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Old 27. Aug 2013, 10:20 PM   #21 (permalink)
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If you don't keep backups for longer than a month then consider using a Program Uninstaller. Some of the features that might have helped you:
backup of software before uninstalling
uninstall driver software
show registry entries for installed software
Remah,

Sorry not to have replied for five days, but my hard drive died and I had to wait for and install a replacement for it. Luckily, because of the incremental system image backups I run every night, I'm now back to where I was on the evening of August 21, with no data or program losses.

I don't understand how any of the programs you referenced would have helped me. I already used both Comodo Programs Manager as well as IObit Uninstaller, but their features/functions weren't up to the task because what I was trying to uninstall all traces of is a USB-attached scanner, a piece of hardware not a program. As a matter of record, I did use IObit Uninstaller to uninstall the GUI and OCR program that came with the scanner, but it did not remove all traces of it from the registry, as shown by the repeated detection of it by the Windows 7 in-place reinstall function.

At this point, after my hard drive failure, I'm less sanguine to plunge ahead again, using the boot disc method to purge the registry of scanner traces and do an in-place reinstall of Windows. My urgent need for Windows Media Center has subsided, and Windows is running extremely well.

I apologize for not completing the task at hand right now. If and when I reconsider I'll reopen this thread. Thank you for your help.

Frank
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Old 28. Aug 2013, 04:21 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Remah,

I don't understand how any of the programs you referenced would have helped me. I already used both Comodo Programs Manager as well as IObit Uninstaller, but their features/functions weren't up to the task because what I was trying to uninstall all traces of is a USB-attached scanner, a piece of hardware not a program. As a matter of record, I did use IObit Uninstaller to uninstall the GUI and OCR program that came with the scanner, but it did not remove all traces of it from the registry, as shown by the repeated detection of it by the Windows 7 in-place reinstall function.

At this point, after my hard drive failure, I'm less sanguine to plunge ahead again, using the boot disc method to purge the registry of scanner traces and do an in-place reinstall of Windows. My urgent need for Windows Media Center has subsided, and Windows is running extremely well.

I apologize for not completing the task at hand right now. If and when I reconsider I'll reopen this thread. Thank you for your help.

Frank
Frank, no problems.

I don't have much free time so I could only do a cursory job trying to help you to resolve it. It doesn't really fall under the focus of this site but it was interesting to see how Windows features are installed now.

To clarify, the USB scanner is hardware but once it is no longer physically attached to your computer then all that remains is software and configuration data. That's why uninstallers can monitor changes.
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Old 30. Aug 2013, 08:46 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Remah,

This thread has now become moot as far as my particular PC is concerned. Two days ago I bit the bullet and reinstalled my copy of Windows 7 (Home Premium 64-bit) to my PC to the "bare metal." I made the decision to get out from under the limitations of a limping operating system. I'm now in the process of restoring all my programs and data en masse from my last full system backup. It's tedious (about 450 of them), but most, if not all programs, continue to work, since I had saved all their installation and activation codes and passwords, and now it's mostly a matter of re-entering that information -- and they go happily to work again. IMO, it's a curious contradiction to say that a full system image backup is the solution to all computer crash problems, since in my case it would have been restoring a system that was damaged and I was unhappy with. Although labor-intensive, this method has solved the problems I started this thread about.

Thank you for your continued support! :-)

Frank
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Old 30. Aug 2013, 11:47 PM   #24 (permalink)
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R IMO, it's a curious contradiction to say that a full system image backup is the solution to all computer crash problems, since in my case it would have been restoring a system that was damaged and I was unhappy with.
I haven't heard anyone make that generalization without a context. Anyway, I think that you are comparing different crashes (unrecoverable errors preventing the operation of part or all of a computer system). Your problem has been the corruption of your system configuration which is very different to the loss of your storage medium.

A 'full system image backup' is a backstop that allows us to keep operating. It becomes more essential the greater the magnitude of the crash. Here's some examples:
  • An application can crash and restarting it can resolve it;
  • An operating system can crash and rebooting the computer can resolve it;
  • A hard disk can crash requiring a new disk and the image restored to resolve it; and
  • A complete computer can, literally, crash and burn meaning the backup image is essential when rebuilding your system on a new computer.
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