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Author Topic: Uninstalling Google Chrome can mess up your PC(if it was set as default browser)  (Read 27881 times)
SKA
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« on: April 26, 2011, 04:46:51 AM »

http://msinfluentials.com...breaks-your-computer.aspx

If you set GoogleChrome as your default, and uninstall it later , your Outlook can get messed up, and you probably need a fresh Windows install. The author provides a reg file to cleanly remove traces of G Chrome left behind after uninstall.

The catch : Never set Google Chrome as default browser , if you  rely on Outlook/Word etc(MS apps) to work correctly.

Ska
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 10:32:16 PM by SKA » Logged
ewemoa
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2011, 05:14:22 AM »

I got the following sort of thing trying to take a look:

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Curt
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2011, 12:41:27 PM »

Quote from: Jesper's Blog
Do No Evil; Google Chrome Style

Have you seen this warning when you try to click a link in Outlook or Word? "This operation has been canceled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator." Here is a screen shot:




There are many reason this warning can happen. Typically, the cause is that some setting in the registry (the database of configuration data on a Windows computer) has become corrupted. How exactly it became corrupted is an open question. One completely, 100% foolproof, way to corrupt the registry is to install and then uninstall Google Chrome. I discovered this when I realized that the error goes away if you reinstall Google Chrome, even if you do not set Google Chrome to your default browser. It turns out that Google leaves behind pointers to a ChromeHTML file type handler for web pages, but removes the file type handler itself during uninstallation.


To make it easier to repair a computer that has had Chrome installed I decided to write a registry file that restores the registry to its original state, and makes your computer work again. The file ended up being quite long. Google leaves behind a lot of detritus in the registry after uninstalling Chrome. It even leaves behind pointers to file icons in the, now removed, Chrome program.

If you have this error, you can use the registry script below. Or, you can do just the essential surgery by removing these two registry keys:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.htm
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.html

That will at least make your computer mostly functional again. To really restore full functionality after you install Google Chrome you need to run the registry file, or reinstall Windows.

Attachment: Nuke Chrome.reg:

* NukeChrome.zip (1.64 KB - downloaded 2228 times.)


Technical Details

When Outlook or Word starts it reads certain registry values to learn which program to use as the file handler for web pages. Those registry keys include HKCR\.htm[l] and the ones listed above. The values in those keys do not actually point to the file handler, but rather, describe the file type of the file handler. Normally, that file type is htmlfile. When you click a link in an e-mail your computer will look up the program that handles the htmlfile file type, and opens the link using that program.

When you install Google Chrome and set it to be the default browser it creates the keys above, along with many others. Those keys set the file type for .htm and .html files to ChromeHTML. The ChromeHTML file type, understandably, points to chrome.exe as the program to invoke. As long as Chrome is set to the default browser the operating system will take the route link->hkcr\software\classes\.html->hkcr\software\classes\ChromeHTML->chrome.exe. If Chrome is not set to the default browser for that user the operating system knows to launch the default browser instead.

When you uninstall Google Chrome it deletes the ChromeHTML key, but not the keys listed above, and many others. When Outlok launches it reads those handlers and tries to find the ChromeHTML file type that those keys defines. The ChromeHTML file type has, however, been deleted. Outlook (or rather Word, which is the email rendering program) catches that but does not have a good error message to show the user. It has been programmed to display the "this file type has been blocked" error when it can't find the file type in the registry. Thus, Outlook and Word (and any other program that handles HTML links)  work correctly when Chrome is installed but not set to default, but fail after you uninstall Chrome and the linkages in the registry are incomplete.


Published Sun., Apr 24 2011 2:51 PM by jesper
Quote
Welcome to Jesper Johansson's blog. This is my home for pontification on the web. In case this is your first time here, I have been working on information security for about 20 years, and have been writing and speaking on the topic for about 10.
My most recent book is the Windows Server 2008 Security Resource Kit . Because I am also a scuba instructor you may find some posts related to that topic as well.  Just because it took me so long to get it, I also like to say that I have a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from the University of Minnesota.
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Darwin
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2011, 04:17:50 PM »

I can attest to this - about two years ago I took Chrome for a spin and then uninstalled it... What a nightmare! I would have thought that this had been sorted out by now. In my case, I can no longer remember how exactly I solved the problem, but I know I tried reinstalling Chrome without luck. I suspect I wound up using a disc image to return to a state prior to Chrome being installed. Must say, I'm glad I stumbled on this thread - I had been giving some thought to installing Chrome again... Not any more!
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2011, 04:20:13 PM »

Perhaps it doesn't happen for portable versions of Chrome...
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wraith808
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2011, 06:03:53 PM »

I've uninstalled Chrome before, and haven't had any problems.  So I don't think it's as cut and dried as this...
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2011, 06:22:04 PM »

I've uninstalled Chrome before, and haven't had any problems.  So I don't think it's as cut and dried as this...

I gotta go with wraith on this one, as I too have pulled it out of several machines and never had an issue.


Perhaps it doesn't happen for portable versions of Chrome...

I should certainly hope not if it's a portable version. I tried a portable Chrome once, and I've played with SRWare Iron portable several times and never had a problem.



There's gotta be a catch somewhere (in the rye perhaps). - I did save the guy's .reg file on my thumbdrive just in case it catches me...  cheesy
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city_zen
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2011, 08:12:51 PM »

There's gotta be a catch somewhere (in the rye perhaps). - I did save the guy's .reg file on my thumbdrive just in case it catches me...  cheesy

I thought it was a catchER  Wink 
Very witty, though  Thmbsup
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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2011, 08:32:05 PM »

I'm using Chromium portable. Haven't noticed any anomalies. I also had a video player that messed up some stuff when uninstalled.  I like the player. I keep to the portable version.

Has anyone tried changing default browser before uninstalling? I think even on W7 default browser change has the same bug as back in win9x. Sometimes you have to set it to some other browser, then set it back to the one you really want.  Something like that.  Still not fixed after 16 years!
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Deozaan
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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2011, 01:06:37 AM »

I love Chrome and wouldn't uninstall it anyway. But yeah this problem needs to be fixed.
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Darwin
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2011, 09:07:39 AM »

Re-reading bits and pieces of this thread, I wonder if this issue arises only if the end-user sets Chrome as their default browser? For myself, having gone through it, I'm not willing to test this theory!
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Curt
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2011, 10:04:42 AM »

-I think you may be right, Darwin.
I tested Chrome and did not have any of these problems; I kept Firefox as default browser.

Edited:
Is the trick merely to set another browser as default before removing Chrome?  undecided
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 10:06:18 AM by Curt » Logged
MilesAhead
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« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2011, 04:42:28 PM »

I remember Windows used to have big problems for file type associations. When you set something as the associated app for a file extension it just overwrote the entry. I can remember stuff like WinZip and UltimateZip fighting over the zip file extension.  Now I think Windows remembers the previous one so you can uninstall.

But I think it still has that same old default browser bug.

Somebody on this forum may know more about how the registry acts with default browser setting generally:

http://www.sevenforums.com/browsers-mail/
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Darwin
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« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2011, 05:03:43 PM »

Is the trick merely to set another browser as default before removing Chrome?  undecided

One of the "fixes" I tried was to re-install Chrome, set it as default, reboot, set IE as default, reboot, then uninstall Chrome. Didn't work! Of course, that was a while back... If I do give it a spin again, I'll definitely be sure NOT to let it set itself as my default browser, though! Having said that, I'm perfectly content with IE9.
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SKA
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« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2011, 04:48:05 AM »

More on this by MS MVP Robear Dyer :
http://www.slipstick.com/...s/link_restrict.htm#other

Ska
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googlehater
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« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2012, 07:05:50 AM »

Google Chrome messed up you settings after you uninstalled it?

Go:-

Internet Explorer
Cog icon top R.H.S click Internet Options
Select programs
Then Make Internet Explorer your default
Apply ok

Sorted
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2012, 07:23:18 AM »

I remember Windows used to have big problems for file type associations. When you set something as the associated app for a file extension it just overwrote the entry. I can remember stuff like WinZip and UltimateZip fighting over the zip file extension.  Now I think Windows remembers the previous one so you can uninstall.

But I think it still has that same old default browser bug.

Somebody on this forum may know more about how the registry acts with default browser setting generally:

http://www.sevenforums.com/browsers-mail/


There's still some file association bugs. I have seen glitches on picture and media file types when about 6 different programs fight over "___ can associate files. Do you want to?"

The point of uninstalling was supposed to be that all the loose crap gets cleaned up.
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Jibz
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« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2012, 09:21:21 AM »

Different versions of Windows and IE have left behind a rather complex set of different ways to handle defaults. I am sure mouser has some interesting stories about it, see for instance:

http://www.donationcoder....trychangesmadebyprogr.htm

It should be a simple process to uninstall a browser and restore the settings, sadly it is not.
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« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2012, 09:35:49 AM »

"One of the reasons i can't open source this code is because of all the curse words directed at Microsoft in it."

 Grin
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Darwin
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« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2012, 08:38:31 AM »

Google Chrome messed up you settings after you uninstalled it?

Go:-

Internet Explorer
Cog icon top R.H.S click Internet Options
Select programs
Then Make Internet Explorer your default
Apply ok

Sorted

Did you read this thread? I don't know about the current state of things, the thread having been dormant for close to a year before you posted the above, but up to that point affected posters, myself included, had tried that with no success...
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« Reply #20 on: December 09, 2012, 09:49:41 AM »

Actually when I posted earlier about using the "portable version" it was misleading. I used a snap shot zip file and unzipped to a folder other than program files. It uses the AppData\local\chromium info and should pick up all your bookmarks etc..   But the reason I mention it, I think it might be a work-around to use a snap shot zip, let it pick up all the info from your installed chrome, then remove the chrome that's in Program Files.

I forget what they are exactly now, but I know the chromium root code google chrome is based on, is minus some of the intrusive nasties that google chrome adds.  The reluctance to be uninstalled might be one of them. I haven't tried deleting all my chromium folders as I still use it as secondary browser. I'm back on the FF bandwagon now that I have SyncPlaces again. smiley
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« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2012, 07:25:42 PM »

My problem is that when Chrome took over, although I did not select it as default, as soon as it landed,
it grabbed all my drawings (jpg) and photos, and switched the icon attached to them.
Now, when I click on older folders, the pictures show up.  The newer ones get "an error ocurred - do you want to continue to use script for this file?_"
I know a little about html, but have never used script on my webpage or anything else.  Whether I say yes or no,
the problem remains.
Will I create a disaster by eliminating something from the registry?
I've never messed with that either, but am tempted to try almost anything.
I uninstalled Chrome because it insisted on putting another tool bar on my desktop when I already had three.
I always hated Microsoft, and now, I hate Google even more!!
My excuse for not buying an Apple is that I have an older drawing program, and Apple isn't compatible.
I found that after I paid for the bloody thing, then had to return it with a restocking charge.
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2012, 09:15:00 PM »

I would try installing Chromium, not google chrome. It's compatible chrome.exe and all the folder locations are the same. The extensions work the same. But it does not have some of the intrusive stuff google chrome has, like trying to install toolbars.

You could try this one

I don't know if there's such a thing as a chrome "removal tool" like Nero and Norton have. Might be worth a search if installing Chromium in place of it doesn't work.
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