Uninstalling software is rarely 100% effective in ridding your PC of the software in question. Reasons for this are various but the main thing is that computers are personal, changeable things, that’s why PC stands for “Personal Computer”. You change things. You may install an add-in that makes your software work better for you. So most uninstallers simply leave those ‘extra’ bits alone and delete all the stuff that was installed. That’s all cool.
Of course it’s only cool as long as special install software (like Wyse) was used by developers who knew what they were doing to create the installs in the first place. There are so many places that the developer could fall down on the job. Especially so, in this day and age, when customer requested features create demand for new releases all the time (to be worth the higher and higher support levies being charged). This leads to shorter development cycles. And this vicious circle often leaves uninstall testing to the end.
But that is only if the software company really wants you to uninstall the software. I was helping a friend uninstall McAfee software tonight and it was a royal pain. The new software, Norton, kept complaining about McAfee shredder still being installed. Even though the uninstall process in the Control Panel had run its course, there were still many places in the registry where McAfee keys cotinued to happily exist like fossilized gum under a bus station table. I had to go through the registry and manually scrape those keys away while trying not to remove any paint. Anti-virus software, in particular, is often terrible at the uninstall job. I am not sure I know why but it certainly seems to be the case.
So my little rant has run its course. I understand the reason uninstalling can be such a pain, in theory, but that doesn’t help me to be happy about it. Developers need to be more responsible for the customer and not simply hope the uninstall will never be used.
If wishes were horses
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