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Author Topic: Uninstallers (a very short look at what I've tried!)  (Read 20938 times)
Redhat
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« on: February 16, 2006, 07:39:14 AM »

These two programs I have tried so far essentially do two different things:

Your Uninstaller! Pro 2006
Allows you to uninstall exisiting programs on your system, completely. After running the uninstall component of the application, it then moves on to scan your registry and installed programs folders for loose reg keys and files. This is a fantastic application and does what it says on the tin - uninstalls completely (or, looks like it does!)

Total Uninstall 3.52
Allows you to install a program and let it be monitored by TU (basically it records all the changes it makes to the system) and then uninstall it completely when you wish to. It does NOT feature, at least that I can tell, a similar function to Your Uninstaller! where you can uninstall EXISTING programs.

My reason for such software is to keep a track of what I install (5-10 applications per day) and be able to uninstall them completely if desired.

Both applications can meet my needs, to an extent. But - Your Uninstaller! doesn't keep a CLEAR and CONCISE log of installs. I guess, after all, these programs are called "Uninstallers" for a reason! But I NEED that functionality, it's one of the main reasons I'm looking into these. Ok, YU alerts you when it's run to new items that have been installed, but with Total Uninstall, there is a clear way to see what you have installed and a clear way to uninstall it.

In a nutshell - Your Uninstaller! 2006 allows you to uninstall software that is installed on your system completely. Total Uninstall, on the other hand, doesn't let you uninstall existing applications, but it certainly does an awesome job of keeping an (probably the wrong word! ) "Inventory" of what you've installed with it, and offers an effective way to remove it also.

I'm beginning to think these programs are very different in their approaches, and maybe even compliment each other!

But hang on Matt - maybe they don't? What if you are satisfied with your current setup and only want to monitor new installs? The Total Uninstall wins HANDS DOWN.

If you have a mess of a system (  cheesy ) and need to uninstall existing applications, then I believe Your Uninstaller! Pro 2006 would meet your needs entirely.

So no "best", no "winner" out of the two - just two different approaches smiley

Sorry for the lack of screenshots, I can't quite figure out the forum software to do it  embarassed Thmbsup

Websites:

Total Uninstall - http://www.martau.com/
Your Uninstaller! - http://www.ursoftware.com/

Hope it was useful to someone  tellme
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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2006, 08:11:30 AM »

Images help a LOT in a minireview.

When you make a post youll see a line at the bottom saying "Addition Options."  Just click that to open up a place where you can upload as many images as you want. 

Images are normally shown at the end of a post.  See this post for instructions on how to put images inline with your post: http://www.donationcoder....um/index.php?topic=1996.0
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Redhat
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2006, 08:45:00 AM »

Cheers mouser  Thmbsup
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Darwin
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2006, 09:15:49 AM »

Nice review, Redhat. I've been using Your Uninstaller! since version 2004. I purchased it with lifetime upgrades on sale about 18 months ago and am now running the 2006 version. I used Ashampoo's Uninstaller Suite 2 prior to that and won't go back, not that it's a bad product (I quite like it) but you have to be VERY careful in using it. If you have software running in the background, for example, when you install an application with Uninstaller Suite, you are asking for trouble when you uninstall the app the same way - the uninstaller will likely delete registry keys associated with the unrelated application that was running duiring install. This pretty much guarantees that you're going to have to reinstall that app. This can affect more than one app. This got tiresome because I am lazy and forgetful (about shutting apps down before installation). I suppose the safest thing to do is to boot into "safe mode" when using Uninstaller Suite, but I found installing applications with US to be painfully slow to begin with. Don't know if this is a problem with Total Uninstaller as well, but both it and the Ashampoo product work in a similar fashion (from what I can see).

If I understand you correctly, you're looking for the uninstallation package to keep a log of all the changes that are made to your system when you install software? From my experience, this is indeed something that you're not going to get with Your Uninstaller. It does offer a details view which shows you registry changes made by the apps installer but that's about as robust as it gets. For myself, I don't need that functionality and find YU to fit my needs very well. It's very quick and thorough - I've yet to run into any problems using it and the extent of my involvement post uninstallation is to check Application Settings and Common Files folders for settings folders which have been left behind. Oh, one thing I love about YU is that it runs the applications uninstaller first, before going to work. The nice thing is that if the application's uninstaller has been corrupted somehow, YU can still get rid of it for your. I'm rambling...

« Last Edit: February 16, 2006, 09:24:24 AM by Darwin » Logged

"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
superboyac
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2006, 01:08:21 PM »

I reviewed Total Uninstaller a few months ago on another forum.  Later today, I'll repost that review over here.
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Harrie
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2006, 06:21:48 AM »

Thanks, Redhat.  Very helpful.  After reading this, I know I want to go with Your Uninstaller.
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Harrie
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2006, 07:50:54 AM »

Wow!  Can I just say I'm not sorry??  This program is excellent.  I'm extremely impressed.  So many options.  And fast.  I feel so much "cleaner" already, LOL.  It removed a temporary patch I couldn't remove yesterday. 
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mouser
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2006, 08:12:49 AM »

just a reminder, not speaking about this thread in particular, but just reminding people to use their DonationCredits when appropriate to throw a couple credits to someone when they make a post you find useful.
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Harrie
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2006, 08:32:31 AM »

Good reminder, mouser!  I love the donation credits system; I think it is so cool.  Gives a real participatory feeling, too, as far as I'm concerned.  In my excitement and involvement with the program this morning, I did totally forget, LOL. 
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zridling
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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2006, 05:15:05 PM »

Thanks Redhat! I had the same response with Ashampoo and found it too aggressive. Total Uninstall has worked really well for me. It's a lifesaver.
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2006, 09:32:10 PM »

There is an older but it is a freeware version (2.35) of Total Uninstall http://freeware4u.com/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=234 which I personally used in VM to track the changes to the system made by malware.
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moerl
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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2006, 01:28:31 AM »

I use Total Uninstall 3.61 and Your Uninstaller! Pro 2006 in tandem. They work great when used together, although over time, my "fear" of Total Uninstall's power has grown. It just seems like it catches a ton of things I'd rather it didn't catch, and I have not yet learned just how to teach it what I would like it to monitor and what I would like it to skip. In its preferences, TU does allow for such discrimination by letting the user alter scanning and comparing modes, but I never really understood how those exclusion mechanisms work. For example, that's the difference between the "exclude" fields in the scanning portion of the program... and the comparison portion? I meant, for a long time, to make a post about this on Martau's forums, but never remembered to do so. Perhaps I will sometime soon.

I've been with both applications for quite a while now and remember how terribly excited I was after the release of Total Uninstall 3. I was even in email contact with Martau himself, suggesting, among other things, that he put a forum on the site because a program as powerful and as complex as TU surely warrants one. And he went and did it and put a forum on the site. Great stuff! He is a very talented developer and updates to TU have been fairly frequent. You never get a sense that TU has become abandonware in any way. It's great to know there is a solid community and a great developer behind a product you use. Now it's up to me to make use of the community smiley

As for Your Uninstaller!, the story is similar, minus the email exchange, and, well, minus the relatively frequent updates. Your Uninstaller! is updated next to never. But the latest version of it works very well and I've grown to trust it. I usually follow up uninstallations that I suspect may have left behind a mess by running JV16 Powertools' registry cleaner, just to be sure. It works great when combined with the other mentioned tools. As I have said, I recently have not used TU too much. I'd like to learn more about it before I use it to uninstall software again. This is not to say that TU has ever caused problems with my system, which really it never has. It's just that I'd like to learn a little bit more about just how it works before I want to let it rip away at my data again smiley

My latest golden find, through Lifehacker, as always, was Altiris' Software Virutalization Solution. That's revolutionary in terms of software testing. I'm still in love with it and am now wondering if I could run just about everything virtualized! Just imagine.. nothing you install and use even affects your system file or registry structure in any way.. that's pretty amazing. Of course you need to set it up so you can save files and setting generated by that software.. but aside from that, it's a beautiful concept. And no, I'm not realistically considering this.. but it sure is tempting smiley
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superboyac
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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2006, 03:51:51 PM »

Here's my review for Total Uninstall done last year.  It's not the greatest review, not very detailed at all.  In fact, I'm quite ashamed of it now.  Enjoy!

Quote
Software Reviewed: Total Uninstall
Version:
Source: http://www.martau.com
Review Code: PTREVAUG05

INSTALLATION
The installation was painless, as is expected for any
decent program.  It gives you the option to change the
installation directory, and whether to place icons on
the desktop and start menu (simple, but some programs
don't offer this).

INITIAL REVIEW
The interface of the program is very clean, and it
seems like a lightweight program in that it starts
quickly.  The options are very customizable and not
overwhelming to the experienced user.  It is obvious
that this program is not meant for the casual Windows
user.  In other words, this is a power user tool.
Despite the clean interface, a quick glance through
the options shows that you really have to know what's
going on in a computer to be able to use this program
effectively.  For example,  you can customize
directories for the saved logs and snapshots, you can
use wildcards to detect monitored applications, and
you can even create different profiles for different
levels of monitoring.  These are all poweruser
features, and your typical Windows user would have no
idea what these things are for.

That being said, a novice user, even if he never
fiddled with the options or knew what they meant,
would not have that difficult a problem using the
program.  The default settings work flawlessly; all a
user has to remember is to use the program to install
or uninstall software rather than just double-clicking
the install file and going.  Of course, a regular
Windows user would have no motivation for this kind of
software.

Total Uninstall can begin to monitor programs in a
variety of ways, which is always nice (flexibility is
the key to poweruser software).  It can either detect
a setup file using keywords (setup, install, etc.), or
the user has to install the program through Total
Install's wizard.  Another option is the ability to
use shell integration to right-click on a setup file
and run Total Install from there.  It seems to have
all the bases covered.

Now for the real purpose of the
program...Uninstalling.  Uninstalling seems to be a
breeze with Total Uninstall.  But it's not like it was
so hard to uninstall software with Windows' Add/Remove
default utility.  The benefit of Total Uninstall is
that it shows you exactly what it is doing, and
because it live-monitors, it can essentially do a much
complete uninstallation than the Windows method.
With Total Uninstall, it shows an extremely complete
list of changes made before and after each
installation and uninstallation.  These changes are
both for the file system on your computer AND the
registry.

VERDICT
Total Uninstall does exactly what it says it does...it
completely uninstalls all the changes made to your
system by a software installation for any program that
it monitors.  Does it offer anything that the Windows'
Add/Remove programs doesn't.  Well...yes and no.  For
most people, the Windows default uninstaller is
enough.  But those of us that are fairly knowledgeable
about computers and software, and can be classified as
"powerusers", we know how the registry and file
systems can can overly cluttered with useless files
and entries after just a few months of installing and
uninstalling software.  For those of you that are
annoyed with this, Total Uninstall is the perfect
product for you.  However, be wary that if you really
want to be diligent about it, you should use it for
all software installations.  This means that you can't
just double-click and go anymore, but you have to go
through the whole Total Uninstall process of taking
pre and post-system snapshots.

But, it's not just the extreme powerusers who may
benefit.  I can see myself using Total Uninstall to
monitor some of my more "heavy-duty" software
installations like Microsoft Office or Norton
Utilities (not that I would ever use Norton!).  But I
wouldn't use it for just any piece of little
shareware.  I don't know if that defeats the overall
purpose of Total Uninstall; I don't think it does.

One interesting thought I had about Total Uninstall is
that it could potentially extend the life of your
current Windows installation.  We all know that as the
months go by, Windows tends to become more and more
sluggish.  Many people usually like to totally format
and reinstall Windows every so often.  Maybe if you
use Total Uninstall to monitor all software
installations, it can significantly reduce the
aging-Windows syndrome.  I can't say for sure now, but
maybe in a few months I can give an answer to that.

My ultimate recommendation is that Total Uninstall
does what it says, and it is better than the Windows
version, and it probably has good long-term benefits.
So I heartliy recommend it for those reasons alone.
Just remember that it requires more time and thought
than the mindless installing/uninstalling that most of
us are used to.


And here's another review done at the same time by someone else:
Quote
Software Reviewed: Total Uninstall
Version: 3.40
Source: http://www.martau.com
By: David Troesch <tun_review@...>
Review Code: PTREVAUG05
Reviewed 8/31/2005

Having been a previous user of Total uninstall 2.x (the previous freeware
version of this software) the first thing that struck me is that scanning is
FAST (a major Achilles heel of most install monitoring software). Version
2.34 of the software took at least 4 to 6 times longer (50 seconds to scan
beginning and end of an install). The new version averaged 10-15 seconds on
the same system (running in a Vmware session).

Interface
The old version was very wizard centric. Initial screen asked you what you
were doing: Install or uninstall/view results. Once you made that decision
it would take you to the next logical step. The new version is more of a
program, that you launch a wizard in to capture the install process. A new
left toolbar shows previously monitored installs ready for removal. When
highlighting each install snapshot you have summary and detailed information
about that particular (un)install. Installation and uninstallation are now
their own independent wizard. More information is displayed on the screen by
default than  with the previous version. Busier, but better for the more
advanced user. New graphics (buttons) and styles are used in several areas
of the programs. The detailed changes screen is still the old 2.34 interface
which was clear and easy to navigate/view.

New Additions
- "Scanning Profiles" which allow selecting options on how to clean up when
uninstalling apps
- Summary screen to show changes in the system during a monitored app
install
- Left Toolbar of Uninstall items
- More options For default views and limits on scanning.

The Good
- 3 to 5 times faster
- More options for control on scans
- Summary of changes per scan profile
- Export of scan profile option
- Prettier Icons
- Not a memory-resident monitoring uninstall program - no memory overhead
when program is not running
- Small program, only 1.3MB download which included the installer shell

The Bad
- Slightly more complicated interface for computer novices
- No optional list of default to ignore items after clean install. Ignore
RND reg key for windows random number generator key, prefetch directory for
windows etc. You should have an option to be able to enable "skip standard
items" for scan.
- No micro launcher app to prompt to monitor when "install.exe" or
"setup.exe" are run.

Summary
Looks like Gavrila put a lot of work into the new version which is deserving
of the new version number and a purchase ($29.00 for single license). Great
monitoring app to determine how software changes a system for
troubleshooting and software uninstallation.
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SvenH
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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2006, 04:03:56 PM »

Thank you for the reviews, superboyac.

When monitoring an installation with Total Uninstall, do I first have to close other applications, as member Darwin think about?
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2006, 04:14:19 PM »

Yes you do otherwise TU will also record any file/registry changes.

Also note that there are some things that these programs don't roll back - they record some file changes but can't undo them if files are replaced as tit doesn't keep a copy of the previous version of a file (read TU's readme file for details).
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SvenH
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« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2006, 04:19:43 PM »

You mean file/registry changes other applications may do?
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2006, 04:48:29 PM »

Basically the way it works is that it looks at the registry before you install and after you have finished installing (actually it isn't restricted to that ... you can run it when you like and it will monitor your system from when you start it to when you stop it).

Anything on your system that changes registry entries (and as far as I know file entries - though this may be restricted to certain folders) will be recorded.

If you then 'uninstall' what it has recorded it will restore registry settings to their previous values and delete new files but won't touch files that have changed.

If you want to avoid recording extraneous effects you need to run it with as few extra apps, processes and services running as possible.

Note you can actually edit the recorded changes so you can check through and delete entries you simply don't want it to touch. If you have a normal running system you will have a lot to wade through - stopping all apps etc. will mean this is pretty manageable and you may only have to discount 1 or 2 changes.

Note also it is not a panacea .... if you want to do things correctly you should always work like this ...

1) Do all you installs and uninstalls with TU without exception

2) Check the install log after every install and make sure there are no unnecessary entires logged

3) Suppose you have installed applications A B C D E F G and now want to uninstall application C

4) Uninstall G F E D C in that order

5) Reinstall D E F G

You now have A B D E F G installed correctly

If you simply uninstall C without uninstalling the others first you may will revert registry entries to the state they were at when you installed B. Any of D E F or G could have also altered those settings (if they are common) and consequently you would lose the correct settings for those apps and they may not work properly any more.
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SvenH
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« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2006, 02:51:18 PM »

Thank you for the clarifying answer.

It seems to be much trouble to get it right. Especially if I have installed many applications after the one I want to uninstall.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2006, 07:24:30 PM »

Unfortunately everyone wants a nice simple solution but in practice there isn't one - despite what the software companies tell you.

I still use TU though as it has lots of ways it can be used. For example if you want to try out a program you can install it, run it and then completely uninstall it so that not registry traces are left which is great!
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« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2006, 11:10:46 PM »

TU wont remove the trial key in the registry, i tested a shareware program a while ago but didnt like it, so i uninstalled it with TU and when i tried it again recently, the program is expired.

TU doesnt remove everything.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2006, 02:13:58 AM »

Funny - it has done that for me?
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Black Mamba
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« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2006, 04:01:11 PM »

TU doesn't really remove every key from a software uninstall. There are many hidden keys plus others that remain in the registry.  Grin

What would developers say if TU removes all the hidden keys created by their shareware programs?  Wink
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tomos
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« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2006, 03:17:07 AM »

has anyone tried out MyUninstaller
www.nirsoft.net
which doesent need to be installed and is free
Ive just installed it (well, opened it...) but havent used it yet & probably wouldnt know anyways (how good it is!)

Gives a huge amount of info about installed progs,
after reading above will prob close other programmes before trying it
 can let you know if anything noticably exotic happens smiley
« Last Edit: May 26, 2006, 03:18:39 AM by tomos » Logged

Tom
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« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2006, 04:01:01 AM »

What's with the names? Your uninstaller, my uninstaller...
Did uninstaller programmers get their creativity uninstalled from their brains?
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2006, 04:06:06 AM »

TU doesn't really remove every key from a software uninstall. There are many hidden keys plus others that remain in the registry.  Grin

What would developers say if TU removes all the hidden keys created by their shareware programs?  Wink

A simple way to acheive this is to backup your registry before you install a piece of software. If you test and decide you don't want it simply uninstall the software and then restore the registry backup. Of course it doens't help 10 days later when you have installed 50 new items too as they would all need to be reinstalled.
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