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Windows 7: Regarding the use of MSCONFIG during installs and uninstalls

30 Nov 2013   #1
MSRonin

Windows XP 32-bit
 
 
Regarding the use of MSCONFIG during installs and uninstalls

Pardon me, I'm a bit of an interloper here, but I came across some advice that I think needs correcting. Even though it was posted two years ago, it was posted by an MVP (gregrocker).

I was looking for some info on removal of Google Updater and came across this thread from a couple of years ago -- "Windows 7: How do I remove Google Update Service (gudate, gudatem) from services?" In that thread, gregrocker suggests that the proper way to use MSCONFIG during uninstalls is to disable the relevent items in MSCONFIG first, then restart (I presume, though it isn't specified) and then proceed with the items to be uninstalled now disabled and, according to gregrocker, able to be uninstalled becasue they aren't in use. This advice shows a fundamental misunderstanding of way installers, uninstallers and systems controlled from MSCONFIG work. The proper sequence is as follows:

1. Run MSCONFIG, disable all Startup and non-MS services, leaving only anti-malware and any possible hardware support that might exist and that you think you'll need during the procedure. Click OK and reboot.
2. Go back to MSCONFIG and re-enable everything, but DO NOT restart.
3. Do your installing or uninstalling, reboot (even if not told to do so.)

Why? First, It's not needed. If an installer/uninstaller can't do something, delete a file because it's locked, for instance, it's put on a list to delete during restart. IOW, there is no need to stop the item first. The installer is perfectly capable of getting around such things. In fact, it's BAD to do things the way gregrocker suggests. Unless the installer is REAL good, it will typically look in the Run keys of the Registry for startup commands, but it will not look in whatever location the disabled startup commands are stored when you use MSCONFIG to stop them. The result is that after the app is uninstalled, the startup command comes back when you re-enable things and has to be deleted from the Run keys (etc.) manually. The only reason to use MSCONFIG for install/uninstall is if *other* apps are running in the background causing problems and can't be stopped on the fly. Even then, Task Manager is often a faster and more precise solution.

Ronin


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
30 Nov 2013   #2
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

I have never, ever used msconfig during an install or un install of a program, you`re right, it`s not needed.

Greg was just trying to convey his expert advice, which we`ve all come to appreciate.

He has personally helped me out with problems and has always been courteous and professional
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2013   #3
MSRonin

Windows XP 32-bit
 
 

I am sure Greg is a fine person, very helpful and knowledgable in the field. I have personal connections to MVPs and hold them in high esteem. If it hadn't been a mistake that I thought necessary to correct, I wouldn't have bothered. In fact, it is mostly for Greg's benefit that I bothered at all. The advice was in error and capable of causing some mild headaches and so I tought Greg might like to know about it. I am more than willing to discuss the issue further if anyone needs further explanation or disagrees with my own advice. It certainly wouldn't be the first time.

Ronin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

30 Nov 2013   #4
gregrocker

 

I don't remember the specific thread so a link would help.

There are times when I've found a program I've uninstalled to still be checked in either msconfig>Startup or >Services, which gives the impression that its registry key was not removed possibly because it was in use and/or failed to uninstall if queued for removal at restart.

Only because this solved the problem for certain uninstallers having this issue would I have suggested it. It must have been the case at the time with Google Updater. I don't remember Google startup keys hanging around recently after uninstalling Google's spyware, and I find it on almost every PC I come across.

In the future the best way to bring this up is to comment in the thread, no matter how old it is, because as this demonstrates these threads are often found in searches in perpetuity and can stand updating or reopening the discussion to help others and update the record.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2013   #5
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2013   #6
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

What I`ve found so far.

https://support.google.com/installer/answer/98805?hl=en

There are also some youtube videos on how to remove it, but I`m not posting them.

You would have to remove any Google items on your pc, Chrome etc.

I just disabled the update service in msconfig a long time ago, never had any issues with it. I don`t allow anything to auto update on my pc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2013   #7
MSRonin

Windows XP 32-bit
 
 

How do I remove Google Update Service (gudate, gudatem) from services? (though I see that derekimo has beaten me to it.)

I have to admit, I haven't actually played with this issue in a few years, so I will fall back on my basic tenet: Experiment and research until the issue is in one way or another resolved. That's what test beds are for, eh? My own guess is that the issue of startup items remaining after uninstallation (and not disabled with MSCONFIG first) involve lousy installers, or that the system has somehow corrupted the installation -- log file missing, some stupid Registry cleaner was used, malware, etc. In short, something that ultimately messed things up in such a way as to prevent the uninstaller from executing cleanly. Do you recall if any the situations you describe as failing to uninstall properly, without first disabling them in MSCONFIG, were subsequently able to be uninstalled successfully after disabling them?

I will go back a little later to the old thread and insert a link to this one. It's just that I was used to news servers dumping messages after 90 days or whatever, and didn't know if anyone would notice it (except people searching for help.) Thanks for the tip.

Well, my own Google Updater solution was manual extraction of the mess, bit by bit. Now, like a good geek, I'm going to spend the rest of the evening installing and uninstalling Google stuff. I figure I have about a 50% chance of success (installing and uninstalling cleanly). Note: Google says to uninstall everything from Google (Earth, etc.) and after a few hours, Google will notice and uninstall the updater automatically. I'll let you know.

Ronin


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
I don't remember the specific thread so a link would help.

There are times when I've found a program I've uninstalled to still be checked in either msconfig>Startup or >Services, which gives the impression that its registry key was not removed possibly because it was in use and/or failed to uninstall if queued for removal at restart.

Only because this solved the problem for certain uninstallers having this issue would I have suggested it. It must have been the case at the time with Google Updater. I don't remember Google startup keys hanging around recently after uninstalling Google's spyware, and I find it on almost every PC I come across.

In the future the best way to bring this up is to comment in the thread, no matter how old it is, because as this demonstrates these threads are often found in searches in perpetuity and can stand updating or reopening the discussion to help others and update the record.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2013   #8
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Let us know if it`s still listed in msconfig and if it`s worth the hastle of removing your google products.

I doubt if the ends will justify the means
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2013   #9
MSRonin

Windows XP 32-bit
 
 

I'll let you know whatever it is I find out. Don't hold your breath, though. I am a pathological procrastinator who's hoping for a new system for Christmas and trying to catch up on my various projects, trying for a clean slate for 2014. As for "being worth it". I decided to boycott Google a little while ago. I'm cleaning everything off this old system, and I'm going to devote a VM or maybe another machine to installing and uninstalling, breaking and whatever other mayhem I can manage so that I am as well prepared to do battle in the future. I have had Google as my home page ever since it hit the scene, 2000, I think it might have been. Very light load that was good for my dial-up situation. It has since turned into an arguably evil monster, and not just online.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2013   #10
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

I too have used google as my home page for centuries, and have never had any issues with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Regarding the use of MSCONFIG during installs and uninstalls




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