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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 6
New Member
On someone's suggestion, I downloaded a program I thought I could use and it didn't work. When I tried to uninstall it, the uninstallation process was incomplete. There are still three files which refuse to go away.

I tried to simply delete them, but I get the message:

"Click Apply. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation."

How does one provide confirmation? I can't find that in Windows Help.

Thank you.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,788
Likes: 14
Are you signed on as administrator? XP won't let just anybody change or delete system files

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 165
Originally Posted by John Dunn
On someone's suggestion, I downloaded a program I thought I could use and it didn't work. When I tried to uninstall it, the uninstallation process was incomplete. There are still three files which refuse to go away.

I tried to simply delete them, but ...

This is the kind of thing that has frustrated the #@*& out of me from day one with Microsoft operating systems. Do Mac users have this problem? mad

Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 404
Actually, yes. Since I first started using Mac OS in 1991, I've been waiting for them to include a useful uninstaller. Even if the program installs itself in a package, there are preferences and extensions all over the place. Sadly, not many programs come with uninstallers to get all the extra krud out.

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 763
I've noticed that a lot of programs, especially those Freeware/Shareware programs don’t have good uninstallers.
Some trial version software that have a limited number of days you can use them often intentionally don't remove all files and also create registry entries to provide a usage timer/counter. This is mainly to prevent someone from just uninstalling and reinstalling the software and using it for free indefinitely.

It could just be that one of the uninstall files created during installation is corrupt or missing. Sometimes reinstalling and uninstalling the program again will do the trick, but don't know if that's an option for you.

What OS are you using and how is your computer setup?
Are you actually logged in as Administrator or using an account with full Administrative privileges?
I have my computer set up with very restricted user access, so that software can only be installed or removed when I log on specifically as Administrator.
As a side note, I've always been told that this is supposed to at least help lessen the chances of compiled Batch [.bat] and Visual Basic Script [.vbs] files from creating Executable [.exe] files and installing Malware in the background, but of course, this could all be just smoke and mirrors.

I don't know how far you really want to go with it, but if I truly have stubborn files that just won’t go away on their own or I can't remove from within Windows, I restart in SafeMode, log on as Administrator and then remove those files manually. Then I run regedit.exe and search HKEY_LOCAL MACHINE_SOFTWARE for entries with that software’s name then delete them.
I will also do a Registry keyword search [Edit/Find] for anything else specifically with that programs or venders name and delete those keys and data strings.
After I'm sure I can restart the computer normally, I will run RegClean 4.3 to clean out any orphan entries left behind.

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,788
Likes: 14
One of the problems with uninstallers is some programs replace DLL files that you need with their version. When you uninstall, they are not sure what to do about these files so they leave them alone. In some cases that DLL may have even been modified by another program since your install so simply putting it back to what it was might kill the newer program you aren't uninstalling.
The joys of windoze huh?
I really like totally self contained programs like Paint Shop 4 and Agent that don't need to be installed. They just run as a clean EXE and go away when you close them. That is the way it used to be before W98 and some guys still write code that way.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 354
pdh Offline
Linux is not without similar problems with different packages wanting to use the same file, but wanting different versions. In some cases, there are version conflicts where no single version can satisfy all packages. I've run into this a few times with applications written in Perl where they depend on bugs, or fixes to bugs, in various Perl modules.

Programmers these days like to make use of so much already existing code and many programmer toolkits. That means lots of library dependencies. And they almost always do not make any provision in their application for keeping those modules or libraries in private (for the application) areas when their application depends on specific versions.

It's not the OS per se. It's just bad programming (or abusive programming in some cases). But the world of Windows applications certainly has a lot more bad/abusive programmers around.

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