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Removing All Those Unused Programs From New Computer


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#1 brillo

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 04:31 PM

New i6000 xp MCE sp2 has so many programs preinstalled that I will never use. I read a guide about getting rid of all this stuff, possibly TechRepublic note, maybe here, con't remember. I have successfully removed all extraneous stuff (that I've found) except AOL. It has at least 50 files in its own folder. I do use AIM to IM daughter, but will never use AOL for anything else, I think. (MSN is ISP, so why would I use AOL?) When I start to delete AOL files individually or the whole folder, either way, message comes up, (paraphrased) if you delete this, AOL won't work and other programs may not work properly. ??????????????? So, I stop deleting and start feeling like I've got a wart that won't go away.

Now there is an "AOL active update" sitting on my screen and it won't go away. Options are to "install now" or eXit, but comes right back after exit, pushy little #%$@^*! This is one more reason I intend not to use AOL in the future.

Can I just ignore the message and delete all AOL files (except AIM) or.... what should I do to get rid of it? I assume I can get AIM back, just AIM, without all the other stuff. And reinstall it, if it gets fouled up in AOL delete. Agree?

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#2 Klinkaroo

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 05:08 PM

Have you tried going to the control pannel and using the unistaller because the problem here is that there might be files in that folder that AOL AND other programs use so if you delete them those other programs won't work.

#3 nosnhoj#3

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 05:58 PM

Hi there,

A fellow Oregonian, I think your the first Ive noticed at this forum.

It is quite humerous how certain corporations feel the need to scare consumers out of uninstalling their product, and it works cause the everyday normal person will keep that program forever.

I have done this many times, and have proven the scare tactics are just that. The PC distributors do tend to string those AOL files all over the place, and sometimes, a few components may actually reinstall themselves right after you uninstalled them.

Ignore the pop-ups, and if it wont let you delete something, Hold the Shift button at the same time you are deleting. I have become quite efficient at the task of removing bundled software, everyone in my family shops from Dell or Gateway, and I am the family geeek.

It is true, the first thing you should do is go and uninstall everything listed that is associated with AOL from Add/Remove Programs. Yes, even AIM, you can go and download it later, by itself. But, if it were that easy, then someone forgot to install it prior to shipping the unit to you.

A reliable way to find most of the junk is to run a search. I would run a few, using different keywords cause they spread it out into every user folder(even the ones you can't see because your folders are hidden).

Uninstalling should not harm anything unless you have installed something that requires AOL to function. You may also be bundled with JASC or Microsoft Plus! software. Quickbooks is another and if you have a Dell, they tend to provide you with not only AOL, but Earthlink, and NetZero as well.

Another annoyance that I have seen alot of is the creation of folders in My Documents to all the Trial Bundlled crap they send. The folder names sound really important, but if you are going to uninstall the software affiliated with that folder, then get rid of it, unless you use it for other apps. These Folders are usually In capital letters. Make sure to peek inside the folder and make sure of what you are deleting.

I would also recommend creating a System Restore point before doing anything, better safe than sorry.

Hope this helps,

nos :thumbsup:
When I'm right, I'm right....
And when I'm wrong, I could have been right....
So I'm still right, cause I could have been wrong.

#4 brillo

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 06:32 PM

yes, thanks to klinkaroo and nosnhoj#3 for prompt suggestions/thoughts. I will do as nosnhoj#3 suggests, set restore and start whittling away.

#5 brillo

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 09:46 PM

Well, this is good. Sixty seven files are adios, dosvidania, sionara, gonzo baby! Feels like I just took a dip in a mountain stream. Wooooooh!!! (Take what you get, you know?)
Only problem is, yes, as predicted, AIM is gone and as far as I can tell, AOL/AIM doesn't want me to get it back. Went to AIM home and tried to download it.... Nothing, doesn't even try. Not an issue, but I do like those little chats with my daughter occasionally, so if anyone knows how to get AIM after purging AOL and its hordes from the inner sanctum of XP, let me know. Like which file(s) AIM/AOL needs to find on my system to get AIM back. I still have all that stuff in recycler, willing to bring one or two files back, if they're small and otherwise silent as the dead.

#6 Enthusiast

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 12:27 AM

Download and install AIM by itself. It does not require the rest of the AOL garbage.

If it won't install, that means you still have some of AOL's trash on your computer.

Did you use Windows Add/Remove Programs to uninstall AOL?
If you did, and it wasn't completely successful:

Download Spybot Search and Destroy and use its uninstaller to try to rid your computer of it.

Spybot S&D: http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html
Be sure to enable “Teatimer” which gives you realtime protection against malware invasion. (absolutely necessary)

Then run CCleaner:
http://www.ccleaner.com/

Reboot and try to download AIM by itself:

http://www.aim.com/

Edited by Enthusiast, 21 March 2006 - 12:29 AM.


#7 brillo

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 02:46 AM

Well, I have CCleaner and SpybotSD with Teatimer on (since maybe a week ago), so I'll go run those momentarily. First, I want to say that I removed those AOL file one at a time. Searched for AOL in the name, got the list and deleted the 67 files. Interesting though, as I read Enthusiast's post just now, a little light turned on above my head. I hadn't searched hidden files, as nosnhoj#3 suggested. So I just did that, and... there are 73 AOL files, 67 in recycler, 6 still mingling with the general population. So I'm going to snuff them and then do the CC/SDS thing.

Interesting, it is not as I assumed, removed files that are stopping AIM from downloading, but rather AOL files that are still there. Didn't even cross my mind. Thanks Enthusiast.

#8 Enthusiast

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 01:14 PM

It is really dangerous and not good practice to delete files individually, especially program files that include dlls.

Some of those may be shared files and could impact your op system or other aps adversely.

Always use an uninstaller, whether it's the Windows add/remove utility or Spybot or whatever.

#9 reddrose

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 07:40 PM

Only problem is, yes, as predicted, AIM is gone and as far as I can tell, AOL/AIM doesn't want me to get it back. Not an issue, but I do like those little chats with my daughter occasionally, so...



Don't forget, you can always find alternatives to using AIM- I believe programs such as "Trillion" allow you to chat with AIM users....
Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.

#10 Klinkaroo

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 12:11 AM

There is also GAIM that you use to talk with aim, icq, msn, yahoo and all the major ones from one place :D

It's multi-protocol (I like to use big words)

Edited by Klinkaroo, 25 March 2006 - 12:23 PM.


#11 acklan

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Posted 25 March 2006 - 12:15 AM

I use GAIM on both my Linux and XP computers. Very basic but also easy to use.
"2007 & 2008 Windows Shell/User Award"




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