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  1. #1
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    Can't Uninstall AOL--ANY VERSION (WinXP Home)

    I'm trying to help a friend. (I detest AOL but I have to help the folks who fall for it and use it). This gal was using version 7.0 of AOL. Then mysteriously she allowed AOL to download a whole lotta file called version 9. (she knows nothing about her computer and just says Yes). It took six hours to get into her machine while she was too afraid to stop it, she said. Since then her log-on process takes a long LONG time. When she finally connects. her modem crawls along at 32 kbps or worse. So some other techie "helper" came along and tried installing AOL v. 8.0 Plus. So now she has AOL 7, AOL 8+ and AOL 9. I want to uninstall all AOL and try for a fresh start reinstalling 8.0 Plus (a fairly stable version), or at least get rid of 7 and 9. When I get to Add/Remove Programs via the Control Panel. AOL is listed and mentions I can select what version to remove (She has 35.1 MB of AOL files in there now!!!!). Yet when I click Change/Remove at the AOL listing in the top of the program population, it never actually gets the remove process going. It just stalls and I cannot uninstall any version of AOl as I get no uninstall procedure. I've done this on many machines successfully and helped get rid of older versions of AOL that malinger, but her new Dell is pretty cranky. What can I do to uninstall her AOL stuff? She has this dumb Dell with a Pentium 4, Win XP Home. a 30 GB HD and only 128 MB of RAM (how can they sell that little bit of RAM with any conscience?). Well her configuration may be poor, but Add/Remove Programs should still get AOL gone. What can I do to work around the Win XP Add/Remove and get AOL outta there?

    Much obliged for any help.

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    Re: Can't Uninstall AOL--ANY VERSION (WinXP Home)

    I wonder whether the installers stepped on or mixed up the earlier uninstall entries used by the control panel? Are there any uninstallers in the program folders?

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    Re: Can't Uninstall AOL--ANY VERSION (WinXP Home)

    Good question, and thanks for the reply.
    No, I checked the Programs>AOL folder and there are a lot of choices in the AOL folder but none of them say Uninstall AOL. I hoped, but did not see when I was trying things this afternoon.. Just the fact that Windows Add/Remove Programs lists America Online should mean it is ready to try to do the job, yet it never gets there. I am sure you are right it is corrupted in the uninstall file or stepped on somehow.

    Have you heard of Add/Remove Pro (freeware)? I saw that on some posting in the Lounge here and wondered if it would work for this. It is a utility that supercedes the Windows Add/Remove and gives a list right from the Registry so you can perform the add/remove file by file. Since it is not my own machine, I hate to go in there with surgical tools I don't know much about. If that utility is useful, I can download it and try it.

    but thanks for thinking to help me. I'm open to all ideas.

    Wendy

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    Re: Can't Uninstall AOL--ANY VERSION (WinXP Home)

    Have you trieyed using the set Access and defaults tool in the start bar set it to custom and tell the defualt browser to be internet explorer and change the other settings that are in there to your likeing this should solve the problem, also if its a Dell pc it should have a system restore that would have made a chek point when she installed AOL there should be one before it if you use that you will lose any work done since that check point but it will definatly solve the problem

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    Re: Can't Uninstall AOL--ANY VERSION (WinXP Home)

    Thanks for your reply , Bat17. For now I'll take a pass on system restore or any other backwards restoral, even with Dell disks. I have no idea how long ago any of these installs occurred and I'm not willing to lose her work , too. She's too much of a newbie to handle further trauma. But I'm willing to try the suggestion about custom settngs for access and defaults. I can't imagine how setting the default browser to IE or any other custom preferred settings are going to positively affect the ability to add/remove AOL versions. My goal is to get rid of AOL, not ignore it. I can see where your suggestion might produce no harmful results, but I'd like to understand why changing the access and defaults would enable AOL uninstall processes. Can you amplify?

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    Re: Can't Uninstall AOL--ANY VERSION (WinXP Home)

    Actually, I think System Restore would be your best option at this time. This Windows system program should not be confused with any 'system restore' disks that came with the computer. This program allows you to 'roll back' the computer to a previous configuration, without affecting any user files. In this case, you should look to roll back to the nearest date before the upgrade (if you really want to call it that) was downloaded, or at least before the 8+ version was installed. This should put AOL7 back in control and wipe out the 8+ and 9 installations, though any other program installations or updates will be lost as well - but without affecting any user files. At this point, uninstalling AOL should be easy. If you can't find any 'Uninstall AOL' program, look for an 'Unwise' or 'Unwise32' program in the AOL folder. These are just uninstall programs using a different name (but I have to wonder if they are somehow trying to discourage uninstalling by giving you an 'un-wise' option).

    System Restore can usually be found by browsing through Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools (some configurations may vary), or can be launched directly by using Start | Run | %SystemRoot%System32restorerstrui.exe.

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    Re: Can't Uninstall AOL--ANY VERSION (WinXP Home)

    David, you've helped a lot assuring me that using the Windows system restore will not affect work produced subsequent to the set-back date, just corrects the installed mess. YOur attachment triggered a familiar view of a tool I've used. This gal did not install anything or make changes other than the FUBAR with AOL, so the set back will not have any bad affect if i can get her to think when that AOL 9 moved in on its own so I get an idea how far back to go. . I should have remembered that System Restore is a good thing and friendly, as I used it once and saved myself many wads of kleenex. I guess I was thinking of the Dell restore disks as being an area to avoid.
    Also I will closely examine the AOL folder and go after any "unwise" program I notice to see if I can activate an uninstall that way. That's a trick I will keep close to my heart if it works!.
    This forum has been a fantastic help. I am unable to clear her problem with the suggested steps for another week or so as she is now out of town, but when I get access I will write about results. Any other inspired thoughts will get my immediate attention.
    Wendy

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