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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger
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    Installation Monitor

    I want to record every change made to my system in a program installation, and undo each of these changes. I've recently re-imaged my system to original condition, and want to keep the junk missed by 'Uninstall' to a minimum. Any Ideas of good, (preferably free) software?

    Thanks!
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    Re: Installation Monitor

    There are some third party uninstallers, including Nortons. But I have found that the uninstallers provided by the software maker, does just about as good a job as the third party one do. You must have them running ALL the time to record what files went where. They seem to eat up some of the resources.

    I try to reformat my hard drive at least twice a year if not more. This is the best way to get rid of all the trails left and all the demoware.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Installation Monitor

    the theory is, before installation, I would run x program. Then when I want to remove the installed program, I would run x program to do it..

    Now I just need to find x program... <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>
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    Re: Installation Monitor

    This is where the MS restore comes in real handy. This works with hardware as well. But you must have Windows Me or XP. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  5. #5
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Installation Monitor

    Still on 98OEM... but not by choice.. <img src=/S/tongue.gif border=0 alt=tongue width=15 height=15>
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  6. #6
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    Re: Installation Monitor

    I think there was (is) a "Back out" product out there that does about the same thing.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  7. #7
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    Re: Installation Monitor

    Well, I have backed up my entire C: Drive, but i'd hate to revert to a former state a few months down the road when I might have actual work files on my machine...

    To date, i've had to do this three times in the past 6 months.. it's getting old.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Installation Monitor

    I think "Drive Image" can be used to burn an image and it can be restored. The image can be saved on CD, another drive, partition or accross the network. The machine can be booted by floppy and the image can be installed.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  9. #9
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    Re: Installation Monitor

    I think my IT dept would publicly flog me for even thinking about that route.. although I do have Drive Image... <img src=/S/hmmn.gif border=0 alt=hmmn width=15 height=15>

    You can't think of any good software to do this? I've found a few that monitor and mark changes, but nothing to obliterate an install...
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  10. #10
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Installation Monitor

    <hr>I try to reformat my hard drive at least twice a year if not more. This is the best way to get rid of all the trails left and all the demoware<hr>

    Hi Dave:

    How do you find the time to do it? I must have well over 60 applications & utilities on my machine, probably more. And then there's all the patches & updates. And then all the personal touches & tweaks. I figure it would take me months to get it the way I wanted. Do you have some secret shortcut?

  11. #11
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    Re: Installation Monitor

    ..right on, Phil. My HD is only 30Gb but in my QuickLaunch taskbar there are 60 icons and in the systray 16 running apps. (I actually keep them stuffed to see if anything is incompatible or slows the system down). Even though I have detailed journal notes of how to reinstall if any of my Windows versions goes belly-up, the thought of all that installing make me go cold. I have hundreds of zip files in my download folder (ok this is backed up, but...)
    Question for opinion : is it either necessary or desirable to reformat a HD every six months?

    Rgds

  12. #12
    ileacy
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    Re: Installation Monitor

    If you have enough disk space, then Drive Image or Ghost gives you some great restart/recovery options.

    What I do is create a base which includes my critical applications and setups. I drive-image that to a USB removable drive partition and archive it to tape (belts and suspenders). I also have a small, normally hidden bootable, partition. This is backed up to a drive-image CD.

    With these starting points I can quickly restore any of my other boot partitions to a known good and configured starting point. 30 minutes max to restore any of my OS configurations.

    Other applications tend to not be needed as frequently. I re-install them from setup archives when needed. If I find that I am always re-installing them I add them to my base configuration.

    Patches and updates since last base are re-applied immediately after restore and backed up again.

    As to frequency of rebuilds. It can be as often as several times a week while testing new OS's and after that, only If the system is starting to feel sluggish. If it's working I just leave it as is.

    Data of course is kept on a separate backed up FAT32 partition (as much as possible). Sometimes applications surprise you with where they want to store data or configuration files.

  13. #13
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    Re: Installation Monitor

    I've used 'em all, and the best installation monitor/uninstaller I've ever used is Quarterdeck (now Norton) CleanSweep. I'm still using an older Quarterdeck version, but I wouldn't recommend anything else. Get the Norton version.

  14. #14
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    Re: Installation Monitor

    I'm not sure you're going to get a good one for free. I use Quarterdeck's (now Norton's) CleanSweep. I've used them all and nothing comes close to uninstalling a program as completely and efficiently as CleanSweep, assuming you used CleanSweep to monitor the installation. It even does a fair job of uninstalling a program even if it didn't monitor the installation. It's the best.

  15. #15
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    Re: Installation Monitor

    Phil,
    I missed this reply. I do NOT install ALL of the software that I no longer use and I have even forgot that I have installed. My machines run better with OUT all of those "Toys" and things that ONE MUST have.

    I am runnig a machine with 3 OS's, 98 Fe, 2K Pro, and XP Pro. Just got through adding XP to this desk top and all of my programs. I save all of my data on a seperate partition. Each OS has it own copy of each program I use. I have completed this in 2 days.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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