What is the purpose of Legacy entries in the registry?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by djg05, Oct 15, 2006.

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  1. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    I have found that when using RegSeeker and the like that they are unable to remove all the entries for a program you have uninstalled. There are entries that are stuck and seem to be mostly 'Legacy' entries. What is the purpose of these and why will they not remove? After a lot of hunting around I have worked out how to do it, but it is a lot of hassle.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2006
  2. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    This may be unrelated, not sure:

    Photoshop uses legacy serial numbers (from older versions of photoshop that you had) because you may have plugins that were installed using the old number and cannot be installed to your new version which has a different serial number. I don't know if that qualifies as a legacy entry, but it is called a legacy serial number.


    -HandsOff
     
  3. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    Thanks

    I have had a search around Google and seems the reasons are many and varied and can be a minefield if this thread is to be believed.

    The main reason is was after it was that I could not get rid of Comodo completely. It leaves a lot of entries behind but do not know the purpose of them.
     
  4. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    As in Comodo anti-spam software? - Not familiar with this!

    I looked at that article you referenced, it is pretty interesting stuff! I, personally, hate the patronizing Microsoft "we will prevent you from hurting yourself (and fixing your problems) attitude. Would it really be that much harder to instead post a warning explaining the risks involved?

    Anyway, I guess my reference was completely different, though the term "legacy" does make one wonder. Legacy implies something left behind, not something current. I guess that would mean old hardware, and drivers. But why the need to store information on components no longer in the system? I guess it could be for devices or software that load drivers that are not currently connected? Possible. Or maybe this is where microsoft stores information related to hardware changes so that it can perform the notorious prevention of re-installation of windows on computers that have had "too many hardware changes"? - I have no idea, but the information must be stored somewhere! Also there is the question of where informtion is stored for trial versions of programs so the the software vender can insure that a user is not simply re-installing a fully functional trial every 30 days, or whatever. I only mention that because that strikes me as sort of a "legacy", and one where there would be a reason to leave something behind. All, just idle speculation, but your article is very good as it does give the daring user some options.

    Finally, I hope you did not miss the references to the device manager, and to first go up to the menu bar and check show hidden devices, and then expand "non-pnp drivers" (in the device manager tree). This may explain my relatively successful removal of Norton Anti-Virus and Firewall. The danger here, of course is that you better know what the drivers are that you are deleting. Not hard to check, and hopefully they were named something that makes sense, but you know how that goes! Also interesting was the part about the "cmd sc...." to remove items from the services list. I have a couple of those (Norton of course). they are disabled and don't do anything bad so the smart thing is to just let them be....but...well, we'll see! Good article though! I'd definitely take a look at the non-pnp drivers and see if you can delete them from there.


    -HandsOff
     
  5. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    When I first followed that link I did not realise it was a MS one, but the attitude there soon made me realise. I did not like the "you are not allowed to". It is my machine!


    Yes I did go through those - thanks. I found a lot of inactive one that no longer had any drivers installed. There were no other active ones I thought should not be there.

    I have over 120 legacy entries which does seem a lot.
    Don't know if you picked this up but the way to remove them is to also use regedit32 to alter the permissions but has to be done with extreme caution (for others reading this).
     
  6. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Hi David,

    Well, I used to be one of those who could not rest if something were listed that should not be there, but now I am much more likely to just live with it, as long as I am not seeing any fuctional side effects. It's not that I'm scared to, it's more like, it can take a long time and it may not even help. But like you say, it's that you can't do this language that usually gets me going. It's kind of fun to make our own decisions once in a while. I do know someone with a printer that has some horrible driver problem that sounds like it could be a legacy issue. Maybe this could help!

    HandsOff
     
  7. LaFemmeMichele

    LaFemmeMichele Registered Member

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    Hi,
    I've uninstalled McAfee. I too have undeletable legacy registry keys that seem to correlate with (the values are the same(--the endings are the same as)) three entries in Services.msc which are disabled--I found them stopped & changed them to disabled on the Properties General tab & Log on tab. Nothing was on the Dependancies tab.
    They are as follows:

    Progra~\McAfee.com\Agent\mcupdmgr.exe

    Program files\McAfee.com\Agent\mctskshd.exe

    Program files\McAfee.com\Agent\mcdetect.exe

    The files for these were deleted prior to finding these in Services.msc.
    Windows Security Center recognizes McAfee as still present. I have a thread on here "Am I Running 2AV/FWs"?... I haven't a solution yet. At the time I wrote it I was unaware of the legacy keys. I just ran a search & found your thread. My PC is asymptomatic of any problem.
    I was given a Windows Security Center fix to rebuild its data base which I haven't used. Your reference on here to Norton leaving drivers & the legacy keys made me think you could shine a little light on my dilemma. I read the thread you referenced--I didn't understand it. I will gladly leave things alone if that is the best solution. I'd love your input. I'm a novice.
     
  8. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    I have just had great difficulty in getting rid of Process Guard and was unable to do anything with the Legacy entries. In the end I had to go to safe mode and delete the program in Explorer looking in the folder and for any files in the Windows folder. You may find that the McAffee uninstall works better in this mode.

    Next I used RegSeeker to find all the relevant entries in the registry and by double clicking on them I could delete them with Regedit - just to make sure they went.

    There is an update to Regseeker here which I have found works better in normal windows than the earlier version. Might be worth trying that first. It would pay to back up your registry first.
     
  9. LaFemmeMichele

    LaFemmeMichele Registered Member

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    Hi,
    I did the uninstall in Safe Mode! If my registry cleaner has a "seek" feature, McAfee hid! In the few hours that have elapsed since writing in this thread, I have been deleting Legacy keys with a Microsoft tech on the phone. The secret is giving "permission" to allow you to delete. No big deal. I'd probably have finished, am curious what else we'd have done, but the line went dead. I know this tech wouldn't have disconnected me (unlike the McAfee live chat "Refresh the page" routine!). I looked at the clock, it happened at the exact moment the support hours for Saturday end.
    Something he told me I noted was that removal tools can remove bits of the operating system. Taking risks seems to be unavoidable in ridding your PC of certain products. Does anyone else make a site advisor? I don't want to see McAnything ever again!

    Edit: I've just come from reading about Enum & Legacy keys on Microsoft. I'm left to wonder if what the Microsoft tech had me doing, deleting all keys under the search Find McAfee, was the appropriate action! Is Microsoft's ominous writing overkill or were the tech's directives? Any insight would be deeply appreciated.

    New Edit: I've yet to unravel the mysteries of Enum, however I did resolve my dilemma by allowing the Windows Security Center to rebuild its data base.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2006
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