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  1. #1
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    Restoring Programs Lost in Error

    Windows XP SP2
    Do I feel dumb! I was so fed up with Windows Messenger (which I never use) that I removed it using Add/ Remove Programs. At least, that's what I thought I did. Unfortunately, Messenger is still on the computer (though no longer in the Add/ Remove list), but other things seem to be missing. The Games folder is empty (yes, I admit to playing Spider Solitaire before shutting down each night) and OE didn't appear in the Start button list (that I've since retrieved using System Restore although the desktop shortcut is still missing).

    Did I misread the Add/ Remove list and mistakenly delete the wrong program? More importantly, can anyone help me get back to where I was? I'd like to just undo the Add/ Remove I did or at least the Messenger step, which seems to be the problem. I do NOT have a "pure" Windows XP SP2 CD, just the CD that came with this Toshiba computer (Recovery and Applications/ Drivers is its title).

    Did try reading Pogue's XP Missing Manual and Woody's XP Dummies first for help, but can't figure out what to do. From Woody, I suspect that I did not take the correct route to deleting Windows Messenger in the first place!

    Hopefully,

    Linda

  2. #2
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    Re: Restoring Programs Lost in Error

    Windows Messager cannot be removed through the Add/Remove box -- at least not on all systems, and then only after some modifications. People will tell you all sorts of ways to remove it -- some more complicated, some apparently simple -- and many of them do not work. I will tell you how to disable it and keep it from rearing it's ugly head -- which is what you really want. I really have not read Woody's book (eh, sorry boss!) so I cannot comment on his advice.

    Desktop shortcuts are easy to create. Spider Solitaire should be locable -- or someone with no scruples (like me) can send you a copy.
    __________________________

    First off, have you looked under Add/Remove Programs | Add/Remove Windows Components | Accessories and Utilites - Details | Games - Details? You should find Spider there. Can you put a check in the box and retrieve the game?? (see image below)

    Next, to recreate the Desktop shortcut, the simpliest way would be to locate the shortcut on the Start Menu, RIGHT-click and HOLD down the mouse button. Now drag the icon to your Desktop and let go of the RIGHT mouse button. Select "Copy Here" and voila! There are more complicated ways, but that is the easiest.

    Now, the annoying Messenger. There are various "tools" and "scripts" out there to disable it. But... the ones that work are ALL based on making a few registry changes -- the same registry changes. So, if you have no problem using .reg file, here is the one I use to Kill Messenger. In fact, I call it "KillWindowsMessenger.reg". ;-]

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    REGEDIT4

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftMesseng erClient]
    "PreventAutoRun"=dword:00000001
    "PreventRun"=dword:00000001
    "PreventAutoUpdate"=dword:00000001
    "PreventBackgroundDownload"=dword:00000001
    "Disabled"=dword:00000001

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftOutlook Express]
    "Hide Messenger"=dword:00000002

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    If this does not do exactly what you want, drinks are on me. ;-]

    Now there is an even easier way that is well-regarded -- simply rename the Messenger folder! While this works, I am paranoid that some update or Service Pack or whatnot will notice the missing folder and "help me out" by reinstalling it. Since I am a registry hound, I like to kill it via the registry. ;-]
    __________________________________________________ _________________________

    Now, unescapably someone will come in here and try to twist this one of two ways. So, let us be prepared for that.

    1) The "Messenger Service" twist. No, this problem is NOT the Windows Messenger Service and using Services.msc will not take care of this problem. (I did not create the confusing names, MS did!)

    2) The "MSN Messenger" twist. In another confusing move, MS created two Messengers -- however, both are based on the same code and are extremely similar. To make it additionally confusing, they have the same icon in the Tray (eh, Windows Notification Area). If my memory serves me correctly, these registry modifications will KILL both versions of Messenger. So, there should be no concern that the above registry changes are for MSN Messenger -- I believe they work for both.

    HTH

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    Re: Restoring Programs Lost in Error

    R2,

    Wow, thank you SO much for your detailed and clear/ understandable directions. Have just read message now and will start working through it a bit later, after lunch to be precise. Wanted you to know, however, how grateful I am for ALL your instructions.

    I did recreate the desktop shortcut for OE so that's okay now. What I was afraid of is that more "important things" got removed than intended. Do you have any idea what might have looked like Windows Messenger in Add/ Remove Programs that I removed? Or am I worrying needlessly? As you said, it sure wasn't Windows Messenger!

    One final query before I get started: doing things to the Registry makes me, a techno-not-expert, very nervous. Should I be in this case?

    Thanks again! I'll post again with progress.

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    Re: Restoring Programs Lost in Error

    You may have removed MSN Messenger. Or Messenger Plus! - a third party add-on.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Restoring Programs Lost in Error

    I understand your fear of the registry. If you don't like doing that, then rename the folder. That really works -- so I am told.

    However, the registry is just a storage place for programs. If you read each line in my .reg file it clearly explains what it does. First off, the first few changes are for:

    PoliciesMicrosoftMessengerClient

    So, they set "policies" for Microsoft's Messenger Client. What policies do they set?

    "PreventAutoRun"
    "PreventRun"
    "PreventAutoUpdate"
    "PreventBackgroundDownload"
    "Disabled"

    OK, it prevents Messenger from running, auto-running, auto-updating, from being background downloaded, and disables it. That is pretty thorough. But, I also choose to make sure OE hides it even if by some fluke of nature the dang thing STILL tries to run!!!

    MicrosoftOutlook Express
    "Hide Messenger"

    Some might call this a little compulsive. ;-]

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    Re: Restoring Programs Lost in Error

    Joe, thanks. It must have been MSN Messenger. Do you know if I inadvertently removed any other important "things" (i.e., things I might need later) by removing it? My question is because the Games folder is now empty, I wonder if other items were also removed.

    R2, I'm working on whether or not to attack the registry. If I do remove the blasted thing that way, is it retrievable by changing the registry back to what it was?

    P.S. R2 - Just worked through Add/ Remove Windows components as per your instructions. My Windows looked exactly like your diagrams (thanks for including the screen shots), but checking the boxes didn't repopulate the Games folder. When I first tried, all the Games boxes were already checked; when I clicked Start - All Programs - Games, only the Internet games appeared. Went back; unchecked the Internet Games box - Games folder came up Empty. Went in again; unchecked and rechecked all boxes (except Internet Games - never use them) - Games folder still Empty. Any suggestions? Do I need to put in the Recovery CD or something before doing the process? Do I need a Restart?

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    Re: Restoring Programs Lost in Error

    If you used Add/Remove Programs to get rid of MSN Messenger that should not have casued any other problems.

    If you change the registry to 'remove' Windows Messenger reverting the registry to its prior state will 'restore' Windows Messenger. I'd suggest that you export the current registry keys to a file of your choice. Then if needed you could delete the keys you are about to add then import your saved file. Remember that import a .reg file is a merge process. It does not replace anything unless there is a value of the same name.

    When you go to re-install Games (or any other Windows component) the system will prompt you for a CD when one is needed.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Restoring Programs Lost in Error

    Thanks for the information and reassurance!

    Do you know why I can't get the Games back using R2's method? (I know the Games aren't critical; I'm just bothered by my inability to get them back where they were after somehow inadvertently removing them!).

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    Re: Restoring Programs Lost in Error

    Not really. But I'd try un-checking them in Add/Remove Windows components. After that process was complete - re-boot. After re-booting try to add them again.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Restoring Programs Lost in Error

    Hi Linda,

    Your games live in the C:WindowsSystem32 folder. You can get them back using Windows Explorer. Navigate to the System32 folder and then locate the games you want (look for their icon) and right click on the .exe file and drag it to the Start menu and then into the All Programs tree to the Games folder. Release the mouse button and select Create Shortcuts Here. You can do them one at a time or hold down the Ctrl key as you select each of them, to move them all at once. That should get you your games back. HTH
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    Re: Restoring Programs Lost in Error

    I don't see how removing MSN Messenger -- or Windows Messenger (they are both really similar) -- via the Add/Remove dialog box would remove the Games. Something else MUST have occurred.

    Because it is not asking for the setup disk, I have to believe that the above is completely correct -- the games are already installed on your hard disk and only the shortcuts are missing! Then, what is described above should work perfect. The Solitaire Spider games is simply named "Spider" or "Spider.exe". The icon has a red spider over a blue and yellow background. You should be all set.

    Oh, to reverse the settings for Messenger -- eh, which is something I am not sure I would ever recommend to anyone ;-] , you could simply delete those exact values -- or set them to zeros.


    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    REGEDIT4

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftMesseng erClient]
    "PreventAutoRun"=dword:00000000
    "PreventRun"=dword:00000000
    "PreventAutoUpdate"=dword:00000000
    "PreventBackgroundDownload"=dword:00000000
    "Disabled"=dword:00000000

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftOutlook Express]
    "Hide Messenger"=dword:00000000

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: Restoring Programs Lost in Error

    Phew, that IS a folder! I don't know what's wrong: found System 32 and, despite MS warnings not to open the folder, I did and went through it twice, line by line, but could find nothing that looked or sounded like any of the games. Found lots of other things I recognized and was thoroughly amazed by what was in System 32, but no games. Have any of you the patience to suggest something else to try or let me know if I've missed something obvious. I was so sure that Doc Watson's method would work, but I just couldn't find the right icon!

    Linda

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    Re: Restoring Programs Lost in Error

    Look in C:Windowsservicepackfilesi386 for spider.exe. COPY (not move) it to the System32 folder. Also, look for c:I386 - many times OEMs will put the original Windows install files in that folder. You may be able to find the other games there.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Restoring Programs Lost in Error

    That is equally weird -- if the Add/Remove box tells you they are installed, one would speculate that that means they exist in the System32 folder. I hate when things don't make sense... :-[

    Look in the i386 folders (as above) -- but if that is not successful, do a Search of your entire hard disk for "Spider.exe". If that doesn't work, look on that CD disc that came with your computer. However, on the CD I would search for "Spider.*" (Spider dot star) just to be compulsive.

  15. #15
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    Re: Restoring Programs Lost in Error

    Hi all,

    Success! What worked was I did the uncheck, reboot, check - and there the little devils were! I think what I'd done wrong the first time I tried same process was that, after unchecking each box, I closed the Wizard. This time, I completed the whole Wizard before closing it. When I rebooted, I redid the Wizard, checking all the games boxes, and there was Spider Solitaire, in all its glory in my Start column, as well as the others, nicely listed under Games.

    I apologize for putting you all to so much extra work because I didn't do the uncheck - reboot process correctly the first time. Thanks to all your suggestions, however, I have learned a whole lot more about System 32, adding and removing Windows Components and the Registry. Now I think I feel brave enough to try the Registry method of removing Messenger. I will wait for the weekend, when I have more time to devote to it - and have a few more days to determine if I should tackle that or just rename the folder!

    Many thanks!

    Gratefully,

    Linda

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