I recently received an email from longtime subscriber and friend Jack Carmena, who had an interesting problem:
This week, Microsoft has downloaded updates to my computer on two occasions in the middle of the night.
I didn’t notice until this morning when I tried to use it that during that process, GOOGLE EARTH was deleted/removed/hidden from my computer.
It does not appear when I go to Start/All programs. But, when I went to Control Panel/Add or remove programs, GOOGLE EARTH appeared there.
I had a sizeable number of saved bookmarks/locations on Google Earth that I would hate to redo.
What do you suggest?
I wrote back to Jack to tell him how to find Google Earth or to reinstall it, if he needed to.
First, I told him to look to see if he could find it somewhere in the Program Files directory, even if it wasn’t in the All Programs menu any longer:
- Open Windows Explorer (Start, Right-click, Explore)
- Go to C:\Program Files\
- look for Google Earth, which might be in a subdirectory Google
- Check to see if the Google Earth application (.exe file extension) is in the folder.
- If so, you should be able to double-click on it to start it.
- You could also right-click and drag it to the desktop, so you could create a shortcut.
I also advised himm that, if he couldn’t find the Google Earth program, he could reinstall it. Google Earth will probably find its data from the previous installation. Many programs will leave any data files that were created or edited, instead of deleting them, when you uninstall the program.
Jack wrote back to say:
Surprisingly, the .exe file was not there but my favorites were.
But, I made three attempts to reinstall it from the Google website and couldn’t. It went through the motions, but did not wind up with the .exe file.
Would Microsoft have put some type of block for downloading Google files? I plan to try again tomorrow in case there was operator error on my attempts today.
Well, I can’t think of a reason why Microsoft would block Google programs from downloading and installing. I think that would cause them no end of legal problems.
My final advice was that he remember the first rule of Windows troubleshooting. Be sure to reboot — it solves lots of problems with Windows.