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Windows 7: Are portable apps preferable, even for non-portable use ?

18 Aug 2014   #11
Clairvaux

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (OEM)
 
 

Thank you for your thoughts on this issue.

For what it's worth, and taking them into account, here is what I have resolved to do after my next clean reinstall :
  • Use portable versions of applications I've selected whenever they are available, provided they are offered by the software publisher himself, and not by some third party who might have tweaked them in an inappropriate manner, or failed to update them in order to keep them working properly.

  • Stop doing regular registry cleanings with tools such as C-Cleaner, whose targets are difficult to connect with uninstalled software, and as such might do more harm than good (although C-Cleaner's registry tool is supposed to stay on the safe side). Keep on using C-Cleaner for daily scheduled wipes of other files, for speed and privacy concerns.

  • Continue to install new software with the traced mode of Revo Uninstall Professional (version 2.5.9), which is supposed to undo exactly what it has done, whenever one chooses to uninstall (although Revo has some irritating flaws, such as showing ghost installations of older versions which have been in fact superseded by newer installs, or not being able to address the case where the software's own uninstaller prompts for a reboot in order to finish the process, cutting short the Revo uninstall cycle).

  • Continue to use, nonetheless, the "deep", "advanced" and therefore "not safe" uninstall option of Revo, which (I reckon) offers a clear enough vision of whatever leftovers you may choose to delete, be it folders, files or registry keys.

  • Start using the free (and not portable...) version of Sandboxie whenever trying installable software for the first time. Although it is cursed with an incredibly toyish, ugly and clunky user interface, it automatically wipes all traces the new software might have left when exiting, while allowing one to save useful files which might have been created or modified by the application being tested. I used it to test the poorly documented transition between Microsoft Money Plus Deluxe (payed for and activated software) and the two Money Plus Sunset versions (freeware in effect, but Microsoft does not say so), and it worked like a charm.

Finally, here are three portable (and free) tools that I will "reinstall", so to speak, and that I recommend without reservations :

Everything by Voidtools : a barebones file search engine which indexes all files by name only (no content search), at lightning speed. This is an essential complement to Windows 7 dual, too-clever-by-half own search tool.

Kee Pass by Dominik Reichl : a password manager which grows more intelligent by the day, and which I would gladly pay for. It's a key part of my setup, and I use it as a repository of all sorts of critical information : software licence numbers, and so on.

Sync Back Free by 2BrightSparks : a file-and-folder type of backup tool, which I use in association with the more comprehensive, imaging-type Macrium Reflect Professional (another commendable product), in order to save certain critical files such as browser favorites or Money Plus account files. If you don't need features such as backup of open files, incremental backups or intelligent synching (available in the paid-for versions), the last free version 6 of Sync Back is an incredibly versatile and user-friendly solution. The links to the portable versions are somewhat hidden. Here is a related forum page.

Cheers,

Clairvaux


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Aug 2014   #12
andrew129260

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Another option, use a virtual machine.

Another option: use regshot. regshot | Free System Administration software downloads at SourceForge.net
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Are portable apps preferable, even for non-portable use ?




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