Most effective Uninstaller?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by xheffalumpx, Dec 19, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. xheffalumpx

    xheffalumpx Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Posts:
    62
    Are there any reviews or comparison pages or advice for Uninstaller software? By this I mean software which replaces (or is used instead of) Add/Remove Programs and properly clean up the crap other programs leave behind. For example, registry, dlls, other files and folders their regular uninstaller leaves behind?

    There are a lot out there and I can't tell which one might be considered the most effective and leaves the least amount of junk behind.

    Absolute Uninstaller
    Total Uninstall
    Your Uninstaller
    Ashampoo Uninstaller Suite
    Revo Uninstaller
    Advanced Uninstaller Pro

    The list goes on. I probably missed a few! :) Searching google just brings up lists of vendors sites and no good comparisons!
     
  2. appster

    appster Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Posts:
    530
    Location:
    Paradise (Hawaii)
    While perhaps better than Control Panel's Add/Remove Programs, none of the uninsaller programs do a really good job. The very best way to uninstall is to use one of the instant-restore programs (I use Rollback Rx), taking a snapshot before you install your new software. Then you can do a perfect job of uninstalling it by restoring that snapshot.

    Another good (but not necessarily complete) method is to backup your registry before insalling the new software and then restore that backup after removing the software. While this will get rid of any of the reg-entries planted by the new software, it will not remove any files that it may have planted in your Doc & Settings or Windows folders.
     
  3. xheffalumpx

    xheffalumpx Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Posts:
    62
    Yes I considered the snapshot/rollback method but this also resulted in loss of any newly created data files (documents or whatever else) and if some other application was installed after the one that was being tested (or no longer needed/unwanted).

    Does Rollback RX allow a "back from the future" function so you can roll back but also take certain folders, registry settings and whatever is needed for the "after" programs to continue working properly? I vaguely remember Norton GoBack having some kind of feature to let you take documents with you but it wasn't the most stable program back then so I discontinued using it.
     
  4. appster

    appster Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Posts:
    530
    Location:
    Paradise (Hawaii)
    Yes it does. Furthermore, after restoring a snapshot (or at any other time), RB allows you to search for and recover any files/folders from any other snapshot. I often do that and it works very well.
     
  5. Woody777

    Woody777 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Posts:
    484
    Rollback or FDISR would be best but I use Your Uninstaller & it works fairly effectively if you don't want to learn how to do snapshot programs.
     
  6. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Posts:
    10,632
    For an uninstaller program, I like Total Uninstall best. Its easy to use and I find it more effective than uninstallers like Revo which dont monitor the installation.

    Also you may be interested in this poll: Best Uninstaller
     
  7. Defcon

    Defcon Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Posts:
    332
    It seems to me that using a whole disk imaging solution like Rollback that works at the sector level and hooks into the kernel might be just a little bit overkill for uninstalling a program, unless we're talking about a major uninstall like a Windows service pack or some nasty spyware.
     
  8. poirot

    poirot Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Posts:
    299
    I agree with WSFuser: TotalUninstall.
    I've long used TU version 2 (free), avoiding version 3 which was paid,but the complexity of today kernel-level installs brought me to buy version 4 ,which is a move i will never repent of.
    The new TotalUninstall is a fantastic,very speedy,utterly reliable program.
     
  9. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Posts:
    1,486
    Location:
    Northern Beaches
    In my experience,its not worth too much effort to track down every last vestige of mostly harmless remnants,so I'm quite happy with the last version of Revo Uninstaller,freeware and simple.
     
  10. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Posts:
    1,596
    Location:
    Singidunum
    It is not always a practical solution. If you installed an app (or a patch) and updated your baseline snapshot after that, you'll need an uninstaller to get rid of it.

    I also recommend TotalUninstall for the job, I have tried several major contenders, and finally purchased this one. It was light, fast and reliable.
     
  11. xheffalumpx

    xheffalumpx Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Posts:
    62
    I am a little wary of the rollback imaging type of programs because of a bad experience with Norton GoBack several years ago. It was set up for one computer only fortunately, but that computer was available to various users and necessary to maintain a baseline. It was set up for a daily rollback. One day the rollback just messed up somehow and corrupted the drive. Long story short the end result was a reformat and reinstall, which you can imagine is not desirable especially if it's for more than one computer!

    Now would be nice to have some option to (relatively) cleanly remove any trials or no longer needed products or any such thing, but keep some things which are added after the baseline is created as described above (but not yet enough to warrant a new baseline)
     
  12. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2005
    Posts:
    9,455
    FDISR and RBRx are the very best uninstallers, but it's only usefull for new softwares, not for softwares that have been installed permanently, then you need an uninstaller like Total Uninstall or similar software + Registry cleaner.
    A software like Returnil is in theory also a good uninstaller, except for new softwares that require a reboot during the installation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2007
  13. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Posts:
    2,024
    The industry priorities are mostly concerned with short downtimes of servers,big networks etc.So software vendors jump in to give what they need, its there where they earn their $$,so their objective is to develop softwares to serve these corporate environments,the holy grail in all of this is to create an indestructable restore in any circumstances,thats their priority,and some of these softwares are now almost to the point of perfection.

    As you can understand from this situation that to create an application like Returnil,Powershadow with an opportunity to switch sessions without reboot or to keep it with reboot is not high on their list,obviously the industry is not asking for that !So we have to wait a little longer i guess.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2007
  14. xheffalumpx

    xheffalumpx Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Posts:
    62
    Total Uninstall seems to be a popular choice!

    I must say Returnnil has me very impressed right now! I'm just trying out the free personal edition and so far wow! The "virtualization" made me wonder if it would be slow like Virtual PC 2007 but it seems to run rather well without any noticeable performance impact and if anything things seem to be running a bit faster! Just a tremendous shame there is no option to keep things persistently virtualized and you lose the installed stuff after a reboot.

    If it could keep installed things and some settings virtualized between reboots this would be really great because it would keep the underlying "real" operating system and baseline safe but would allow longer term use of applications and then if I wanted to keep a particular application I could turn off virtualization and install the desired app to the real system, then turn virtualization back on... or even an option to transfer a virtualized app to the real disk, well, that would be very good! :) Works very well for one off testing as it is though
     
  15. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Posts:
    2,585
  16. majoMo

    majoMo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Posts:
    938
    I use ZSoft Uninstaller, freeware, and it does a very good work. For a common user it's a excellent uninstaller - for this users is unnecessary to buy a uninstaller. Uninstallers like Revo, Absolute, Your can't find many registry entries/files (not a few...) that are installed with the software. E.g., they can find merely what the uninstall info allows... Like someone said in this forum such uninstallers are "primarily a front-end for Windows Add/Remove, with a registry cleaner thrown in." Neither more nor less...
     
  17. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Posts:
    6,012
    Location:
    on my zx10-r
    i use the one with jv16 a lot.. and the shampoo one works very well also..
     
  18. RobZee

    RobZee Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    Posts:
    290
    Location:
    Texas
    I have used Total Uninstaller for four+ years and am quite satisfied with it.

    Rob
     
  19. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Posts:
    2,024
    Same here,used it quite some time but then eventually i realise that a few leftovers are not a pain and jus'nt worth to do all kind of things to get rid of these stuff. For test new software i use FDISR,in my experience its more totall then the famous Totalluninstaller.
     
  20. Adric

    Adric Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Posts:
    795
    I can recommend Total Uninstall . One thing I like about total uninstall is that you can see exactly what kind of garbage gets added to your registry. It's amazing what some programs will add to the registry. You can create filters too that will ignore registry changes originating from the system. TU will monitor other actions besides installing applications. The support is excellent regarding any problems you may have. TU is also a good tool for documenting exactly when and what you have done on your system. Try it out for thirty days and remove it if you don't like it. Simple as that.

    Al
     
  21. Mark Klomp

    Mark Klomp Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Posts:
    61
    Most effective must be snapshot-based uninstallers. They make a snapshot of your whole computer (the filesystem & registry database), before and after installation and then compare those snapshots to create a log file of the changes, which can be used to uninstall the software product.
     
  22. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Posts:
    1,212
    Location:
    England
    Here comes a big vote for TOTAL UNINSTALL :D

    What i did notice alot things removed during a monitored uninstall in the windows folder than with a unmonitored. So always do a monitored install or secret changes don't get uninstalled. Example. A install copied 4 hidden files into the windows folder but uninstalling installed applications with Total Uninstall as good as it is in standard mode didn't remove them only when i did a monitored install with it did it uninstall them. All uinstaller software will miss suttle changes unless its a monitored install as installers don't play by the rules. There was no record of any kind from registry or logs etc. to workout that 4 files had been copied to the windows folder unless it was monitored beforehand.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2007
  23. clambermatic

    clambermatic Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Posts:
    216
    since the advent of 'uninstallers'... i have tested a couple, including CCleaner's. But have used CCleaner for almost the past 24mths. A bit sophisticated, but very effective.
     
  24. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Posts:
    2,024
    thats the reason i guess why REVO uninstaller fall short on removing everything after uninstall as it can be used for uninstall an app.,even if it is not previously monitored,in general it does a good job but you have to be precise in checking the uninstall listings, and uninstalling this way for sure will leave behind these hidden folders.
     
  25. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Posts:
    1,486
    Location:
    Northern Beaches
    I came to the same conclusion that it generally wasnt worth too much effort to wipe the slate completely clean.

    Thats why I'm still happy with Revo-does quite a reasonable job.

    If a leftover has to be removed for conflict reasons,I'm now using Runscanner, after Revo.

    Runscanner does a quick, brilliant job of highlighting non-linked reg. entries and drivers etc.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.