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Recommend an installation tracker for me

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I always used the last freeware version of Total Uninstall on my last laptop (XP) but having made the move to Windows 7 I'm in need of a working alternative. Tried Zsoft Uninstaller and that simply doesn't work properly (hangs when analysing, hangs when comparing, editing tracked entries for installed apps doesn't work), so what does anyone else suggest/use for tracking installs?

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The pro version of Revo Uninstaller allows you to track installers as they install things and then save a log. When uninstalling, it uses the log to remove all changes the program made upon installation. The free version, although it does not have this feature, looks for leftovers of the program when it uninstalls something.

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I have always used the free version of Revo Uninstaller and have found it to do a great job.

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He asked for an installation tracker though, and Revo Uninstaller Free doesn't do that.

 

Personally when I move to a newer OS I'd probably just buy a license for Total Uninstall, if that last freeware version of it doesn't work in newer OSes.

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Thanks for the links Andavari, already have lists of programs to work through, was hoping more for recommendations from anyone that had found worthy alternatives ;)

 

I already use Revo Free version, but I like a belt and braces approach (uninstall with Revo, then remove any leftovers it misses with an install tracker)

 

You did make me think though, I didn't even try the last free version of Total Uninstall, just assumed it wouldn't work with Win7/64bit. Just tried it and initial impression is that it actually seems to work ok.

 

Any other recommendations (if anyone has any) are still appreciated though, while I continue working through freeware alternatives.

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Geek uninstaller is another good one.

 

http://www.geekuninstaller.com/

 

Thing to always bear in mind is that some security type software have special uninstall routines which often require reboots to remove drivers. Also they can protect certain keys from being tampered with.

 

I would always go with apps own uninstaller for these type of softwares first, then look for leftovers.

 

Another one highly recommended is Advanced Uninstaller Pro.

 

http://www.advanceduninstaller.com/

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I already use Revo Free version, but I like a belt and braces approach (uninstall with Revo, then remove any leftovers it misses with an install tracker)

 

You did make me think though, I didn't even try the last free version of Total Uninstall, just assumed it wouldn't work with Win7/64bit. Just tried it and initial impression is that it actually seems to work ok.

When I last looked Revo Free was not intended for 64 bit, you had to pay for Revo Pro.

 

Revo Free removes 32 bit applications from 64 bit Windows.

I guess that when it cleans System32 registry keys it is in reality cleaning what 64 bit code sees as SysWow32,

and the real System32 keys are left dirty.

 

When you tested T.U., were you cleaning up a 32 bit application, or 64 bit ?

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Just to update, tried several, none were particularly satisfactory. But thanks to Alan for pointing out (and saving me having to work out further down the line why half my programs weren't showing in it) that Revo free doesn't support 64 bit programs (a massive oversight on their part IMO). So with that in mind, and the fact that Revo Pro also tracks installs, have bought a Revo License. It's install tracker isn't perfect, but as good as/better than most free trackers, and saves having to use two programs.

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That makes sense to just narrow it down to one program.

 

Like all of those install trackers though and even Revo they won't always remove everything so some manual cleaning is sometimes still necessary, especially with big programs that install many registry keys and many files.

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My preference is to use Portable software on a non-system partition.

If I do not wish to keep it then I simply delete its folder and any start menu/desktop/etc shortcuts.

 

If I think I need non-portable software I postpone as long as possible,

and then create a partition image backup before installing all the postponed non-portable stuff,

and then I evaluate whether I really want to use it.

If any of it fails my evaluation I restore the image to erase every trace,

and then install only the stuff I want to live with.

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That makes sense to just narrow it down to one program.

 

Like all of those install trackers though and even Revo they won't always remove everything so some manual cleaning is sometimes still necessary, especially with big programs that install many registry keys and many files.

They also sometimes pick up unrelated items that just happen to be created at the same time. The one thing I liked about Total Uninstall was the fact you could exclude keys and files from future scans. Though Revo doesn't do that (you can add reg keys to exclude but not files, a not directly from an install uninstall window, though it does exclude a bunch of keys by default), you can review include/exclude every key/file when uninstalling a traced program.

 

My preference is to use Portable software on a non-system partition.

If I do not wish to keep it then I simply delete its folder and any start menu/desktop/etc shortcuts.

 

If I think I need non-portable software I postpone as long as possible,

and then create a partition image backup before installing all the postponed non-portable stuff,

and then I evaluate whether I really want to use it.

If any of it fails my evaluation I restore the image to erase every trace,

and then install only the stuff I want to live with.

For testing programs I just install them under Returnil so if I don't like them all trace is gone after a restart.

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That exclude feature in Total Uninstall (Last Freeware Edition) is nice, but the way it runs off screen on long named entries can really be counter-productive such as finding something to remove an exclusion of, and the registry key where it's stored I wouldn't even begin to touch it or even try to manually edit it because it's all jumbled together. But at least that registry key it makes with the exclusions can be backed up!

 

My preference is to use Portable software on a non-system partition.

 

Mine is to use Portable software as a rule of thumb even on the system partition, unless it will for something like the system default web browser, only then for the sake of convenience will I install one and since Firefox (and Firefox clones like Pale Moon, etc.,) can easily have the profiles copied for backup purposes I have no problem actually installing them.

 

I started mostly trying to find Portable software because I like to mirror the settings between two systems, the main desktop PC and a laptop which makes it significantly quicker for me to update that laptop which very rarely gets used - but still it's a chore in of itself to keep more than one computer up-to-date.

Edited by Andavari
Fixed typos

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