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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    Truly uninstalling software

    I am looking to buy some new computers for my small business. I have always purchased from Dell in the past and the one time I bought an HP computer in the last 17 years I had to totally format the hard drive and load a new copy of windows to get rid of their fluffware. All I want is a functioning system so I can put what I want on it.

    So now I'm going through the configuration for some Optiplex computers and I see that a basic version of Office - with ads, no less - comes as a default and there is no option to remove it from their online configuration sequence. And I notice that McAfee also comes with it with no option to remove it from the configuration. I will run McAfee on one of my computers when the other eight rings of hell freeze over.

    In the past I have had no end of trouble completely ridding my systems of all this fluff that I do not want. I am new to Windows 7. Is it any different? Can I truly remove these things or will I have to format and load from scratch? Hopefully I get an actual copy of the Windows 7 installation disk and not some image to reload with the same stuff on it...

    Thanks,

    --Brian

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I have found that most fluff can be removed fairly easily. There are several apps that can help:

    PC Decrapifier (that is truly the name) can help with a lot of fluff.

    Revo Uninstaller is one of the most discussed uninstallers in these forums. Finds a lot of leftover stuff that app or Wondows uninstaller leave behind

    Absolute Uninstaller may find some 64 Bit apps that the free edition of Revo does not (free version is only for 32 Bit apps, Pro does all apps)

    CCleaner can help with temp files, log files and such and is a great tool to help with periodic cleaning

    Privacy Mantra works well in conjunction with CCleaner. They each seem to find stuff the other misses.

    I hope these help to clean up your OS and makes them lean and mean.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  3. #3
    3 Star Lounger Not Brightest Bulb's Avatar
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    I know nothing about the DeCrapifier App but this sounds exactly like what you need with HP anything. I also agree with the McAfee as it killed one of my PCs years ago and had to take PC to the repair garage.

    Curious I use paid version of Your Uninstaller 7(UrsoSoft) for past 3 or 4 years and I have also tried free version of Revo a week ago when I had a problem with a Quicken uninstall, had to solve it differently as neither one worked. Always interested in upgrading stuff would Absolute Uninstaller or DeCrapifier be an upgrade or just on a par with what I have now. Is it feasible to have 1 or 3 uninstallers on same PC.

    Next question I have used for years Ace Utilities for cleanup, opinions/comparisons on that as it seems to be Ok for this thread if not I can start new one.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backspacer View Post
    I am looking to buy some new computers for my small business. I have always purchased from Dell in the past and the one time I bought an HP computer in the last 17 years I had to totally format the hard drive and load a new copy of windows to get rid of their fluffware. All I want is a functioning system so I can put what I want on it.

    So now I'm going through the configuration for some Optiplex computers and I see that a basic version of Office - with ads, no less - comes as a default and there is no option to remove it from their online configuration sequence. And I notice that McAfee also comes with it with no option to remove it from the configuration. I will run McAfee on one of my computers when the other eight rings of hell freeze over.

    In the past I have had no end of trouble completely ridding my systems of all this fluff that I do not want. I am new to Windows 7. Is it any different? Can I truly remove these things or will I have to format and load from scratch? Hopefully I get an actual copy of the Windows 7 installation disk and not some image to reload with the same stuff on it...

    Thanks,

    --Brian
    Which Optiplex models are you configuring? I just checked the Dell site and on the 390 & 790 I could remove both Office & TrendMicro. On the 380, 580, & 780 I could remove only TrendMicro. I pick the small form factor under each model.

    Joe

  5. #5
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Your best option to remove the unwanted software would be with some of the many 3rd party tools that Ted makes mension of.

    One must also be aware that much of this unwanted software may have active services, startup, & active processes that should be disabled prior to any removal attempt.
    This is common sense and will make removal much easier no matter what tool is used. A quick search through the taskmanager or a process explorer utility like Sysinternal's "Process explorer" can easily do the job. Process explorer will also offer to search online if you have trouble identifying a process.

    Lazy people never want to do any real work, but in order to get it right you may also need to actually research some of the more difficult programs and identify which processes and services for which they are named. The more information you are armed with the better, not to mention how easier the task will be.

    It is also noteworthy to make mention of, that after the uninstallation takes place, the root program directory should also be scanned for leftover files, folders, and subfolders. They can simply be deleted in most instances.
    Also of note, irregardless of what you may have been told or believe about "registry clean up tools", this would be one of the best times to employ one.
    [after a major application(s) uninstall]


    There may also be a few instances in which unhiding protected operating system files may be needed to aid in file/folder identification.
    Sometimes applications deliberately hide themselves from normal ID & removal.

    Regfiles for hiding and unhiding protected os files and folders:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
    "ShowSuperHidden"=dword:00000001
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curre ntVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
    "ShowSuperHidden"=dword:00000000
    They can be coppied to notepad and saved as .reg files. Extentions for filenames should be enabled in explorer first.

    I've checked out and actively use the above regfiles in Windows 7, no reboot is needed, but one does need to close and reopen explorer upon initiation.
    I find the regfile much quicker than continually going through the explorer tools section.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2011-07-18 at 15:14.

  6. #6
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great suggestions. I decided to order one, set it up, and see how that goes before buying any more. But now I'm confident that I can remove this stuff.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Backspacer,

    If you're buying more than a couple of computers I'd config one up save it to your cart then click on the Dell chat button. Explain to the person how many you want to buy but only if they config them the way you want. You might be surprised. And the worst they can say is NO and you won't be any the worse for wear.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

    My Systems: Desktop Specs
    Laptop Specs

  8. #8
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    RetiredGeek: if I were as smart as you, maybe I could retire, too! I already ordered one to start with. I did ask a chat person (chatter? chatterer?) if I could get it without the two software loads I didn't want and she said no, they were all preloaded at the factory from standard disks and couldn't be altered. I didn't think to ask what if I were buying multiple systems. I am probably going to replace four right now and a fifth later in the year when I'm way off in a remote office location. Not a big order by Dell's standards, but you are right, it is free to ask. I will see how the uninstalling goes. If it's a pain I will do as you suggest. Thanks.

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