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how to uninstall WinXP with no uninstall folders anywhere


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#1 jbclem

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 04:59 AM

This WinXP sp3 needs to be removed from my computer but I've discovered that it's not represented in Add/Remove Programs.  And looking under /WINDOWS I don't see any uninstall folders.

 

I'm stuck and the only thing I can think of is to install another WinXP on top of this one.  But when I try that the installation wants to reformat the partition, which is not an option right now(too much data on it).

 

Would deleting the entire /WINDOWS folder accomplish anything in the sense of allowing me to reinstall another OS (even WinXP) in the same partition.    In case anyone's wondering, this WinXP installation has some problems I can't resolve...the DVD/CD player won't work when WinXP is running (worked fine for installing) and therefore I can't install any of the missing drivers such as for the network adapter (thus, no internet to download drivers from).  It's a Catch-22 situation and since I have access to another WinXP sp3 disk, I just want to uninstall this one and try again. Also, this WinXP is strangely slow most of the time (without high %cpu usage) and just isn't acting right.

 

Any suggestions would be welcome...but please, I already know I can reformat the hard drive and I'm not inclined to do that.

 

 



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#2 Willy22

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 10:55 AM

- Deleting the entire C:\Windows folder would mean you delete the entire Windows Operating System.



#3 hamluis

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 12:18 PM

You cannot...uninstall Windows if you are IN windows.

 

The normal method for removing any Windows install is to just delete that partition.

 

Louis



#4 jbclem

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 04:14 PM

I've read many times that you can uninstall Windows from Add/Remove Programs (in Control Panel).  That would be done from IN Windows...there was no mention that it couldn't be.  But sadly that's not an option here.  Anyway, I do have access using a boot CD that runs a mini version of WinXP, that's how I'm able to go online and write this message.

 

Deleting the partition would be no different than reformatting it, and I have a lot of data there and no space to copy it to.

 

Deleting the /WIndows folder would be for the purpose of eliminating the operating system.  But would it do so enough so that the computer would no longer be identified as having an OS installed.  Are there other bits and pieces (such as the paging file, or in the registry) that would still present this identification.  

 

I tried installing the other WinXP sp3 on top of this one, but the installation only gave me the option of reformatting the partition first, and I think that's because it detected the current installation.  So that's where I'm stuck.

 

 



#5 Willy22

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 04:24 PM

No, those "uninstall" options are meant to un-install Windows updates or un-install the last Service Pack (e.g. go back from SP 3 to SP 2). But you can't un-install Windows itself. So, the only solution is to re-install XP. You can buy a USB stick and copy/back-up all files to that USB memory stick and then you can re-install XP.



#6 jbclem

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 04:44 AM

I didn't know that the uninstall folders were only for  updates and service packs...and this is a standalone sp3 installation disk so that explains why no uninstall folders.  Would the same be true for no entry in Add/Remove Programs?

 

And are you saying that the only way to install WinXP is to first format the partition?  You can't just install it over the current version...no way?

 

Also, thanks for your help.



#7 hamluis

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 07:44 AM

Your topic title is somewhat misleading, IMO.

 

If your goal is to reinstall XP...what situation created havoc with your system...leading up to your apparent plan to delete and reinstall XP?

 

Before doing anything...I would run a hard drive diagnostic to check the functional status of the hard drive, at the very least.

 

What makes you think that reinstalling Windows will cure a problem with an optical drive?

 

System manufacturer and model?

 

Louis



#8 Platypus

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 08:00 AM

If you cannot access the optical drive at the moment, why not install other drivers from a flash drive? I'm inclined to think as Louis, some faultfinding could go a long way to resolve the issues. But you can certainly do a Repair Install without formatting or deleting anything:

 

http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

 

However it could be more complex and time consuming than diagnosing the existing installation. If Internet Explorer has been updated to IE7 or 8 then it should be reverted to IE6 first or IE can stop working, and a repair install would take it back to SP3, so all the subsequent updates would have to be done.


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#9 jbclem

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 09:51 PM

My goal is to get my computer working.  But after having lost access to this triple boot (Win2000,WIn2000,WinXP) computer and after spending two-three weeks unsuccessfully trying to fix the problem(s), I'm focusing now on simply getting one OS working because I need the computer ASAP..  After I get it working, then I can come back and ask for help with the other access problems. 

 

The current issue:  I installed WinXp sp3, and it wasn't working right, and the main problems were the inability to install the drivers for the network adapter(ethernet card), and the fact that the CD/DVD player recorder works in DOS but not in Windows.  So I came here because I wanted to remove this installation and start again with a different one.  Since it looks like I can't do that easily, I tried installing a different version (sp2) over this one and it installed ok but the main problems (mentioned below) remain.

 

1.  When I try to install drivers for the network adapter the installation  starts  and then stops with this error message:

 "an error occurred during the installation of the device"   "access is denied".  I didn't know what this meant, so I went to Local Security Policy (from Control Panel) but couldn't open that folder ("mmc cannot open the file H:\Windows\System32\secpol.msc) even though I could open all the other Administrative Tools folders.  I eventually found I could open it using "Run As....Administrator".  Under User Rights Assignment, Load and Unload Device Drivers is set for "Administrators".  Which is how I'm logged in.  But that's as far as I've gotten, I'm over my head with this problem.  Any suggestions?

 

2.  The CD/DVD unit works in DOS, and in WinXP it's recognized in Device Manager and under Properties everything is working fine and the driver(s) are installed.  But when I put a loaded disk in and try to view it from My Computer, I'll get a window with a Z: heading, but nothing in the window.  I've tried many times with different disks and always the same result.  I've tried to view the disk using ZTree, but it gives me an "invalid timestamp parameter [87]" error.  I tried CDRoller on the disk and get the error " unknown file system" .  This is on a disk that I've used fifty times in the last two weeks to boot up this computer and to run miniXP.  I know it's a normal disk with a working file system.  But when I'm running this WinXP I get these error messages and a blank window.  What could be causing this type of problem?



#10 hamluis

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 11:48 AM

Do the following from the XP install, please.

 

Please download MiniToolBox  , save it to your desktop and run it.
 
Checkmark the following checkboxes:
  List last 10 Event Viewer log
  List Installed Programs
  List Users, Partitions and Memory size.
 
Click Go and paste the content into your next post.
 
Also...please Publish a Snapshot using Speccy - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic323892.html/page__p__1797792#entry1797792 , taking care to post the link of the snapshot in your next post.
 
Louis






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