To Install Or Not To Install

  @Home 09:38 21 May 2004

Having just Re-formatted and re-installed my PC after a rather nasty experience with Restore IT 3, I started thinking, as I was installing all the ‘add-on’ programs that I have, do they actually cause more harm than good?

I have a few ‘eye candy’ programs – Icon Packager, Cursor XP, Style XP, Instant Restore to name a few.

Do these kinds of programs interfere with the everyday working of the Windows Operating System? Do they make changes that conflict with Windows? Do they make Windows Unstable?

What are your views? Are they best avoided? Am I paranoid?

I am not saying that these kinds of software are rubbish; I just thought it would interesting to read your views on the subject.

  Smegs 10:15 21 May 2004

@Home, I look at it like this, If you don't use/need it don't install it. Or install it, have a look at it, un-install it. If these programes put little Icon's near your clock then they are taking you memory up.

  techpro 10:42 21 May 2004

Some programs make changes to the registry or replace system files which are not restored when you uninstall. New software is much better, but I have come across too many cases where older software, especially some of the free stuff, messes things up, either by replacing files they shouldn't, or deleting things they shouldn't when you uninstall them.
Use System Restore to take a restore point before you install anything. Then, if you need to, you can get back to exactly how things were before, by doing a restore.

  @Home 12:27 21 May 2004

Thanks for the replys.

Anyone else got any views?

  €dstowe 13:02 21 May 2004

My motto is keep it lean, keep it keen.

All programs but a burden on your computer. Even if they are not sitting waiting in the sys tray for you to ask them to spring into action, they will be taking up space somewhere on your machine with the potential of slowing it down an taking up space, space that could be used for something more useful.

Before I install a new program, I think very carefully if I need it. Will it be useful? Or will it just take up disk space, never to be opened after its first use?. I wait a few days bfore installing and only if I am confident that I want it does it get loaded. Before loading, though, I do a full system backup so that if the program doesn't fulfill its promise, I can fully remove it. I don't rely on Add/Remove Programs or on System Restore for this as neither of those guarantee that all traces of a program will be removed and I have had a couple of instances where some rogue program has messed up a machine and system restore has failed to do as it's supposed to do.

If I have any programs installed that I have not used for a month or so, they get uninstalled as, obviously, they are not as useful as I hoped they would be.

As well as all that, I regularly defragment my hard drives to keep things going at the optimum as far as possible. Fragmented drives can cause severe slow downs of a computer.


  spuds 13:44 21 May 2004

Agree with all the above comments. Think once, twice even three times before you install that 'must have' new download. Some downloads, can cause shear havoc, especially if they have 'hidden' configurations, and you try to un-install them by normal methods.

I use to download masses of 'must haves' , but I learnt the lessons via the hard way. I now leave, most of the decisions to other people, who have road [computer]tested before me.

  @Home 14:27 21 May 2004

If I may, can I put you on the spot amd ask if the programs I have mentioned above are a good example 'must haves' that can cause havoc?


  Belatucadrus 17:33 21 May 2004

I like freeware and playing with new programs, but am quite aware that playing around with additional software can mess up the registry and worse case cause real problems. So if you are not happy about reformatting, the best approach is having aquired a simple stable set up capable of doing what you need. Leave well alone.

  €dstowe 18:01 21 May 2004

Personally, I wouldn't let those programs you mention anywhere near any computer of mine.

As I said, I only download things I need. Those programs would be not at the bottom of my list but on the negative side of it.

If you do want to play around with "odd" or unknown programs, make a full backup before you do it so that you can get back to where you were - and con't rely on System Restore or Add/Remove Programs.


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