Sometimes, the question is more challenging and ultimately requires the software manufacturer’s tech support to resolve.
James Biddle wrote with a serious problem that was caused when he tried to update Microsoft Security Essentials…
I have one for you.
In Windows 7, I was asked to upgrade Microsoft’s Microsoft Security Essentials to the latest version. No problem on my XP Pro machine, but my Win 7 went sideways.
I guess it didn’t completely remove everything. Now the new MSE (or any anti-virus software will not install) I’ve tried manually to remove two directory items and three registry entries.
No matter what I do, it won’t let me delete them. I’ve been in contact with MS. Several emails and suggestions have failed to work.
Any idea how to remove items? I’m signed in as administrator with full rights?
I don’t use Microsoft Security Essentials and haven’t run into this problem.
I gave James a suggestion: He may have to boot into safe mode to access those items. The problem is probably that they’re already running as services. Perhaps in safe mode, they won’t be.
James wrote back to say he’d try it and report back (I always like it when someone tells me that a solution DID or did not work).
He wrote back to report:
I got rid of a few things but not all.
I still can’t get any anti-virus software to install.
Anything else you can think of? I’m totally stumped on this.
I do have Defender running. I’m not sure how good it is–I guess it will have to do.
All I use the Windows 7 computer for is gaming. I don’t do much web surfing.
At that point, I asked if he had considered rolling back via a Restore Point? It won’t bring back the deleted software, but it will bring back the removed registry entries and delete the newly added ones.
At that point, he might be able to install the new version of Microsoft Security Essentials. (I haven’t used MSE, so I can’t provide any advice on it).
James wrote back:
Yeah, that didn’t work. I’ll have to wait and see what MS comes up with. I’m awaiting a phone call from the tomorrow.
I know some people would be reaching for one of the "uninstaller" programs about this point. I wouldn’t — and antivirus/antimalware program is designed to work deeply in the operating system.
I’d be concerned that an uninstaller, when dealing with the residuals from a bad uninstall/upgrade on a system that’s already not working right, may make the situation worse. Of course, at that point, all the software vendors would point at someone else — leaving James with only the option to restore from his backups.
At least he should have his restore DVD’s to restore the computer to factory condition. Hopefully, he uses an image program to make backup images of everything – operating system, programs he’s installed, and all his data, preferences and configurations. I use Acronis True Image Home 2011 to this for my computers.
Back to James, I sympathize…waiting for a Tech Support call-back is a pain…