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-   -   I can't reinstall Windows Media Center (https://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/general-computer-support/12242-i-cant-reinstall-windows-media-center.html)

Frank D 08. Aug 2013 09:02 PM

I can't reinstall Windows Media Center
 
I posted this problelm in another forum over a week ago. The item got quite a few hits, but zero answers. I'm posting it here thinking that different folks will have different experience and points of view, and I may hit it lucky.

Because of difficulties I was having with Windows Media Center (Win7, 64-bit) and Windows Media Player, I made the mistake of following advice I found on the Internet: using the Windows Features app, and following the on-screen instructions, I removed them and then tried to reinstall them. Result: Fail!

Through a lot of repetition, trial-and-error, etc. I was able to get Windows Media Player back, but Windows Media Center is resisting being reinstalled.

I've tried the standard procedure to reinstall it over a dozen times:

1. Go to Control Panel => Programs and Features, and click Turn Windows Features on/off.
2. Check Windows Media Center (which has been unchecked since its removal).
3. Reboot.

Unfortunately, every time I'm told via the same error message:

[Window Title] Windows Features / [Content] An error has occurred. Not all of the features were successfully changed. / [OK]

At some point it finally worked for Windows Media Player, and I now have that back, but it did not work for Windows Media Center. Windows Media Center remains uninstalled.

I ran the sfc /scannow command from an elevated cmd prompt but nothing happened or changed. I then re-ran the sfc /scannow command from the Windows 7 install DVD command line (in repair mode). However, after rebooting and checking it out, there was still no change. Windows Media Center was still unavailable.

I tried to do an in-place reinstall of Windows, but the install finds a legacy scanner, which I physically removed, uninstalled, and then removed all traces of the software and cleaned the registry, but the reinstall will still not run because it says the scanner is still installed.

At a friend's suggestion I tried (1) uninstalling all versions of the .NET framework, (2) reinstalling WMC, and then (3) reinstalling all the .NET frameworks again. There was NO CHANGE.

I've run the Windows System Update Readiness tool and looked at the checksur.log. It's very short and there's nothing in there remotely referencing Windows Media Center.

So it seems my only option to recover the Windows Media Center is to do a bare-metal reinstall of Windows, which I am not about to do. And my backups don't go back far enough for me to try a full system restore.

Can anyone suggest how to break this cycle and get Windows Media Center reinstalled? Thank you!

Frank D

P.S. Why can't Microsoft make a simple install/uninstall file for WMC?

Remah 09. Aug 2013 10:09 PM

To solve this you will almost certainly have to be competent at Registry editing because you will probably have to do two things:
  • work out how to reinstall Windows Media Player files manually.
  • work out how to repair configurations settings which are primarily in the Registry.

I had a look but I couldn't find any promising solutions on the web and I don't have time to determine how Windows Media Centre needs to be configured.

I'd like you to clarify if you have really been "uninstalling" and "reinstalling" Windows Media Centre. I thought that Windows Media Centre remains on your system in Windows 7 and is not uninstalled. So if you had to reinstall from a Windows image (such as a DVD or .ISO file) then you are probably right that it is an install. Please clarify that as if I am right then judicious registry editing may be all that is needed to turn it back on. The difficulty then becomes what to edit.

I can think of two other specific reasons why WMC won't reenable:
  • A licensing issue. So what edition and exact version of Windows 7 are you using?
  • Windows can't access some files because folder/file ownership has been changed. This is unlikely as I expect you'd remember doing this and would have mentioned it?

The next best option appears to be eliminating the artefacts remaining from the scanner so you can reinstall Windows in place. Again, it probably means editing the registry. There are forum and blog posts with information on how to clean up driver files and configurations.

A third option is to backup everything then do a clean install so you can use registry utilities and the like to see what enabling Windows Media Centre does to your system configuration. Then you restore your system from the backup and check that the relevant configuration settings are all set correctly.

As to your final question: I suppose that Windows Media Centre (plus DVD Maker and Windows Media Player) became features when it was decided that they were core products. It might also be related to the APIs and extensibility WMC adds to Windows.

Frank D 09. Aug 2013 11:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Remah (Post 90925)
I'd like you to clarify if you have really been "uninstalling" and "reinstalling" Windows Media Centre. I thought that Windows Media Centre remains on your system in Windows 7 and is not uninstalled. So if you had to reinstall from a Windows image (such as a DVD or .ISO file) then you are probably right that it is an install. Please clarify that as if I am right then judicious registry editing may be all that is needed to turn it back on. The difficulty then becomes what to edit.

Remah,

Thank you for your reply.

I have been uninstalling and installing (can't actually do the latter) Windows Media Center (not Windows Media Player, which has since been reinstalled successfully) using the Start > Windows Features > Turn Windows Features On or Off > Media Features > Windows Media Center application that is part of the Windows 7 operating system.

Quote:

I can think of two other specific reasons why WMC won't reenable:
  • A licensing issue. So what edition and exact version of Windows 7 are you using?

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. It is a legal copy. It came with the freshly purchased (now two years old) HP Pavilion computer I'm using.
    Quote:

  • Windows can't access some files because folder/file ownership has been changed. This is unlikely as I expect you'd remember doing this and would have mentioned it?
You are correct that I have not done anything to folder/file ownership. I am not that adept.
Quote:

The next best option appears to be eliminating the artefacts remaining from the scanner so you can reinstall Windows in place. Again, it probably means editing the registry. There are forum and blog posts with information on how to clean up driver files and configurations.
I have gone in and used Regedit to find all references and occurrences of the scanner -- at least three times -- and when I re-check, they are still there.
Quote:

A third option is to backup everything then do a clean install so you can use registry utilities and the like to see what enabling Windows Media Centre does to your system configuration. Then you restore your system from the backup and check that the relevant configuration settings are all set correctly.
I have limited understanding of what you are recommending, but I question what effect would doing a clean Windows install and then restoring from a full system image backup have? The latter would wipe out anything to do with the former -- or am I missing something?
Quote:

As to your final question: I suppose that Windows Media Centre (plus DVD Maker and Windows Media Player) became features when it was decided that they were core products. It might also be related to the APIs and extensibility WMC adds to Windows.
I thank you for your looking into this and your insights, but I don't see that I can accomplish anything new, that I haven't already tried and failed at. At this point I'm just willing to live without Windows Media Center. Thank you. :)

Frank

joeguru 10. Aug 2013 03:44 AM

Can you go back to a previous restore point before the fiasco started? I didn't see that you tried that but may have missed it. Sorry if you already mention the restore point.

Remah 10. Aug 2013 05:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joeguru (Post 90936)
Can you go back to a previous restore point before the fiasco started? I didn't see that you tried that but may have missed it. Sorry if you already mention the restore point.

Frank,
I thought you'd tried Windows System Restore but on rereading your post it appears that you were talking about restoring your own backup.


If system restore doesn't help then read the following which could help you as it gets deeper into Windows configuration. But before starting have a complete backup you can easily restore. Make sure that you have a system restore point before any change. Also don't do anything that you cannot reverse easily. For example, instead of deleting files simply rename them so you can rename them back if you need to.

I asked questions as you didn't provide enough information for me to eliminate some options.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank D (Post 90928)
I have been uninstalling and installing (can't actually do the latter) Windows Media Center (not Windows Media Player, which has since been reinstalled successfully) using the Start > Windows Features > Turn Windows Features On or Off > Media Features > Windows Media Center application that is part of the Windows 7 operating system.

Uninstalling means physically removing the files from the disk by deleting them. I asked you to clarify this because it is different than disabling a feature. If Windows is only disabling the feature then turning it back on will continue to use the same files and you will have the same situation.

I would try this myself but I'm in the middle of configuring my systems and can't test on my Windows 7 system.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank D (Post 90928)
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.

WMC comes with that edition so licensing shouldn't be the problem.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank D (Post 90928)
I have gone in and used Regedit to find all references and occurrences of the scanner -- at least three times -- and when I re-check, they are still there.


What is the brand and name of the scanner?
What is the device name in Device Manager? To display the scanner driver, you will probably need to select View | Show hidden devices.
What are the hardware ID(s), Driver Key and Inf name?
You will find them in Device Manager | select device name and right-click to view Properties | Details tab
Now set Property to Hardware ID, Driver Key and Inf name and copy each value.

Here's examples for a video camera:
  • Hardware IDs = USB\VID_046D&PID_08AF&REV_0100 and USB\VID_046D&PID_08AF
    These can be used to search for more information on the Web.
  • Driver key = {6bdd1fc6-810f-11d0-bec7-08002be2092f}\0000
    The first part of the key before the "\" can be used to find registry entries which can be deleted.
  • Inf name = oem87.inf
    This can be used to locate the .INF file on disk so it can be deleted if necessary. They are usually in the Windows\Inf folder.

Windows will reinstall drivers automatically if it finds any plug and play hardware when it restarts. Windows can also keeps device's installed even if the device is no longer connected. Background processes or services can also "recreate" the entries.

To check on services, go to Start menu | Run | type in "services.msc". Look down the list of services and see if any are running that have the brand name or model of the scanner, include "scan" or include "TWAIN" which is a scanner software interface. You could disable it or ask here if you're not sure.

FYI, while you are looking at services you can also see if "Media Center XXXXXX" and "Windows Media XXXXXX" services are running.


Whether you find any relevant services to disable or not, you should use Regedit in Safe Mode to remove device driver entries. Safe Mode won't load most drivers which makes it easier to delete their registry entries and files.

Safe Mode is selected by starting your computer then holding down F8 so Windows displays the recovery menu then select Safe Mode.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank D (Post 90928)
I have limited understanding of what you are recommending, but I question what effect would doing a clean Windows install and then restoring from a full system image backup have? The latter would wipe out anything to do with the former -- or am I missing something?

I suggested this as a last resort because it is a way of determining what the settings are when Windows media Center is correctly installed. If you can't work out what is wrong then seeing what does work can help to repair your setup.

Frank D 10. Aug 2013 04:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joeguru (Post 90936)
Can you go back to a previous restore point before the fiasco started? I didn't see that you tried that but may have missed it. Sorry if you already mention the restore point.

Joeguru,

No, that point in time is long past (at least a month). I should have done it right after it happened, but I didn't realize the importance of having the Windows Media Center until I tried to install another desktop video program, which relies on it.

Frank D 10. Aug 2013 05:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Remah (Post 90937)
Frank,
I thought you'd tried Windows System Restore but on rereading your post it appears that you were talking about restoring your own backup.

That's correct.
Quote:

If system restore doesn't help then read the following which could help you as it gets deeper into Windows configuration. But before starting have a complete backup you can easily restore. Make sure that you have a system restore point before any change. Also don't do anything that you cannot reverse easily. For example, instead of deleting files simply rename them so you can rename them back if you need to.

I asked questions as you didn't provide enough information for me to eliminate some options.

Uninstalling means physically removing the files from the disk by deleting them. I asked you to clarify this because it is different than disabling a feature. If Windows is only disabling the feature then turning it back on will continue to use the same files and you will have the same situation.
I used only Windows' "Windows Features" tool to uninstall WMC. I have no idea how it works.

Quote:

What is the brand and name of the scanner?
Microtek ScanMaker 3750i

Quote:

What is the device name in Device Manager? To display the scanner driver, you will probably need to select View | Show hidden devices.
It's exactly the same as above.

Quote:

What are the hardware ID(s), Driver Key and Inf name?
Hardware Ids:
USB\VID_05DA&PID_40DD&REV_0000
USB\VID_05DA&PID_40DD

Driver key:
{6bdd1fc6-810f-11d0-bec7-08002be2092f}\0001

Inf name:
microtek-64.inf

Quote:

[*]Driver key = {6bdd1fc6-810f-11d0-bec7-08002be2092f}\0000
The first part of the key before the "\" can be used to find registry entries which can be deleted.
[*]Inf name = oem87.inf
This can be used to locate the .INF file on disk so it can be deleted if necessary. They are usually in the Windows\Inf folder.[/INDENT][/LIST]
Windows will reinstall drivers automatically if it finds any plug and play hardware when it restarts. Windows can also keeps device's installed even if the device is no longer connected. Background processes or services can also "recreate" the entries.
This is where my eyes start to "glaze over" and I lose touch. I don't have a bloodhound's instincts or a detective's talents in this area.

Quote:

To check on services, go to Start menu | Run | type in "services.msc". Look down the list of services and see if any are running that have the brand name or model of the scanner, include "scan" or include "TWAIN" which is a scanner software interface. You could disable it or ask here if you're not sure.
Again, I lose touch here.

Quote:

FYI, while you are looking at services you can also see if "Media Center XXXXXX" and "Windows Media XXXXXX" services are running.
The only service I can see is the Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service.

Quote:

Whether you find any relevant services to disable or not, you should use Regedit in Safe Mode to remove device driver entries. Safe Mode won't load most drivers which makes it easier to delete their registry entries and files.
I'll keep this in mind if I get to the point again where I decide to do an in-place reinstall of Windows. At the moment, I'm reluctant to try this again.

Quote:

I suggested this as a last resort because it is a way of determining what the settings are when Windows media Center is correctly installed. If you can't work out what is wrong then seeing what does work can help to repair your setup.
I see your logic now.

For the present, considering all the technical machinations I'd have to go through to address the solution to this problem, I'm going to tolerate living without Windows Media Center -- mainly because other than this single flaw, my computer is working fantastically well and I don't get much of a thrill watching streaming video on my PC (i.e. without WMC). When I get to the point where something else goes materially wrong and can't be corrected except by a reinstall, at that point I'll put all my troubles together and work on them at the same time, using your instructions in this thread as my guide. Then it will be worth my while.

Thank you for all your work on this problem. I appreciate your help. :)

Frank

eyeb 10. Aug 2013 09:52 PM

without using regedit, have you just tried to run the installer for it off of the install discs? If you don't have one, I'd download a copy of it from microsoft.
http://www.w7forums.com/official-win...ds-t12325.html
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/w...f-3ca30356fc3d

This isn't pirated copies either, it's ones Microsoft put out. I forget where it is in the options tree but if you look around while running it (not from disc since you aren't reinstalling, but mount iso to run or make a cd/dvd) you should see the option to install it back. It should fix the registry errors by overwriting it as it makes new entries.

Frank D 11. Aug 2013 01:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eyeb (Post 90974)
without using regedit, have you just tried to run the installer for it off of the install discs? If you don't have one, I'd download a copy of it from microsoft.
http://www.w7forums.com/official-win...ds-t12325.html
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/w...f-3ca30356fc3d

This isn't pirated copies either, it's ones Microsoft put out. I forget where it is in the options tree but if you look around while running it (not from disc since you aren't reinstalling, but mount iso to run or make a cd/dvd) you should see the option to install it back. It should fix the registry errors by overwriting it as it makes new entries.

Eyeb,

Thanks for your suggestion, but there is no installer for it. I have the MS-issued, genuine Windows 7 install DVD for my OS and machine, and I've tried everything available from it. The only way you can install/uninstall this Windows feature is to use the Windows Features applet that you run from the running Windows OS GUI as I described above. This is the app that does nothing but give me an error message. (See my original post.)

Frank

Remah 11. Aug 2013 02:38 AM

You can also update your WMC files manually by copying them from Windows disk cabinet (.CAB) files.
How to use Extract.exe to copy files from the cabinet files

The Windows image files (.ISO) that eyeb links to could be helpful as at least one SP1 included.

Frank D 12. Aug 2013 02:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Remah (Post 90987)
You can also update your WMC files manually by copying them from Windows disk cabinet (.CAB) files.
How to use Extract.exe to copy files from the cabinet files

The Windows image files (.ISO) that eyeb links to could be helpful as at least one SP1 included.

I searched the Win7 DVD (containing SP1) and the only .CAB file I can find is "E:\upgrade\netfx\netfx1.cab". Is this the right file? What would I be looking for in this file? I'm at a total loss as to what to do. :confused:

Frank

Remah 18. Aug 2013 12:37 PM

Frank_D,
I found the time to have a look at Windows Media Centre on Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. I uninstalled and installed WMC without any problems. I confirmed that turning the feature on and off does install and uninstall the folder and files for WMC.

I did manage to create a problem similar to yours but I found that turning WMC off and then on again fixed it.

I'd like to understand the current state of your system. Can you answer the questions in bold. The other text gives some detail.

When you turn the WMC feature off it removes a number of registry entries and removes the ehome folder which is in your Windows folder which is usually C:\Windows\ehome. Is there an ehome folder on your system after you turn WMC on?

WMC uses services "Media Center Extender Service", "Windows Media Center Receiver Service" and "Windows Media Center Scheduler Service". Do you have the WMC services installed? You can check if they are installed by running the Windows Task Manager and selecting the Services tab.

The Winsxs folder contains the Windows component store which is effectively the entire operating system broken down into packaged components. So whatever you do don't delete any files in the Winsxs folder. This store is used to install WMC. So how big is your C:\Windows\Winsxs folder? My Winsxs folder is about 16GB but the size depends how specific components have been handled: for example, there are backups of some updated components that can been be removed so the update becomes permanent and can't be uninstalled. Removing those files reduces the size to about 12GB.

If you search the Winsxs folder, how many files have "mediacenter" in their name? Mine has about 130 files.

Frank D 18. Aug 2013 08:00 PM

Remah,

Thanks for your follow-up.

Quote:

When you turn the WMC feature off it removes a number of registry entries and removes the ehome folder which is in your Windows folder which is usually C:\Windows\ehome. Is there an ehome folder on your system after you turn WMC on?
I have four eHome folders: "C:\Program Data\Microsoft\eHome; "C:\Users\Frank\AppData\Local\Microsoft\ehome" ; "C:\Users\Frank\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\eHom e"; and "C:\Windows\ehome". Please keep in mind, though, that I am not able to turn WMC on, since it is not installed and I can't install it.
Quote:

WMC uses services "Media Center Extender Service", "Windows Media Center Receiver Service" and "Windows Media Center Scheduler Service". Do you have the WMC services installed?
I have no Windows Media Center or Media Center services.
Quote:

So how big is your C:\Windows\Winsxs folder?
It is 8.56 GB in size.
Quote:

If you search the Winsxs folder, how many files have "mediacenter" in their name?
Mine has 20 folders with "mediacenter" in their name, and there are a total of 52 files within those folders.

To answer your other question: No, I did not delete any files from my Winsxs folder. :(

Frank

Remah 18. Aug 2013 10:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank D (Post 91264)
I have ... "C:\Windows\ehome". Please keep in mind, though, that I am not able to turn WMC on, since it is not installed and I can't install it.
...
I have no Windows Media Center or Media Center services.
...
Mine has 20 folders with "mediacenter" in their name, and there are a total of 52 files within those folders.

So it looks like you have an incomplete install:
  • You have the WMC components in the store.
  • You have the WMC program folder c:\windows\ehome. Mine is 112MB with 193 files and 20 folders.
  • You don't have the WMC services installed.
Are you up-to-date with updates for Windows 7 and have Service Pack 1 installed?

I presume that there is no start menu item for WMC or is there?

What happens when you run WMC manually using c:\windows\ehome\ehshell.exe?

Try installing/registering the WMC services. I copied these commmands from a Microsoft Technet forum.
Quote:

1. Click Start button, click All Programs, click Accessories, then right-click Command Prompt, in the right click menu, please click Run as administrator.

2. Type the following commands, press Enter after each line.



regsvr32 atl.dll

cd C:\WINDOWS\eHome

ehSched /unregServer

ehSched /service

ehRecvr /unregServer

ehRecvr /service

ehRec.exe /unregServer

ehRec.exe /regserver

ehmsas.exe /unregServer

ehmsas.exe /regserver
I'm not sure if you'll get a message when unregistering the services which aren't installed. Check that the services are now installed by using Task Manager or running services.msc.

Frank D 20. Aug 2013 01:23 AM

Remah,
Quote:

Are you up-to-date with updates for Windows 7 and have Service Pack 1 installed?
Absolutely. I just finished a big batch today, and when I rechecked I was told that Windows Update is up to date. And I do have SP1 installed (have had it since it came out).
Quote:

I presume that there is no start menu item for WMC or is there?
You are correct that there is no start menu item for WMC. I checked with a friend (over the phone) and he reports that when typing "Windows Media Center" in the prompt area, the program shortcut pops right up, and when he clicks on it the Media Center appears.
Quote:

What happens when you run WMC manually using c:\windows\ehome\ehshell.exe?
Time passes and nothing happens.
Quote:

Try installing/registering the WMC services. <snip> I'm not sure if you'll get a message when unregistering the services which aren't installed. Check that the services are now installed by using Task Manager or running services.msc.
All the commands were accepted. I then opened the Services window and saw that the services are now there. However they would not start. This is a screenshot of the services and the error message I got for both of them.
http://gyazo.com/1946934fe82bce9ea67c0065e2341205
I manually set the services to Automatic. They were originally set to Manual. I then tried to run WMC but again nothing happened. I then tried using the Windows Features app again to turn WMC on, but got the same error message as in my original post, that "An error has occurred. (etc.)" and it failed.

I thought of copying the ehome folder from another computer, but there is none available to me that has the Win7 64-bit OS.

I appreciate your helping me through this problem.

Frank

Remah 20. Aug 2013 02:57 AM

OK, we now know the c:\windows\ehome folder is there and services are registered. It doesn't matter so much whether they all run because we don't have to use them all.

What I hoped to avoid is getting into the registry to work out what needs to be repaired. I don't have time to look at it for at least a few days.

So at this point, the easier path would be to get rid of the legacy device so you can update Windows in place.

I'll get back to you as soon as I can assemble some next steps.

Frank D 20. Aug 2013 08:28 PM

Remah,
Quote:

at this point, the easier path would be to get rid of the legacy device so you can update Windows in place.
Unfortunately, I've tried that approach and failed, since I can't get rid of all the instances of the scanner in the registry. They refuse to be deleted.

Is there some way I can create a temporary "clean" registry, do the in-place reinstall, and then restore the real registry after the reinstall? :confused:

Frank

J_L 21. Aug 2013 01:42 AM

http://www.r@ymond.cc/blog/how-to-ed...ng-in-windows/ (replace @ with a, it's censored here for whatever reason)

That should take care of any registry entries. I wouldn't recommend the "clean" registry route, because that can easily create more problems than solve.

Lastly, next time take a look into this: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...g-software.htm

Frank D 21. Aug 2013 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J_L (Post 91365)
http://www.r@ymond.cc/blog/how-to-ed...ng-in-windows/ (replace @ with a, it's censored here for whatever reason)

That should take care of any registry entries. I wouldn't recommend the "clean" registry route, because that can easily create more problems than solve.

I've read the article and have chosen Method 3, which uses the Lazesoft Recovery Suite Home boot CD to boot the PC into the Windows PE environment and access the Registry Editor (regedit) while Windows is not running.
Quote:

Lastly, next time take a look into this: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...g-software.htm
I've been doing full system image backups for years and am using two such backup programs concurrently: AOMEI Backupper and Genie Timeline, and a third program, [edited]. The latter is a Windows System Restore replacement "on steroids," in that it takes recurrent snapshots (i.e., System Restore analogs) of everything on your hard disk, not just the selection that Windows normally decides upon. I've had occasion to use all three of them to do restores in the recent past, and I can say with confidence that they all work as advertised.

My particular problem stems from the fact that I didn't discover that I needed Windows Media Center until well after the time that I uninstalled it, so I was beyond the window of restorability of all these backup programs. (I limit them to one month each.) My reason for needing WMC at this point is so that I can use an add-in, TunerFreeMCE, for watching streaming internet TV programs on my PC. It provides support for the full Hulu catalogue of TV programs through the WMC interface. Without WMC I'm "marooned."

Thank you, JL, for your helpful information. I'll look forward to editing the registry again using the new tool, and then trying another in-place reinstall.

Frank

Remah 22. Aug 2013 01:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank D;91435My particular problem stems from the fact that I didn't discover that I needed [I
Windows Media Center [/I]until well after the time that I uninstalled it, so I was beyond the window of restorability of all these backup programs. (I limit them to one month each.)

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

Frank D 27. Aug 2013 10:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Remah (Post 91451)
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

Remah 28. Aug 2013 04:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank D (Post 91725)
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.

Frank D 30. Aug 2013 08:46 PM

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

Remah 30. Aug 2013 11:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank D (Post 91840)
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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