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Multiple Personality Computer Software?


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#1 randl

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 05:03 PM

Background: When I created this disk I partioned it so the OS (XP Pro) would be in C drive, all my Applications would be in D drive and all the data would be in E drive.

Operation: Everything was great for about 2 years now.

Problem Sequence of Events:
1. Everything worked great until one day the Defrag program said: "hey your D drive is 86% full and I need at least 15% disk buffer to make the data moves."
2. So, I found this suspiciously large program (using 6.5 GB) and "uninstalled" it.
3. but wait, the uninstall did not work and my computer "froze" to the point that I had to "hard boot it."
4. This is when the fun began. Now, any program I wanted to access through the "Start" menu, would not launch, like it "was not there."
5. When I right click on "Properties" of the D drive, it says it is"empty," it has 92% free space. But, the Start menu "thinks" all the programs are there (they are listed in the start menu).
6. I re-downloaded the basic programs I needed to get my job done and those work (now).
7. The "phantom" programs are still there according to the Start Menu, but don't work.
8. The now phantom programs have various issues for download so I basically would like to "wipe them clean." -> the D drive directory was somehow corrupted, its my best guess.

Question:
1. What do I need to do the let the "Start" menu "know" those programs are NOT there anymore?
2. And will this...lobotomy, allow me to download the other programs I need as if they were never there?

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#2 Budapest

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 05:47 PM

You should be able to right-click on any entry in the Start Menu and delete it.

Right click on the D drive in Explorer and go Properties > Tools > Check Now (under Error Checking). Check both boxes then click "Start Now".
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#3 randl

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 12:59 PM

Thanks Budapest, I tried this last night - no joy.

I can right click and delete the title in the Start Menu, however my biggest worry is being able to re-download the programs I need. For example Adobe. When I tried to re-download it it would not, and it gave me the message in the attached file.

Any other ideas?
Thanks for the help

#4 Gabrial

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 01:41 PM

I don't see an attatched file, but you probably have stuff data laying around your registry that's preventing a new installation from occuring. Which adobe product are you having problems with?

#5 randl

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 02:31 PM

I am not sure what happened. Let me try again.

Attached Files



#6 randl

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 03:01 PM

More data. I downloaded CCleaner and when it ran through my registers it showed ALL the programs fall in generally 4 categories of issues as shown in the attached file (I have executed the clean up yet). Will executing th clean up allow me to re-download all the "missing" programs?

Attached Files



#7 DavisMcCarn

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 04:03 PM

Oh boy, you are in deep kimchi!
If you haven't already, back up all of your files. Not doing so is playing Russian Roullette with three bullets in the gun.
Next (!!!!), you NEED to find out if that hard disk drive is failing. Go get the free version of http://www.hdtune.com and run the error scan. It will take a while; but, if it finds even one red box, the drive is failing and you'll at least know why the uninstall blew up.
What you should have done (if the hard drive is OK) was to recover the contents of the D drive; but, having now reinstalled software on that drive, the odds of getting it back are very low.

If your hard drive is OK, your best bet (and just as fast as any other) is to start from scratch with a fresh install of Windows. All of the registry cleaners ignore errors in many places of your registry (because it's deadly to touch them) and you'll simply never get it right, no matter how hard you try. You actually, BTW, hurt the system's performance and didn't do a thing for anything else in placing programs on a separate partition. All of my data files have been on a different, physical hard disk drive since 1994; but C gets Windows and all programs. I also have a third drive setup for temporary and swap files; but, that is a different subject, altogether.

So, backup your files, see if the HDD is OK, start from scratch with a fresh install, delete the C and D partitions in setup, install Windows, drivers, every update untill it won't, add back your protection apps, programs (on C!!!!), and then change the pointers back to your data.
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#8 Budapest

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 05:45 PM

Did you run the error checking?
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#9 randl

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 12:49 AM

BUDAPEST - you can see my reply to you right below your message (above).

To Davis McCarn - I ran the error checking you suggested. My hard disk is in good shape as you can see from the attached file.

I am certain I have Register problems due to the problem I described in my original posting. I need to find a way to clean up the D Partition.

Attached Files



#10 Budapest

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 02:58 AM

You could try uninstalling all these non-working applications with the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility.

http://majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=4459
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#11 DavisMcCarn

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 07:07 AM

Because you installed everything to the D drive, all of the registry entries for programs will point to D:\<yadayada> and having lost those files leaves you in a position where there will be tens of thousands of what are going to be bouncing betty landmines. They may seem harmless and you might be able to get past most of them; but, you're (I think) inevitably going to hit a brick wall and it might not happen until you upgrade something or buy a new printer.

I have been editing the windows registry since Windows 3.1 (it was a DAT file then) and the only registry cleaner which would show you the errors graded by safety (green, yellow, red) was the JV16 Powertools ( http://www.macecraft.com/ ) and it's been so long since I used it that I can't say if it still does. Everybody else learned early on that there are numerous areas that you don't touch. For example, MS Office adds pointers which only get used if you add something from the CD; but, if you delete the "bad entry" it breaks Office so CCleaner, RegCure, etc. won't touch them.

If you really want to find out, get this first and you'll have a complete registry backup: http://www.computer-help.net/Best-Registry-Backup.html

Then, go ahead and run CCleaner's registry cleaner at least three times and tell it to fix everything each time. Get the MSI Cleanup utility Budapest suggested and use it to remove the bogus "installed software" and then run CCleaner three more times.

When you're done, run regedit and search for D:\ which will show you every reference left to the missing files. I'll bet you give up after the first two hundred, or so.

Unless you don't have a Windows CD or are nervous about installing the drivers and apps, the fastest recovery is to format and start from scratch. Again, you would do best to combine C and D into one drive.

I'm glad your hard disk drive is OK!
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#12 hamluis

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 08:31 AM

<<Then, go ahead and run CCleaner's registry cleaner at least three times and tell it to fix everything each time. Get the MSI Cleanup utility Budapest suggested and use it to remove the bogus "installed software" and then run CCleaner three more times.>>

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:

Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.

Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.

Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.

Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.

The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.Louis

Edited by hamluis, 26 September 2010 - 08:32 AM.


#13 randl

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 02:21 PM

I think this conversation is running away from me.

My central question is: "Can I clean D Drive?"
1. I'd be willing to go to D: -> Program Files -> right click -> and hit "delete" on all the phantom programs if that would do the job.
2. I can also go to "Start" -> right click on the phantom program listed -> hit delete
But I don't know that this will achieve the purpose.

Obviously C: is not talking to D: and they each don't know the other status. However, Programs like Adobe reader are looking at something that is not there and will not download.

I am not going to scratch and start over again just because Adobe does not download. This seems extreme.

#14 DavisMcCarn

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 04:09 PM

hamluis; I suggested he get ERUNT and run it before using CCleaner so he could undo any damage; but, we're in a different predicament here.

randl; Your problem is that "When I right click on "Properties" of the D drive, it says it is"empty," it has 92% free space. But, the Start menu "thinks" all the programs are there (they are listed in the start menu)." when it was only 14% empty before the freezeup, so 93% of the files that were on the D drive are gone! If, as you said, you installed all of your programs to the D drive, almost nothing in your Start menu now works and unless that D partition is very tiny, you lost an awful lot of stuff.
How large is the D drive?

And, BTW, if you use paint instead of word for those screen captures, you'll be able to save JPG's which are much safer for us to open.
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