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!
Software Reviewed: Total Uninstall
Review Code: PTREVAUG05
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).
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
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
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.
Software Reviewed: Total Uninstall
By: David Troesch <tun_review@...>
Review Code: PTREVAUG05
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).
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.
- "Scanning Profiles" which allow selecting options on how to clean up when
- Summary screen to show changes in the system during a monitored app
- Left Toolbar of Uninstall items
- More options For default views and limits on scanning.
- 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
- 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.
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.