uninstaller

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Arcanez, Apr 8, 2012.

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  1. Arcanez

    Arcanez Registered Member

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    hi there,

    can anyone recommend an uninstaller tool like revo uninstaller, total uninstall or something similar? Don't have any experience with these kinds of software as I used the usual windows install/uninstall routine. Do these programs install/uninstall any better without any leftovers in the registry? If so those might be pretty good to prevent your registry from getting trashed up. Are these programs even worth spending on? Is there any uninstaller that's supposed to be the best in it's category??
     
  2. guest

    guest Guest

    Revo Uninstaller Portable is what I use, sometimes. Revo Uninstaller Pro and Total Uninstall are probably the best ones of the category.

    I don't really think it's worth spending money on these uninstaller tools. Almost always, you can manually find any leftovers and/or these leftovers have no practical effects on performance. Worth mentioning is the fact that even the best uninstaller tools may sometimes skip leftovers from software, especially from software's installations that weren't monitored. And, in order to automatically monitor every new installation, these uninstaller tools can consume more system resources than most kinds of leftovers. :doubt:
     
  3. ichito

    ichito Registered Member

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    It's hard to say what is "the best"...I'm using many years portable version of Revo...few months ZSoft Uninstaller
    http://www.zsoft.dk/index/software_details/4
    in portable version...and few days Advanced Uninstaller PRO that now is free
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=321361
    Each of them is useful and worth of attention...each have some individual and unique features...and everyone have to choose according to what is needed. AU Pro has many useful features and looks very interesting...but in my experience every uninstaller leaves junk in files and registry entries. Good choise is to use Regseeker and Everything or UltraSearch to clean registry and disk space.
     
  4. berryracer

    berryracer Suspended Member

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    My Experience with Revo Uninstaller:

    I read that it is the best Uninstaller so I went ahead and purchased it...then I formatted my system and recorded every app install with Revo Uninstaller exactly as per the instructions...

    one day...Firefox was updated...so I used Revo Uninstaller to uninstall Java in order to install the new version and guess what....it wiped my entire Firefox profile... I had to redownload all my addons....login into sites...and configure all the settings


    when I emailed support...they just issued me a refund...I think they have had this issue from many customers

    word of advice.... don't bother with these uninstallers...they are just a gimmick...just uninstall normally...

    If you are uninstalling an Antivirus. it is best to use AppRemover as that gets rid of all the Antivirus registry entries and left overs and its FREE
     
  5. Dark Shadow

    Dark Shadow Registered Member

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    I can do a better job and a safer job manually finding left over drivers and registry keys that are left behind then these automated tools.Even aggressive registry cleaners leave things and in some case's bork a system.

    I never borked my system manually, but have borked it with automated tools before.In fact my windows keycode got wiped once and had to re enter it after words to validate a genuine windows copy.
     
  6. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    Hi Sir Peter Pan, Your post confused me a little. You said you use Revo, and then told us you can do better manually and these apps aren't worth the trouble. After staring at a Revo Pro sale for 2 weeks I went for it yesterday. Today I read these posts saying we should pass it up. I wish I had waited 1 more day. :p
     
  7. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    This is an issue not only for Revo but also other uninstallers which work the same way and try to find left other files and registry keys when you uninstall software - they sometimes find data not related to the program you are uninstalling. If you are going to use such uninstallers, you really need to take the time and have a look at what they are going to remove so you can find and unselect any erroneous entries.

    Or, on the other hand you could just use the software's standard uninstaller, as the left over data missed by the uninstaller, usually won't have an impact on system performance.

    It is an excellent program and I use it myself. Uninstalling antivirus software is one of the few instances where running the standard installer is sometimes not enough.
     
  8. berryracer

    berryracer Suspended Member

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    D!tto!!
     
  9. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    i restore a system image to uninstall software. :p

    takes me roughly 3 minutes to restore an image. :)
     
  10. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    Right. I also use Rollback rx. But as someone pointed out, what about the app you've had on your computer for some time, that appears on all your images or snapshots?
     
  11. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    most of the apps i use are portable.
    very few are given 'permanent residence'. ;) (3 out of 20, actually)
     
  12. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    I've used Revo on 32 bit Windows, and Advanced Uninstaller and "Your Uninstaller" on Windows 64 bit. These all initially run the regular uninstall first. Then they scan for leftover file and registry information. If you can remove files and registry entries yourself then you don't need these, but in my experience they have worked well. I've never had a problem where the uninstaller has incorrectly identified files and registry keys. Still I take a minute and review the entries to make sure they relevant before removing them. By the way Advanced Uninstaller Pro is now free. See this thread:

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=321361
     
  13. pegr

    pegr Registered Member

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    In my experience, leaving redundant entries in the registry rarely has a measurable impact on system performance but incorrectly removing a needed entry from the registry can have serious consequences for system stability.

    My experience of third-party uninstallers like Total Uninstall is that they are only really worthwhile when using their monitored install feature to track all file system and registry changes made when installing applications. This involves taking snapshots of the file system and registry before and after installing an application then comparing the two snapshots to create an installation log of the changes made. The log is then used to reverse the changes when uninstalling the application.

    Although it sounds attractive, there are a number of potential pitfalls.

    Firstly, while registry changes can be completely reversed, file system changes can't because what gets logged is a record of which files and folders get created, deleted, or changed, but not a backup of the files themselves. One consequence of this is that monitored snapshots should never be used to uninstall complex applications where it may be necessary to restore a set of original files from a backup folder made by the application's own installer during an installation or an upgrade. For that reason, the safest procedure is always to use the application's own uninstaller first and only to use the third-party installer to clean up and remove any leftover traces at the end.

    Secondly, a monitored install of an application may record background system activity unrelated to the installation. Some of this may need to be excluded from the install log before using the log to clean up leftover traces when uninstalling. Failure to correctly identify and remove unrelated background activity before using the log to reverse the changes may result in system instability later.

    Thirdly, not all activity relating to installing and uninstalling an application may involve the local file system and registry. For example, an application's own uninstaller may go online to a registration server in order decrement the count of machines on which the application is currently installed. If a third-party uninstaller is used instead, the registration server won't be contacted. It may then not be possible to reinstall the application again later. This is another reason why third-party uninstallers should only be used for cleaning up leftover traces.

    Third-party uninstallers can be useful if handled carefully but, as with registry cleaners, they can lead to system instability or a broken system if used injudiciously.
     
  14. Dark Shadow

    Dark Shadow Registered Member

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    @ pegr Excellent post and very informative as well.:thumb:
     
  15. pegr

    pegr Registered Member

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    Thanks. :)

    Regards
     
  16. berryracer

    berryracer Suspended Member

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    Excellent post bro!

    Also, what about apps you install that install another app?

    For example...

    When I install Smooth Video Project that helps play any video file @ 60 FPS with superb quality, it installs also along with it, on a separate installer: ffdshow, LAV, Haali Media Splitter, Re-Clock......so those are separate installs...

    I feel that if I use the uninstaller which have recorded the installation earlier, it may break everything.....very bad idea IMHO
     
  17. pegr

    pegr Registered Member

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    Yes, another example of multiple changes all getting captured together as part of a single installation log, which as you rightly say could break everything if the installation log is used to do an uninstall later.

    I have also experienced issues in the past doing monitored installs of software that requires a reboot. A lot of extra background activity typically gets generated at boot time. All of this needs to be identified and removed from the installation log before it can safely be used later to uninstall the designated application.

    What all of this indicates is that software installation can be a complex business - too complex for uninstallation to be handled by simple snapshot reversal in many cases. That's why I believe that third-party uninstallers should only be used to clean up traces left behind by an application's own uninstaller, and only then with extreme care.

    Personally, I no longer use third-party uninstallers. I got fed up with having to inspect the installation logs every time, looking for and removing background activity created by the operating system and other already installed applications, always with the chance that if something important got missed the result could be an unstable system later. It's not always obvious which changes belong to the application and which are background activity that should be ignored.

    If I'm testing software that I may not want to keep, I prefer to make an image before starting and restore the system from that later. It's guaranteed to remove all traces of the software installation and leave the system in exactly the state in was it before the install. True, it can sometimes mean having to manually reapply some later changes to bring the system back up to date after the restore, but it's a much safer procedure that won't lead to a borked system.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  18. berryracer

    berryracer Suspended Member

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    Word! Disk Images FTW bro

    I install Windows...configured all my settings, folder locations, windows updates, then create first image using Acronis True Image

    then I install Office 2010, perform all updates, configure Outlook, then create image 2

    Then I install all drivers, then create image 3

    Then install Adobe Photoshop CS 5.1 and Illustrator CS 5.1, configure them, then create image 4

    Then install apps that rarely get updated like Nero 11 and PowerDVD and others, then create image 5

    Then i install all my other apps

    Anything goes wrong, then I can choose any of the images above to go back

    Beats any registry cleaner or uninstaller app by a big margin and is 100% the right way to do
     
  19. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    Many good points, thank you. To this I would add the situation where the app uninstaller wants to reboot the system at the end. Typically I would cancel the reboot and finish the uninstall with Revo, however when uninstalling system level software, such as security software, it's safer to allow the app uninstaller to reboot the system and completely finish before doing anything else. Interfering with the removal of system level drivers could leave the system unbootable.

    To your point about monitored installs, in some cases uninstalling without a log to reference might actually be safer since the uninstaller will just look for files and keys directly related to the application. That's just a speculation though, as I haven't worked with previously monitored installs.
     
  20. ViVek

    ViVek Registered Member

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  21. pegr

    pegr Registered Member

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    Yes, I agree this is much safer. To test the efficiency of using third-party uninstallers this way, what I've done in the past is to do a monitored install but not use the installation log to do the uninstall. I've then used the installation log to clean up the remaining traces that the third-party uninstaller left behind. I found that for the most part, without a monitored installation log, third-party uninstallers don't perform much better than the application's own uninstaller, typically leaving a number of application registry entries still remaining - at least that was my experience.

    There is no doubt that monitored installs are able to remove leftover traces of a software installation but they also have the potential to undo other system changes unrelated to the application and therein lies the problem. It's a question of whether the potential benefit of removing some leftover registry entries is worth the risk of breaking something. It's fundamentally the same question that the use of registry cleaners poses.
     
  22. pegr

    pegr Registered Member

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    Agreed. Dedicated removal tools like AppRemover that are targeted towards the removal of specific applications are well worthwhile. Sometimes security vendors provide their own removal tool for a particular product. Again, these are well worthwhile.
     
  23. PaulBB

    PaulBB Registered Member

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    IObit Uninstaller 2.1.0.71 (no installation required)

    http://www.snapfiles.com/get/iobituninst.html
    http://www.snapfiles.com/screenshots/iobituninst.htm
     
  24. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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  25. berryracer

    berryracer Suspended Member

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    Yes the best Uninstaller that broke my Firefox profile / add-ons upon uninstalling just one app :rolleyes:
     
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