No, but don't think it is a bad idea to use them. software makers are better then they use to be about this. I do use almost always the software companies own tool if they have one.
  4. nomarjr3

    nomarjr3 Registered Member

    I use a portable version of Revo Uninstaller.

    I find it better in removing registry entries and left-over folders than the built-in Add/Remove Programs, which could sometimes leave some traces behind.
    (ie. McAfee SiteAdvisor, Google Update, Norton, etc.)
  5. donaddams

    donaddams Registered Member

    Revo Uninstaller, Portable version
  6. siberianwolf

    siberianwolf Registered Member

    i use built-in windows (un)installer. and even though i don't use it, i love the way ashampoo uninstaller takes care of the installation/uninstallation procedure.
    afair, it has a kinda tracker installer that lets you see what changes the newly installed program will have made system-wide, so that you can delete every tiny bit of left overs.
  7. Dan_Aykroyd

    Dan_Aykroyd Registered Member

    Well... not now; not anymore I user a third part uninstaller.

    All my computer life I've trying them, the zillion of variants that came along; and always was wishing that the would really leave my OS in a pristine state (excellent cortez post above, by the way!).

    I go back to when Norton had it's "Norton Uninstaller" (that wouldn't do much!) to trying all the available that are today. I think that as far as you can go is the Total Uninstaller by Martau, which has a great algorithm, but as a side note, with every new release gets more bloated and bloated (check that latest UI in the v5.xxx releases for example!), but it works 99% great in that it scans before and after installing an app, in order to know what to remove then.

    I say 99% because there are some caveats:
    - As the OS gets larger and larger (lots of installed apps), the time the program consumes to scan and rescan is enormous! This happens with every snapshot uninstaller (Ashampoo for example too), because it has a lot of files and registry hives to search for
    - One important point of failure: many applications needs to be uninstalled in a certain, particular way (that way is only described in InstallShield's and such logs) that the third party uninstaller can't handle. For example, an app that install services or resident programs; maybe to uninstall you have to issue specific commands to the app before removing it, then it would do something, then follow the uninstall log for the rest of the process. But snapshots uninstaller don't know how to do that: they just put the services down, try to remove them (I say try because most of the times they are left forever to rot in the services.msc console!), and then delete all the files / registry. Well... that's not a clean state, is it?

    But in any case, the only uninstallers worth trying are the snapshots one... oh my god, I can't even begin to speak about the other uninstallers that don't do anything! Total Uninstaller being today the first example of great marketing + user "naiveness" (ignorance) + hype!!! It just uninstall the fraking applications by running the native uninstaller, then scanning for 1 or 2 other things, and that's all! Your get the feeling that your computer is as if it never had that uninstalled app in it, but you are wrong! Lots of leftovers are in the system! Why? Because Total Uninstaller didn't made a snapshot before, so it doesn't know anything about how to proced! It guess, but in its guessing a lot of clutter is left behind. And like this, there are ZILLION of crapware uninstallers that do the same. Revo, for example, finds more stuff than the average uninstaller, but still leaves a lot of stuff behind!

    Well... my opinion concluded in that it's not worth the effort to use an uninstaller if things just as restoring a disk image or reinstalling the OS are so simple; it's not like that you'll have the OS forever in your computer; in which case ultra detailed manteinance would be mandatory!

    Hope this "explanation" helps someone out there! See you and looking forward to participate in your great forum guys!
  8. vizhip

    vizhip Registered Member

    After a problem with an uninstaller program, I reverted to the add/remove programs and if there is a corrupt installation, I use cleaners in the registry or regedit...

    Regards -
  9. Gaeko

    Gaeko Guest

    I don't use uninstallers.
    Add/Remove Prgrograms from control panel. :cool:
  10. PsychEroc

    PsychEroc Registered Member

  11. miki69

    miki69 Registered Member

    Your Uninstaller! PRO. Works as a charm :)
  12. tipstir

    tipstir Registered Member

    Revo is great, I would caution everyone who uses it as it might remove stuff that is needed on those that do a reboot after uninstall. I had to recover from disaster couple of times. Software that hooks into your system might be better of using Add/Remove than Revo. Use Revo on software that can be remove easy. Otherwise you'll have to re-install the software then pull it out again under Add/Remove.
  13. majoMo

    majoMo Registered Member

    To do an accurate uninstall I use the excellent ZSoft Uninstaller.

    FREE of course... With it there no need to use a payware...

  14. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

    I too advise caution, I once had a game that uninstalled IE along with the game...someone else was running Revo at the time, it wasn't me, oh no :oops: However, if you watch what you're doing, Revo is fantastic. Too many programs still leave behind reminders of their past existence. I always delete everything I possibly can before I let a program that needs to reboot the system do so. That leaves little chance for anything to stay behind.
  15. tipstir

    tipstir Registered Member

    Well true I use the advance settings still if your going to remove a firewall and any HIPS and then use Revo. Some of these firewall adds virtual cloaked-device driver that doesn't show-up at all. If you use Revo to do it then the firewall extra crap could be left behind! When you reboot the system there would be an unknown hardware device could appear with a yellow (!). Again to fix such a problem after using Revo you'll need to install the firewall again then remove it yourself.

    All I say just be careful.. If you want to remove the crap after a file has been removed. Reboot and run a trusted safe application/cleanup tool.
  16. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

    When I just want to checkout an app (or trial version), I take an Eaz-Fix snapshot before installing it and if I find that the app isn't my 'cup of tea', I simply restore that EF snapshot - which is the perfect uninstaller! But when I want to uninstall an app after having used it for a long period of time, I use Revo. Revo does a pretty good job (imho, a better job than Windows' Add-Remove Programs), but it doesn't find all associated reg-entries (as evidenced by subsequent registry searches).
    Last edited: May 12, 2009
  17. Dan_Aykroyd

    Dan_Aykroyd Registered Member

    Yeah... EAZ-Fix is great, but has more than one cons that made me stop using it. But I simply loved the concept of instant recovery, on the fly, by it overriding the low level file allocation in the disk platters.
    I think that, when possible, the best thing is to just use a VM running Windows XP or similar, and test the apps there. The thing is that, sometimes, you want to test certain application in your REAL setup, then something along the lines of a great uninstaller / snapshoter comes along.
  18. majoMo

    majoMo Registered Member

    To test an app. - that doesn't need reboot - I use SandboxIE OR Returnil. And I see the files/Registry changes with SandboxDiff (when using SandboxIE) and System Explorer'Snapshot feature (Returnil).

    When I install in real system: 1. Registry backup with ERUNT before to install; 2. Analyze installation with ZSoft Uninstaller to have the log that will allow to do an accurate uninstall with ZSoft later.

    To use the Ignore List feature could help.

    To avoid this kind of issues is adviced to uninstall with the native uninstaller firstly ever (and to reboot if requested by the native uninstaller). After this to use the uninstaller'snapshot based (like ZSoft/Total Uninstall).

    In this way there is no further needed to use removal tools... as Norton, McAfee, Comodo, PC Tools, Adobe, etc. like to build... :D

  19. Dan_Aykroyd

    Dan_Aykroyd Registered Member

    Yes... that's what I always thought, as in that way the native uninstaller would unload services etc., but I've read somewhere, in a snapshot uninstaller's help file (Total Uninstall or Ashampoo probably) that you shouldn't be doing that; that for it to work best it would have to be the only uninstalling the app. 99% that it was in TU help file... :doubt:
  20. majoMo

    majoMo Registered Member

    Like I use ZSoft - I uninstall with the native uninstaller firstly ever!

    TU'Help file clarify this issue - profile question:

    Choose between available uninstall profiles:

    · Total uninstall - perform all actions to uninstall the monitored program completely. This profile should not be used for programs that were already uninstalled (with Total Uninstall or with its own uninstaller).
    · Total uninstall using first the provided uninstaller - launch first the provided uninstaller to stop the self-protected services and continue to uninstall the left behind items. This profile is preselected if Total Uninstall detects that the program is an anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, driver and other program that install system devices.
    · Clean up - will perform the necessary actions to uninstall a monitored program that was already uninstalled using its own uninstaller.

  21. Creer

    Creer Registered Member

    I use only built-in Windows uninstaller, don't need anything else.
  22. Keyboard_Commando

    Keyboard_Commando Registered Member

    ^^ I 100% agree

    ^^ :thumbd:

    I have been messing around with Revo Uninstaller to uninstal Comodo. I found that its better just to use Comodo's own uninstall process. On Medium setting Revo removes just as efficiently as Comodos own uninstaller, its really no better.

    I do not recommend using Revos advanced setting at all if you are a Comodo user. Revos Advanced setting deletes Comodo's removal tool before it has time to actually initiate and do its job of removing the application fully. So on reboot you are left with a hideous amount of registry entries.

    You are just scraping the application off the drive by using Revos Advanced setting. And leaving most of the deepest hooked components still lingering.
  23. Keyboard_Commando

    Keyboard_Commando Registered Member

    Here's what I found happening when I used Revo to uninstall Comodo (CIS).

    If I use Comodo's own uninstaller and reboot to remove the application there are just two registry entries doing a reg search.


    Medium (default) removal setting finds 5 registry entries.


    Medium finds 169 files and folders.


    On reboot and opening Regedit I found just two registry enties. Same two entries Comodo's own uninstaller leaves behind.

    Advanced Revo removal setting finds 27 registry entries.


    Advanced finds 177 file and folders.


    On reboot and a search through the registry I found 36 Comodo instances. There were multiple legacy entries for the main application components, CMDGUARD, CMDAGENT, CMDHELP, COMODOBACKUPSERVICE. Its an absolute nightmare to remove them all as you have to gain privilege permission to manually delete.

    Certainly Revo uninstaller is of no benefit when removing Comodo. I think you can do more damage than good if you are not careful.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009
  24. Gizzy

    Gizzy Registered Member

    I use Revo, :)

    Also I'm wondering if some people understand Revo or most uninstallers for that matter,

    Everyone does realize that they're just using the uninstaller that would be used with Add/Remove or from the start menu for the program right? (assuming they're used correctly)

    Just programs like Revo search the HDD after using the uninstaller that came with the program to see if it can find any leftover files/registry keys, and Add/Remove just uses the uninstaller that came with the program it doesn't do anything extra except give you a place to find all the uninstallers.

    Same with Revo if you use the "built-in" option then it will act just like Add/Remove.
  25. majoMo

    majoMo Registered Member

    Keyboard_Commando, thanks to share with us your test.

    It seems Revo has limitations when own app.'uninstaller needs to reboot to do a complete uninstall. If Revo deletes a app. file needed to do the uninstall after reboot, some info could be lost - and the app. uninstaller can't do their entire task.