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Windows 7: Can any Uninstaller accurately monitor an installation?

27 May 2012   #1
maxseven

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)
 
 
Can any Uninstaller accurately monitor an installation?

So many Uninstaller programs e.g. Advanced Uninstaller Pro, Revo, and others, claim to be able to monitor a program's installation process and later assure that changes made by that process can be reversed. But at least Advanced Uninstaller Pro comes clean by stating you have to "close all other running programs" while the program-in-question is being monitored. Otherwise, things being done in the background by other programs get monitored too, and if you later Uninstall you make a mess of any of those not to mention Windows.

AIP in that link says "You can easily avoid all problems if you remember to close all programs before monitoring an installation" but come on, "easily"? Sure you can readily stop running applications, but what about all the other backgrounders you might have, including services?

Also, most Uninstallers say to "let the monitoring continue if the installation requires a reboot, and then run the program once also before stopping the monitoring & saving the log" or some such verbiage. How can you reboot to a clean system and avoid these Monitors from monitoring other processes that are dynamically altering your system? Heck W7 has lots of "scheduled tasks" that run on boot, doing stuff in the background...

I don't see how any of these Uninstallers can possibly work, unless perhaps you install in Safe Mode and reboot to Safe Mode thru the process (but might not this create other problems for the installed program and its monitor). Can someone help me to understand, or are all 3rd-party uninstallers not-to-be-trusted?




My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 May 2012   #2
Trucidation

 

Well yeah, this. There's just too much going on in the background that I've always been skeptical of 3rd party uninstallers. Personally I just create a system restore point (and registry backup if I'm paranoid but that hasn't done anything for me so far lol) and hope I don't have to use it

Anything specific you're trying to monitor? I mess around with a lot of games (modding is a hobby) and it's amazing how many places programs put their crap in. Factor in DRM and you can have a hell of a time manually digging it all out if the "official" uninstaller doesn't do its job.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2012   #3
maxseven

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Trucidation View Post
Well yeah, this. There's just too much going on in the background that I've always been skeptical of 3rd party uninstallers. Personally I just create a system restore point (and registry backup if I'm paranoid but that hasn't done anything for me so far lol) and hope I don't have to use it

Anything specific you're trying to monitor? I mess around with a lot of games (modding is a hobby) and it's amazing how many places programs put their crap in. Factor in DRM and you can have a hell of a time manually digging it all out if the "official" uninstaller doesn't do its job.
Thanks for your reply--I too use System Restore, as well as image backups, but of course these don't help much if you're uninstalling a program from two months ago.

No, I have no specialized needs--just another avid PC user who tries alot of stuff and later finds residual junk on the hdd or in the Registry and am anal-retentive about keeping a clean system.

I've tried Comodo Programs Manager which seems to have stalled in its development, and also Ashampoo Uninstaller which does the before/after install snapshot thing, and read that other uninstallers do much the same. But I've had trouble with Ashampoo in the past and it owes to the aforementioned background tasks, which of course with W7 are legion indeed.

I'd hoped for someone to come along here and say "thus and such company has solved this problem with a unique snapshot capability" or something to give me confidence to try a different product.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 May 2012   #4
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2012   #5
logicearth

Windows 10 Pro (x64)
 
 

*cough* Sandboxie...installing within Sandboxie makes it easy to uninstall, delete the folder.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2012   #6
maxseven

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)
 
 

Unless I miss your points, both of the preceding posts presume a suspicion about the software-to-be-installed and an expectation that it will certainly be uninstalled in the near future.

I'm looking for something easy, that runs in the background, and can note all the changes a program's installer makes so that if-or-when I want to remove it in the future, nothing is left behind.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2012   #7
logicearth

Windows 10 Pro (x64)
 
 

No such thing exists...and never will. Might work best to be less...whats the word..about every tiny detail (left overs) that won't have any effect on the system. And if you have no expectation of uninstalling...why bother keeping a record of it?

Course my own advice is, the more you micromanage your computer, the more it rules over you. (Slave)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2012   #8
maxseven

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)
 
 

Very helpful!

What I really wanted to know was why people tout various Uninstallers like Revo, when it appears to me they can't possibly work. I guess you're agreeing with that (they can't possibly work)! Reading the Revo manual is a mind-boggling mess of caveats and disclaimers...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2012   #9
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Revo Uninstaller works wonderfully well.

Revo Uninstaller does exactly what it says it will do.

I use Revo Unistaller very regularly.

As has been pointed out, there is no program which will do what you desire.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2012   #10
raloop

Windows 7
 
 

Quote:
So many Uninstaller programs e.g. Advanced Uninstaller Pro, Revo, and others, claim to be able to monitor a program's installation process and later assure that changes made by that process can be reversed. But at least Advanced Uninstaller Pro comes clean by stating you have to "close all other running programs" while the program-in-question is being monitored. Otherwise, things being done in the background by other programs get monitored too, and if you later Uninstall you make a mess of any of those not to mention Windows.
In theory, given just that thought, then it could mess up windows. But in practice, i'd be surprised if these uninstallers made windows crash.

10 years ago, there was a program called In Control, and a program called Total Uninstall.

You would manually execute In Control, and it'd examine your files . Then you'd run the installation/program/user application, and then run In Control again and it'd examine your files after. And see the differences. And list them.

So you could then I suppose, see if it picked an important system file. But bear in mind it doesn't look at file sizes. Just which files have been added or deleted. So none should be.

Total Uninstall you'd tell to scan the registry. Then you'd execute the program, and tell it to scan the registry again. So it has seen the registry before and after, and it sees which keys have been added or deleted. It would then produce 2 reg files. One for installing the program, and one for uninstalling it.

I doubt it checked for changes values, and if it did it could make a ton of changes.
but see below.


Quote:
AIP in that link says "You can easily avoid all problems if you remember to close all programs before monitoring an installation" but come on, "easily"? Sure you can readily stop running applications, but what about all the other backgrounders you might have, including services?

Also, most Uninstallers say to "let the monitoring continue if the installation requires a reboot, and then run the program once also before stopping the monitoring & saving the log" or some such verbiage. How can you reboot to a clean system and avoid these Monitors from monitoring other processes that are dynamically altering your system? Heck W7 has lots of "scheduled tasks" that run on boot, doing stuff in the background...

I don't see how any of these Uninstallers can possibly work, unless perhaps you install in Safe Mode and reboot to Safe Mode thru the process (but might not this create other problems for the installed program and its monitor). Can someone help me to understand, or are all 3rd-party uninstallers not-to-be-trusted?
You should trust them more. People have been using uninstallers for years, people pay for them. The freeware ones are popular too and used by many techies. Some payware ones are payware upgrades of the freeware ones. Not bloatware.

If they were as bad as you fear, then they wouldn't be used often or recommended by technical people.

And ones i've used don't run in the background monitoring everything.. They are nicely designed, like you feed them an executable.. and I suppose they then just monitor when you start that executable.


You can surely review what changes it would make on the file system, and registry. They are not the beasts you fear they will be.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Can any Uninstaller accurately monitor an installation?




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