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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger baumgrenze's Avatar
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    Uninstalled Old Program Removal

    Perhaps this 'Subject' sounds unusual. Perhaps the circumstances are.

    I recently bought a new machine that is running a current install of XP Pro. It replaced a machine that ran Win98 SP2. In making the shift to a machine with lots of storage space, I copied the drives from the old machine into a folder on the storage disk of the new machine, promising myself I would 'clean them up' later.

    I just ran the Secunia Online Software Inspector

    http://secunia.com/software_inspector/

    and it detects 'out of date' and 'vulnerable' instances of Apple Quicktime 6.x, Macromedia Flash Player 6.x, Macromedia Flash Player 7.x, Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.x, and Sun Java JRE 1.5.x / 5.x on the "storage drive." These applications do not appear when I open "Add/Remove Programs" so they are not "installed" as far as XP is concerned.

    1) Do they present a security threat until I remove them?

    2) If so, can I manually remove them? I gather that since "Add/Remove Programs" does not see them, it is unlikely that there are registry entries for them. The complication is that in addition to the executable files in the program folder, there are undoubtedly dll's in a "shared files" folder somewhere under Windows.

    3) Someplace I think I got the idea that these dll's might be at the heart of some of the vulnerability. If this is the case, is there a list of 'dangerous dlls' available somewhere?

    Eventually, I will stop procrastinating and certainly want to delete the Win98 files and other programs that have been superseded. I'll keep around the others as reminders of utilities I might want to reinstall/update in the future. Is this a 'complicated' business?

    Thanks,
    Baumgrenze
    Hier sind wir tief eingewurzelt.

  2. #2
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Uninstalled Old Program Removal

    I have a almost the same situation, only worse - went form W98SE, to XP then to Vista - have Program File folders from the previous versions of the OS, and from what I can see, unless you find a way to actually execute the exe files there is no harm - true secunia will complain about the out of date stuff, but I have not experienced any problems probably due to the fact that the programs are not registered. Last weekend, I finally removed the Program File folder for W98SE along with all of the sub-folders and then removed the Windows directory and all sub-folders - no problems detected at all - and still secunia complains about the stuff that I have in the XP folders. Someday, perhaps, I'll get ambitious once again and do some more housekeeping. <img src=/S/nope.gif border=0 alt=nope width=15 height=15>
    Ed
    "Somebody left the cork out of my lunch." - W. C. Fields

  3. #3
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    Re: Uninstalled Old Program Removal

    1.) No. Unless you find someway to run an application like Quicktime that has not been installed.
    2.) Yes. You can delete the Program Files folder.
    3.) Not a publically available list that I know of. Feel free to search for it if you wish.

    Joe
    Joe

  4. #4
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    Re: Uninstalled Old Program Removal

    I assume you've moved/copied all your data files to their "correct" folders on the new machine/OS.

    If so, all that you should ever need from the program/Windows folders are the settings, or configuration, ones (unless you have "rebel" applications with data in their (sub)folders. But you have most likely migrated your core toolkit to the new environment, along with the settings. So, all that remains are the "once in a blue moon" utilities (games?). For them, you either have the install disks/CDs/DVDs, or you downloaded them. EIther way, it is unlikely that the executables in the copied folders will be directly usable.

    All that you really need now is a file & folder listing to refer to. With that, you can either use your own install source, or search for and download the current version to install.

    That is, after a little quick and easy (but brutal) housekeeping you should not need the copied folders.

    Another simple option is to physically extract the drive(s) from the old system for safekeeping. It makes sure that any personal data remains secure, and lets you retrieve anything you forgot by (temporarily) adding the drive to the new system.
    <font face="Comic Sans MS" color="blue">TimOz</font>
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  5. #5
    Silver Lounger t8ntlikly's Avatar
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    Re: Uninstalled Old Program Removal

    I tried Secunia for the first time last week, and really liked it but my experience was similar to yours, but different. When I download a program I never install it straight away. I have an external harddrive with a downloads folder that I download the program into. I even imaged my Windows XP DVD's in there as well as the downloads for Office '07. When I ran Secunia PSI it of course found all of those programs and reported that they were either out of date etc. I clicked on the solutions in the Secunia and told it to ignore those that were on Drive H. I had to do this several times to get rid of those reports, but once that was done it was great.
    Thanks John
    Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at. (Murphy's War Laws #39)

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