"clean" uninstaller for software

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sylvio2000
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"clean" uninstaller for software

Post by sylvio2000 »

What do you think about integrating a real uninstaller in ROS? I mean an uninstaller to detect all the registry-entries, folders and so on, which the app you are trying to uninstall always left behind. I dont mean an extra app for uninstallation. Just by using the normal software-uninstaller in windows.
You know what I mean? :D

I think this could be a good feature to integrate before finishing ROS :wink:

Sirmatto
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Post by Sirmatto »

I definitely agree with this one. It's annoying to have to run something like jv16 after I do major uninstalls to clean up the registry of useless garbage.

trondjac
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Post by trondjac »

Yes, I totally agree :D
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sylvio2000
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Post by sylvio2000 »

Hmm, over 60 views, but only 2 answers. :?

Wouldnt it be beautiful to automatically uninstall all the crap from software with "dirty" uninstall-routines? :P

Maybe, you dont know exactly what I mean:

I imagine just the normal software-uninstaller in windows (or ROS :wink: ) which saves all the changes a software made by installing.
And after that it has all the necessary information to make a "clean" uninstall of this app.
In short words: It is an integrated replacement for tools like Ashampoo UnInstaller Platinum Suite and/or jv16 PowerTools.

So, what do you think about it :D

greg
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 1:37 pm

Post by greg »

i think its an amazing idea and wish it were one of the features built into windows. its things like this thatll really turn heads and get people off windows and over to react. "full compatability and its cleaner you say? sign me up!"

ScoTTie
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Post by ScoTTie »

Sounds easy doesnt it, but there's no safe way to implement it. The only way i could see something like this working is if every program was installed in its own self contained folder or file and everything was stored in there.

If you were to automate it, what happens if for some reason you didnt want all the files removed (saved games, downloads, maps, etc..). Not to mention that to remove all traces you would have to monitor what the installer and application added/removed/touched/changed etc. THEN you have to make sure its safe to delete.

Great idea, but it seems a little awkward to implement. Also there is no 'normal software-uninstaller in windows' Add/Remove Programs just executes the installed programs set uninstaller.

sylvio2000
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Post by sylvio2000 »

Mmmh, yes, but what about those commercial uninstallers like from Ashampoo. They seemed to find a way to monitor all the changes.
Maybe it is possible first to start the "normal" uninstall of the app (Add/Remove), and then to ask the user if he/she wants to delete EVERYTHING of this program.
I would like to know what a developer thinks about this idea.
Would it really be so difficult to integrate this? :(

Floyd
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Location: The frozen part of the USA

Post by Floyd »

ScoTTie wrote:Sounds easy doesnt it, but there's no safe way to implement it. The only way i could see something like this working is if every program was installed in its own self contained folder or file and everything was stored in there.

If you were to automate it, what happens if for some reason you didnt want all the files removed (saved games, downloads, maps, etc..). Not to mention that to remove all traces you would have to monitor what the installer and application added/removed/touched/changed etc. THEN you have to make sure its safe to delete.

Great idea, but it seems a little awkward to implement. Also there is no 'normal software-uninstaller in windows' Add/Remove Programs just executes the installed programs set uninstaller.
well, maybe we could have registry changes, when a program is installed be separate registry files that would be loaded when the program is loaded, and when it came time to delete, just delete that separate file?
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TOTMS
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Re: "clean" uninstaller for software

Post by TOTMS »

sylvio2000 wrote:What do you think about integrating a real uninstaller in ROS? I mean an uninstaller to detect all the registry-entries, folders and so on, which the app you are trying to uninstall always left behind. I dont mean an extra app for uninstallation. Just by using the normal software-uninstaller in windows.
You know what I mean? :D

I think this could be a good feature to integrate before finishing ROS :wink:
Great idea, but not a high priority. Same with my suggestion for a 'true' recycle bin with secure shredding. We should maybe make a wishlist or suggesting list that people can add to. It is important to note that we wont be able to include any non opensource programs in any future distribution, but if an open source program already exists which fufils our criteria, then with the author's permission, we should be able to do a careful graft. I agree with what ScoTTie says about safe implementation. I certainly would not want a uninstall program to have a free hand to delete whatever it thinks *might* be associated with the original installation.

ThePhysicist
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Post by ThePhysicist »

I have mentioned some ideas about that some time ago. My idea is to split the registry into parts and link them together. The software registry keys (wich installers create) should be stored in seperate registry files, wich are stored in the programs folder (\program files\xyz -> HKLM/SOFTWARE) / in the user profile (user\application data\xyz -> HKCU\SOFTWARE) and when uninstalling a program you have the choice to delete the whole folder and all the entries or merge them to the main registry if you want to. Just deleting the program files\xyz folder would delete the entries from HKLM, so at least the main system would not get messed up up over time. Maybe a link to the user profile's data would be nice so on deletion you could be asked if to remove these data also (like when you delete a html file, the folder that belongs to it is also deleted) This would make uninstallation/removing obsolete entries unecessary. The system just has to make sure to remove no more present registry files from the registry at startup.

Phalanx
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Post by Phalanx »

ThePhysicist wrote:I have mentioned some ideas about that some time ago. My idea is to split the registry into parts and link them together. The software registry keys (wich installers create) should be stored in seperate registry files, wich are stored in the programs folder (\program files\xyz -> HKLM/SOFTWARE) / in the user profile (user\application data\xyz -> HKCU\SOFTWARE) and when uninstalling a program you have the choice to delete the whole folder and all the entries or merge them to the main registry if you want to. Just deleting the program files\xyz folder would delete the entries from HKLM, so at least the main system would not get messed up up over time. Maybe a link to the user profile's data would be nice so on deletion you could be asked if to remove these data also (like when you delete a html file, the folder that belongs to it is also deleted) This would make uninstallation/removing obsolete entries unecessary. The system just has to make sure to remove no more present registry files from the registry at startup.
That would defeat the whole purpose of the registry.

Mrkaras
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Post by Mrkaras »

sounds like a good idea but not as easiyas it initialy sounds ( and probably not a high prioraty)

ThePhysicist
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Post by ThePhysicist »

Phalanx wrote: That would defeat the whole purpose of the registry.
Maybe it was not clear enough what I mean. The registry would be the same, only the things were stored in special locations and then linked together. HKLM/Software/xyz would still be HKLM/Software/xyz, but when you remove the installation folder, it is automatically (or with user interaction) removed from the registry, because in most cases you don't want to keep the settings for uninstalled software.

forart
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Post by forart »

The idea is good, but i think that non-install applications (that just needs to be uncompressed to a directory) are great.
Anyway here are some 'starting' links:

Inno Setup - Installer/Uninstaller
NiTr0 Installer - Installer/Uninstaller
RegInstall - Registry u/i

Hope that helps. 8)
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MadRat
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Post by MadRat »

ThePhysicist wrote:
Phalanx wrote: That would defeat the whole purpose of the registry.
Maybe it was not clear enough what I mean. The registry would be the same, only the things were stored in special locations and then linked together. HKLM/Software/xyz would still be HKLM/Software/xyz, but when you remove the installation folder, it is automatically (or with user interaction) removed from the registry, because in most cases you don't want to keep the settings for uninstalled software.
Probably the only "performance" issue would be on the initial load of the registry and then whenever you wanted to view them in regedit. It will require a foreknowledge of the other files else your registry will be pretty abstract. Talk about an easy way to hide malware! :)
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