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Repairing Add/Remove Programs List


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#1 jackdup

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 11:18 PM

A friend's computer was infected with numerous viruses and a ton of malware. When she would boot the computer it would launch IE and continue launching it over and over faster than you could close them until the computer bogged down to a crawl.

 

I used a few different virus scanners as well as malwarebytes and it would appear it is clean now except the add/remove program list has a ton of items listed that are not programs and there is no way to get rid of them or clean and rebuild the list that I can see. I could try a restore point but she is not sure when the problem started and thinks all was okay in August but I hate to take a chance on restoring and then finding out the viruses are all back plus I am not sure what was done since that point that might be lost.

 

Would appreciate knowing if there is anyway to rebuild the add/remove list or what the consequences of restoring to a point two months ago would be.

 

The other option would be to restore the registry from the regback folder but again am not sure what the negative consequences of this might be either.

 

I would appreciate some advice from someone knowledgeable on the subject.

 

Thank you

 

I just checked and it would appear that either Windows XP did not use a regback folder or if they did it is in a different location than in Windows 8.


Edited by hamluis, 31 October 2014 - 10:40 AM.
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#2 technonymous

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 02:31 AM

A restore point would help remove those, some may remain. Revo Uninstaller can help remove stuborn programs it also has the ability to rip it out of the registry if need be. It's pretty good at that, but you still got to be careful. Last resort is to reinstall XP if it's to bad. The problem there is getting back all the updates to SP3 and all of the last patches. So reinstalling will leave you with an even a less secure system. Unless you have a clean clone backup. WinXP should be replaced. Goodluck.



#3 jackdup

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 04:57 PM

A restore point would help remove those, some may remain. Revo Uninstaller can help remove stuborn programs it also has the ability to rip it out of the registry if need be. It's pretty good at that, but you still got to be careful. Last resort is to reinstall XP if it's to bad. The problem there is getting back all the updates to SP3 and all of the last patches. So reinstalling will leave you with an even a less secure system. Unless you have a clean clone backup. WinXP should be replaced. Goodluck.

I used Revo Uninstaller a few years ago to get rid of a few orphan items in add/remove programs and was sure at the time it brought up a list of everything in add/remove programs and you simply selected what you wanted removed but can't find that feature in the current one I just downloaded. I even downloaded the pro free 30 trial and it has a force uninstall but again you have to input each item separately. Either I am remembering incorrectly from before or I am missing something in using the program as I just assumed it would bring up a list of everything in add/remove programs and could select what I wanted removed.

 

Any further advice would be appreciated.

 

Thank you


Edited by jackdup, 30 October 2014 - 04:57 PM.


#4 boopme

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 07:55 PM

Have you looked at this?? How to Manually Remove Programs from the Add Remove Programs List
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#5 quietman7

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 08:48 PM

Here is another...Remove Uninstalled Programs still in Add Remove Programs

And one for other OS'...How to Remove an Uninstall Entry in Programs and Features for Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8

Some suggestions involve making changes in the Windows registry. Always Create a New Restore Point and back up your registry before making any changes.
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#6 jackdup

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 10:02 PM

Part of my concern is the entries that are in the add/remove programs list are not usual entries. I have seen lots of times where someone deleted a folder or some files and then the uninstall would not work any more so you had a program listed that could not be uninstalled nor could the entry be removed, or where an uninstall did not complete correctly and you were left with an entry that could not be removed.

 

Maybe it doesn't matter but what I have are entries where there is no information to the right like there usually is like the size, last date used. nor are you presented with the option to change or uninstall when you highlight the entry nor are most of the entries actual programs.

 

As an example here are six entries

5600

5600_help

5600trb

6200

6200_help

6200trb.

 

My concern is, is there any chance these are files that are part of some program and removing them may leave the program non-operational, or Is removing them from the list simply not deleting any actual files but just removing the entry from the list?

 

One of the above links mentions using CCleaner and I actually have it loaded and the list is there and one can highlight the item and select either repair or uninstall, but again want to be sure it is only removing the entry from the list and not going to actually remove any files as I have no idea if these are files and if so if they are related to some program.

 

Since removing the malware and viruses I have not run every program on her computer but have run some and have rebooted and it seems to load in a reasonable time and given the age and the processor seems to operate at a decent speed as well.

 

Thank you



#7 quietman7

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 08:09 AM

Programs and Features (Add/Remove Programs) gets it's information (such as the program name, publisher, size, version, installation date, etc) by looking at each of the subkeys saved and listed under this registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

Only the DisplayName (Name of the application) and UninstallString (Path and filename of the uninstaller) strings are mandatory...everything else is optional. Those who write malware are not going to provide more than necessary in order to accomplish their goals.

If it is a legit program, then it can always be reinstalled.
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#8 jackdup

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 10:11 AM

If it is a legit program, then it can always be reinstalled.

 

The concern is if it is a part of Windows as she is not sure it she still has the recovery disks and even if she does I don't believe all of the service packs and other fixes and security updates are still available for XP.

 

Do you know if I remove the item from the add remove program list does it actually remove the file or just the name from the list?



#9 quietman7

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 10:38 AM

If you are manually deleting the registry key....then only the registry key is removed.

Tell her to try one at a time to see how it goes...but back up the registry before making any changes.
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#10 jackdup

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 12:40 PM

If you are manually deleting the registry key....then only the registry key is removed.

Tell her to try one at a time to see how it goes...but back up the registry before making any changes.

I had hoped to use CCleaner as you simply highlight the item and select uninstall as it is much quicker than the manual method and less worry of making an inadvertent error in the registry. I would assume the stray entries like 5600 would not have anything associated with them that would cause a problem but want to be sure that if "5600" is actually a file that it does not get deleted but only the entry from the list is removed.



#11 quietman7

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 03:10 PM

By manually deleting the registry key, I meant either the registry or a third-party tool like CCleaner. These are other alternatives which allow you to right-click on an entry and choose "Remove Entry" or "Delete" to remove it from the list. I have all of them but prefer Revo.
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#12 jackdup

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 03:26 PM

I have tried Revo but not the others. Revo only shows the legitimate programs that are in the list rather than all of them. I downloaded the free trial of pro and it has a force uninstall but does not bring up a list only a window to enter the name to uninstall.

 

I can try some of the others you list. Is there anything wrong with using CCleaner as I already have it loaded just don't know exactly what it does when you use it to delete entries.

 

Thank you



#13 quietman7

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Posted 01 November 2014 - 07:52 PM

CCleaner is fine.
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#14 jackdup

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 01:47 PM

When I went into the registry at the location you mentioned above only the "valid" entries were shown there and none of what I would call invalid entries were shown so I used CCleaner to remove the invalid entries. All seemed to go fine until I opened IE and received the following message;

 



"a program on your computer has corrupted your default search provider settings for Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer has reset this settings to your original search provider, Bing (www.bing.com). Internet Explorer will now open Search Settings, where you can change this setting or install more search providers."

 



I tried to change the default search provider but it would not allow a change. There are other providers shown and highlighting Google and selecting set as default did nothing.

 



I did a search for the above mentioned message and most answers said to delete CREDHIST. I did a search and it found three instances so deleted all three but still receive the message. I restored the registry from the backup I made before deleting the entries with CCleaner and all is once again fine as far as IE so don't know what I may have deleted in the add remove programs that might have caused this issue or if there is another solution for this issue if I restore the registry backup that I made after deleting all of the invalid entries.

 





Even though I did not find the invalid entries in the uninstall section of the registry when I restored the one from before the deletions made in CCleaner the invalid entries were once again listed in add remove programs so there must be another place somewhere in the registry that contains those entries.






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