Trying Out New Software

  manrow 06:17 27 Jul 2009

I am often tempted to try out new software offered on cds with computer magazines, but am concerned that they will clutter up my hard drive and maybe interfere with what I already have installed.

Is Vista any better at dealing with this than XP or do we always end up with somthing on the hard drive when we install and subsequently uninstall programmes?

  wiz-king 06:37 27 Jul 2009

You will always have some bits left, even with a good uninstaller. Usually registry entries which over time and with many installs will slow the computer down. There is also the chance that you will not be able to uninstall the program, some are not very friendly in that respect.

  cocteau48 06:54 27 Jul 2009

If you really are that concerned about installing/uninstalling new software then you may wish to consider the free and open source program "Virtual Box" click here.
Later versions of Acronis also have a feature called Try and Decide which has similar functionality.

  mooly 07:23 27 Jul 2009

Good question, it's something that stops me from installing stuff "just for fun".
The only totally "safe" way is to make an image backup first, have a good play, and if you are not going to keep the application reinstall the OS from the backup.
I know a lot fret over the odd entry left behind in the registry after uninstalling, a valid point, yet when the registry is so vast (10's of mb's), does a redundant entry or two of a few tens of bytes matter.
If it bothers you the image backup is the totally safe way to experiment, for both installing, uninstalling, and looking for left over program files and registry entries.

  manrow 07:48 27 Jul 2009

cocteau48 Thanks for the idea of Virtual Box, I am considering that option.

mooly suggests taking an image of my hard drive; could I do this into a separate partition on the same hard drive?

  Pamy 09:37 27 Jul 2009

You an intall a program called RETURNIL that willlet you install progs to a virtual disk for try out and hen you switch off, you computer is back to as it was, nothing installed

  cocteau48 09:48 27 Jul 2009

Link for Returnil click here

  mooly 12:08 27 Jul 2009

You can use Acronis to make an image onto another partition. This is how I use it, making incremental monthly backups onto a 52gb "D" partition on my laptop. It works faultlessly. A 23gb or so Vista install becomes around around 13gb as a backup file with Acronis.

  manrow 07:59 01 Aug 2009

Thanks mooly for that information. Can you give some indication how long it takes to copy the 23gb, and how long it then takes to reinstall the backup copy please?

  mooly 08:26 01 Aug 2009

Making an Acronis image onto another partition takes me around 20 mins or so I guess. I use incremental backups and start one off monthly adding to it as and when. Each "incremental" takes only 3 or 4 minutes to run after that. The first backup in the set is the equivalent of a "full" backup.

A restore takes a lot longer, around 70 minutes or so and with the incrementals you can pick any backup in that "tree" to restore to.

  InTheCity 09:22 01 Aug 2009

sandboxie install programs and surf in it.
click here

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