Uninstalling Programs

  kingkenny 23:01 08 Apr 2003

Hi all,

This isn't a plea for help but more a request for technical information

Can anyone tell me what happens to a program when it is uninstalled? Where does it go? (avoiding the obvious and going for the technical here!)

What happens to the space on the hard drive? What happens to registry files for that program?
When I delete a file, is it ever actually deleted?

I wonder this because I have uninstalled a few programs the proper way but come across files associated with them sometimes.

I want to fill a gap in knowledge and any posting would be appreciated.


  Sketch 23:18 08 Apr 2003

I think most core files are deleted.

However most registry entries tend to stick. Say for example you install a 30 day trial, it runs out and you try to re-install. The registry entry is a part that can tell the computer...."tsk, tsk... you're not allowed to do that..." Or something not quite so amusing anyway...

One experience with 'renegade registry' values for me would be when I uninstalled "Age of Empires" from my system only to find that MSN Messenger still thought that it was on my system.
It had placed 'online play' buttons for the software because it found the 'renegade' entries in the registry.

As far as I'm aware deletion of files is like putting primer on a wall. The original program is still there underneath. But the next time the space needs to be used the computer is aware that it can 'paint' over it. Wow. Lamens terms rule. That even made sense to me!

Hope it clears up the fog for you.


  kingkenny 23:25 08 Apr 2003

So is there anyway to strip the old paint from the wall so to speak?
Hmm, could get used to lamens terms

I have heard of examples of people being able to retrieve files that were deleted. Albeit some of these storys involve dodgy files. But surely the situation works both ways, if you can retrieve you must be able to permanently delete

  bobbyc 23:26 08 Apr 2003

short terms a prog that has been deleted gets moved to the free space on hdd. then writen over when the space is needed. not all reg entries are removed

  Sketch 23:30 08 Apr 2003

To remove registry entries takes a steady hand. And a wealth of knowledge. If it were not for Norton saving my ass, I wouldn't be talking to you now.

Best to leave registry entries where they are.

In my experience :-)


  kingkenny 13:12 09 Apr 2003

Does anyone else have any views or contributions to make on this topic?

  Rhuddlan 13:28 09 Apr 2003

In response to the previous messages about uninstalling programs, if you have Windows XP use the smart restore tool which is very useful, go to start>all programs>pc tool kit and services>smart restore. Just click on the program you want to uninstall until a red cross appears and click OK. I found that this deletes everything to do a particluar program you want to uninstall, if you go searching around the hard disk after this action is performed, you will find that non of the files or folders for that program exsist, but i'm not to sure about the registry. The add/remove programs tool is not that good, i've noticed files and folders still exist from a program that I uninstalled, and the space originally taken up on the hard drive by a program now uninstalled just adds onto the free space, making the hard disk bigger, hope this helps.

  GroupFC 13:47 09 Apr 2003

Presumably that is with xp pro., as I'm running xp home and I don't have pc toolkit and services?

  kingkenny 09:36 10 Apr 2003

Thanks for all the info on this

  Rhuddlan 09:43 10 Apr 2003

PC tool kit and services should be in the all programs menu, I have XP home edition too and this feature is included in all editiond of XP, if it's not in the menu, do a search for smart restore in the hard disk. Hope this helps.

  porcup1ne 09:44 10 Apr 2003

Pctools? Where? I have xp pro and dont have that? Try System Mechanics, very useful and there is a free trial version as well somewhere on the net

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