Completely Removing Old Software

Completely Removing Old Software

We all install programs, use them for a while, and then wish we were never introduced to them. Some programs that you install you will forget you even have. Some software that you remove will leave little bits and pieces behind that you may not even know about.

Add Or Remove Programs.....Not Enough
The easiest way to remove programs is from the Add Or Remove Programs applet. You simply select the program you wish to remove and click to remove it. This generally removes a majority of the application from your computer

However, a good portion of the time this method of removal does not remove every file that is related to the program. Often there will be scattered files, DLLs (dynamic link libraries), temporary files, and more that may be left on your computer. To ensure maximum optimization of your computer, as much of this clutter should be removed as possible.

Why are some files left behind?
When you install a program, the installer makes a log of all of the files it installs. when you remove the program, the uninstaller reads that log file and removes only the files listed. This sounds great, but if the uninstaller is flawed or the initial installation was inconsistent, the program can't be removed properly. If additional files have been added to the program's folders, those files and the folders they live in will not be removed either.

Where are files normally stored?
Many files are normally stored in you My Documents folder. Normally this folder is on the desktop of your computer or in your Start menu. Many of these files are created by programs for use by you. If you installed a trial of something and it creates a file or folder in you My Documents folder. That file or folder will not usually be removed when you uninstall the software.

Another place files are stored are in the temporary folders on your computer. In the old days of computing it was very easy to find and delete temporary files. However, today there are several different Temp folders:

C:Documents and SettingsYourNameLocal SettingsTemp
*Warning: It is not recommended to remove shared files. Deleting the wrong file while trying to free up some hard disk space could bring your system to a screeching halt.

Another place programs place data is in the Registry. The Registry is where most of the system information, preferences, and settings for your computer and software are stored. If software is removed improperly, information pertaining to the program will remain in the Registry. Removing these orphaned keys can make your system faster and more stable.

The registry is the favorite hiding place for spyware. Visit Secure Computer Networks for more information on spyware:

*Warning: Modifying the Registry could possibly crash your computer or software. Always remember to back your computer up before every changing anything Do not remove Registry entries for anything unless you are sure that they are not needed.

With a little detective work, you can find and remove unwanted files from your computer. You will end up with more free disk space and perhaps a more reliable and faster computer.

Of course, you must always be careful when removing files from your computer. If you mistakenly remove files that a program still uses, the program may not start again until you reinstall it. If you remove files that your operating system uses, you could potentially have a computer that will not start fully.

Secure Computer Networks has specialists on staff that can help you with this task. They have mobile techs located throughout Texas and also offer phone support provided by QUALIFIED technicians. A majority of the time after a Complete PC Clean-Up, your computer will run better, launch programs faster, crash less often, and receive fewer pop-ups while surfing the internet. Constant Pop-ups are a sign of a virus or spyware that has found it's way into your computer.

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Secure Computer Networks has many valuable tips and tricks to help maintain and improve your computing experience.

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