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Thread: Removing from the registry (in XP) as a way to uninstall programs

  1. #1
    Triple Platinum Member wumply's Avatar
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    Removing from the registry (in XP) as a way to uninstall programs

    Hi:

    The following instructions came from:

    http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000568.htm


    Note: Please be aware that modifying the registry improperly can cause issues with your computer.

    1. Click Start, Run and type regedit. 2. Within the registry, open the below key.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

    3. Within the above registry key, select the program you wish to uninstall from the right side of the window.

    Let's assume I want to uninstall a program that is not working, so I can start fresh...re-download and re-install. I'd try Add/Remove first of course. Let's further assume Add/Remove (after 2-3 tries) says it can't remove it. Let's say the program is Macromedia Flash Player.

    So I go into the registry as per the above instructions. I go to where I can see the list of programs I could uninstall. Macromedia Flash Player is not there--no Macromedia...no just 'Flash Player'. So I go on down and I find a Shockwave folder and nested in or under that a folder call 'authorware'. I also find another folder in the primary uninstall list--that is, it is not nested--called Shockwave Flash. When I click on any of these folders, I see 3-4 entries on the RIGHT side of the window, all preceded by the lower case
    letters ab. OK. Let's say I want to uninstall 'Authorware' and "Flash Player'--the works. I would highlight those right side entries and then go edit > delete--is that correct?

    It's what instruction #3 above said...but for my edification, why would I just not delete the folders in question on the left side?

    Final question; If I follow the instructions, is that a guarantee the program(s) will be uninstalled or can that be a risky assumption?
    I've created my own website...a collection of moving, sad and happy and humorous poems which I would like to share with others. They come from stories my dad used to tell me when I was a kid. If you could glance at my site and if you know of others who might enjoy it and perhaps tell them of it, I would be most appreciative. Thank you. The address is www.metrocast.net/~wumply/exper-1.html

  2. #2
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    See this mskb article on How to Manually Remove Programs from the Add or Remove Programs Tool

    http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=314481

    Deleting the key will only remove the program from Currently installed programs list. To uninstall the program you need to remove all related registry entries, folders and files that exist as a result of the program installation.

  3. #3
    Triple Platinum Member wumply's Avatar
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    Thanks, Kane. I am learning bit by bit...and I'm wondering if you would perhaps answer another couple of questions.

    1. What are the entries marked ab on the right side of the screen and do they need to be deleted too if one is deleting ALL re a given program.

    2. Is it always the case that each entry in the registry will be specifically identifiable as belongin to a given program and if not, what does one do? If such an instance arises, do you just have to sort of search around the site of the company who wrote the program or the downloading source and hope you find the desigrnation used for it in the registry? Sometimes I get the feeling that is how it is.

    For example, I believe I have V. 8.0.22.0 Flash Player on my computer because when I right click on the image I am viewing in an .swf file at a site (littleguy.swf), it tells me I have V. 8. But it is not in Add/Remove, nor do I find it in the registry.

  4. #4
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    1. The registry consists of two basic components: i. Key ii. Value
    Keys are used to organize the values (and shown only in the left pane). Values contain the actual information stored in the Registry (and shown only in the right pane). There are quite a few different types of values that can be stored in the registry, but the most common that you will see are String (REG_SZ), DWORD (REG_DWORD) and Binary (REG_BINARY). String values are indicated by the "ab" icon and store strings that can represent elements such as names, filenames, paths, and types.

    For example, in the Uninstall\CCleaner subkey, you will find the following:
    DisplayName Cantains a REG_SZ value that holds the string “CCleaner (remove only)”
    UninstallString Contains a REG_SZ value that holds the string "C:\Program Files\CCleaner\uninst.exe"

    When you select CCleaner in the Add/Remove Programs tool, the program in the UninstallString entry is executed, performing the uninstallation.

    2. Each subkey under uninstall subkey represents a specific program. Many of the installed programs registry entries will show with their names but many others will show with a key label such as:

    {333BECA0-DED8-4139-A516-8D9E44E22669}

    To determine which program that each key represents, click the key, and then view the DisplayName, UninstallString values in the details pane on the right.

    If the program is not listed in the Windows Add/Remove Programs feature of Control Panel and there is no uninstall support included in the program, there still is a relatively simple way to remove the program. However you should contact and ask the author how first.

    Macromedia Flash Player installer doesn’t provide uninstaller that’s why it is not listed in Add/Remove Programs.

  5. #5
    Triple Platinum Member wumply's Avatar
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    Kane,I just noticed...

    I'd been taking a 2nd. look at our posts today and noticed your statement that Macromedia does not provide an uninstaller for Flash Player so that was why it was not in the Add/Remove area. But Flash Player 7.0 was there and for a while until I did a Repair Install, Flash player 8 was there too. Flash Player 7 is still there, unremovable...but Flash Player 8 is gone. I didn't uninstall V. 8--that occurred, i believe, when I did the Repair Install (a la michaelstevens.)

  6. #6
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    1. See the Macromedia Flash Player Removal instructions:

    http://www.macromedia.com/support/flashplayer/

    Macromedia Flash Player does not support Uninstallation from Windows Add/Remove Programs.

    2. Macromedia Flash Player was/is still listed in your Add/Remove Programs tool because your registry contains incorrect windows installer configuration information.

    Run the windows installer cleanup utility and remove only the entry for Macromedia Flash Player (version 7.0.19.0).

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