Tag Archives: junk

Free PC Decrapifier – Bloatware Begone!

imageYou might think that a reader comment that goes something like this, is unusual – “I don’t know how this program ended up on my computer. One day, it just showed up.” Surprisingly, this is not an unusual comment.

In almost every case, the reader is referring to the trial ware (crapware, bloatware), commonly preinstalled on major manufacturers computers. This is the type of thing that drives users buggy, since trying to figure out how to get rid of trial ware is not as easy as it should be.

Luckily, there is a free application designed to specifically uninstall these annoyances – and that’s PC Decrapifier. It’s been a couple of years since I last posted on this terrific application, so today, I’ve taken another look.

The program does not need to be installed; simply run the executable. Or, if you prefer, you can run this application from a USB drive. You choose the items to be removed from a preconfigured list, and you can create a restore point (highly recommended), to undo any changes.

Note: Since PC Decrapifier is written in a scripting language, you may get an security application warning. This warning (if you receive it), can safely be ignored.

The application, while designed to uninstall crapware, has additional functionality – as the following screen capture suggests. More on this in a moment.

image

Anytime changes are being considered, creating a restore point is always good practice.

image

In the following screen shot, you’ll notice the application has detected an application it considers crapware on my machine.

image

The following screen shot illustrates a relatively unknown aspect of PC Decrapifier – its ability to act as a bulk uninstaller. The user simply checks off those applications which are no longer needed; clicks “Next”, and the application will launch the appropriate uninstallers. A slightly better solution than the Add/Remove Program applet when uninstalling more than one application, I think.

image

image

Working with PC Decrapifier requires no particular skill. The application is “follow the bouncing ball” straightforward.

The following is the current list of software and items that PC Decrapifier can detect and remove. The list is generated from the items the program detects on your computer, and you then choose the items to be removed by the program automatically. What could be simpler than that?

Targeted applications:

AOL Install
AOL UK AOL 9.0, UK Version
AOL US AOL 9.0, US Version
BigFix
Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI
Corel Photo Album 6
Corel Snapfire Plus SE
Corel WordPerfect
Dell Search Assistant
Dell URL Assistant
Digital Content Portal
Earthlink Setup Files
Earthlink Setup Files
ESPN Motion
Get High Speed Internet!
Google Desktop
Google Desktop
Google Toolbar
Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer
HP Rhapsody
Internet Service Offers Launcher
Internet Service Offers Launcher
McAfee
Microsoft Office Activation Assistant 2007
Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007
Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003
Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003
MS Plus Digital Media Installer
MS Plus Photo Story 2LE
MusicMatch Jukebox
MusicMatch Music Services
muvee autoProducer 5.0
My HP Games
MyWinLocker
Norton AntiSpam
Norton AntiSpam
Norton AntiSpam
Norton AntiVirus 2005
Norton Ghost 10.0
Norton Internet Security
Norton Internet Security
Norton Protection Center
Norton Security Center
Norton Symantec Live Update A common component of Norton Symantec products
Office 2003 Trial Assistant
Orange Internet
PC-cillin Internet Security 12 Trend Micro
QuickBooks Trial
Quicken 2006 Possible Trial Version
Remove Empty Program Folders Looks for and removes empty ‘Program Files’ folders
Reset IE Home and Search Pages
Roxio Express Labeler
Roxio MyDVD LE
Roxio RecordNow
Sonic DLA
Sonic RecordNow Audio
Sonic RecordNow Copy
Sonic Update Manager
Tiscali Internet
Travelocity Gadget
Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 14
Vongo
Vongo
Wanadoo Europe Installer
Wild Tangent Games
Yahoo! Music Jukebox
Yahoo! Toolbar for Internet Explorer

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, and Win 7.

Download at: Download.com

Note: PC Decrapifier is free for personal use only. If the application is used in a commercial environment “you will require a commercial license. The cost is $20 per “technician” (not per PC)”.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

6 Comments

Filed under Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, Portable Applications, Software, Uninstall Tools, USB, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Free PC Decrapifier – Use It As A Bulk Uninstaller

imageYou might think that a reader comment that goes something like this, is unusual – “I don’t know how this program ended up on my computer. One day, it just showed up.” Surprisingly, this is not an unusual comment.

In almost every case, the reader is referring to the trialware (crapware, bloatware), commonly preinstalled on major manufacturers computers. This is the type of thing that drives users buggy, since trying to figure out how to get rid of trialware is not as easy as it should be.

Luckily, there is a free application designed to specifically uninstall these annoyances – and that’s PC Decrapifier. It’s been a couple of years since I last posted on this terrific application, so today, I’ve taken another look.

The program does not need to be installed; simply run the executable. Or, if you prefer, you can run this application from a USB drive. You choose the items to be removed from a preconfigured list, and optionally, you can also create a restore point (highly recommended), to undo any changes.

Note: Since PC Decrapifier is written in a scripting language, you may get an security application warning. This warning (if you receive it), can safely be ignored.

The application, while designed to uninstall crapware, has additional functionality – as the following screen capture suggests. More on this in a moment.

image

Anytime changes are being considered, creating a restore point is always good practice.

image

In the following screen shot, you’ll notice the application has detected an application it considers crapware on my machine.

image

The following screen shot illustrates a relatively unknown aspect of PC Decrapifier – its ability to act as a bulk uninstaller. The user simply checks off those applications which are no longer needed; clicks “Next”, and the application will launch the appropriate uninstallers. A slightly better solution than the Add/Remove Program applet when uninstalling more than one application, I think.

image

image

Working with PC Decrapifier requires no particular skill. The application is “follow the bouncing ball” straightforward.

The following is the current list of software and items that PC Decrapifier can detect and remove. The list is generated from the items the program detects on your computer, and you then choose the items to be removed by the program automatically. What could be simpler than that?

Targeted applications:

AOL Install
AOL UK AOL 9.0, UK Version
AOL US AOL 9.0, US Version
BigFix
Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI
Corel Photo Album 6
Corel Snapfire Plus SE
Corel WordPerfect
Dell Search Assistant
Dell URL Assistant
Digital Content Portal
Earthlink Setup Files
Earthlink Setup Files
ESPN Motion
Get High Speed Internet!
Google Desktop
Google Desktop
Google Toolbar
Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer
HP Rhapsody
Internet Service Offers Launcher
Internet Service Offers Launcher
McAfee
Microsoft Office Activation Assistant 2007
Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007
Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003
Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003
MS Plus Digital Media Installer
MS Plus Photo Story 2LE
MusicMatch Jukebox
MusicMatch Music Services
muvee autoProducer 5.0
My HP Games
MyWinLocker
Norton AntiSpam
Norton AntiSpam
Norton AntiSpam
Norton AntiVirus 2005
Norton Ghost 10.0
Norton Internet Security
Norton Internet Security
Norton Protection Center
Norton Security Center
Norton Symantec Live Update A common component of Norton Symantec products
Office 2003 Trial Assistant
Orange Internet
PC-cillin Internet Security 12 Trend Micro
QuickBooks Trial
Quicken 2006 Possible Trial Version
Remove Empty Program Folders Looks for and removes empty ‘Program Files’ folders
Reset IE Home and Search Pages
Roxio Express Labeler
Roxio MyDVD LE
Roxio RecordNow
Sonic DLA
Sonic RecordNow Audio
Sonic RecordNow Copy
Sonic Update Manager
Tiscali Internet
Travelocity Gadget
Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 14
Vongo
Vongo
Wanadoo Europe Installer
Wild Tangent Games
Yahoo! Music Jukebox
Yahoo! Toolbar for Internet Explorer

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7.

Download at: Download.com

Note: PC Decrapifier is free for personal use only.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

13 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, downloads, Freeware, Software, Uninstall Tools, USB, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Kick the Crap out of PC Crap with Free PC Decrapifier!

Is your Windows XP or Vista machine loaded with preinstalled crap? Tired of trying to figure out how to get rid of it? Then you’re in luck. Read on.

PC Decrapifier is a free uninstall utility that is specifically designed to remove nearly all of that trial and promotional software that’s been driving you buggy.

The program does not need to be installed, simply unzip and run, or if you prefer you can run this application from a USB drive. You choose the items to be removed from a list, and you can also create a restore point (highly recommended), to undo any changes.

The following is the current list of software and items that PC Decrapifier can detect and remove. The list is generated from the items the program detects on your computer, and you then choose the items to be removed by the program automatically. What could be simpler than that?

Targeted Applications:

  • AOL Install
  • AOL UK
  • AOL US
  • Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI
  • Corel Photo Album 6
  • Corel Snapfire Plus SE
  • Corel WordPerfect
  • Dell Search Assistant
  • Dell URL Assistant
  • OpenDNS Blog
  • Desktop Icons Removes Unnecessary Desktop Icons
  • Digital Content Portal
  • Earthlink Setup Files
  • ESPN Motion
  • Get High Speed Internet!
  • Google Desktop
  • Google Toolbar
  • HP Rhapsody
  • Internet Service Offers Launcher
  • McAfee
  • Microsoft Office Activation Assistant 2007
  • Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007
  • Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003
  • MS Plus Digital Media Installer
  • MS Plus Photo Story 2LEMusicMatch Jukebox
  • MusicMatch Music Services
  • muvee autoProducer 5.0
  • NetZero Installers
  • Norton AntiSpam
  • Norton AntiVirus 2005
  • Norton Ghost 10.0
  • Norton Internet Security
  • Norton Internet Security
  • Norton Protection Center
  • Norton Security Center
  • Norton Symantec Live Update
  • Office 2003 Trial Assistant
  • Orange Internet
  • PC-cillin Internet Security 12 Trend Micro
  • QuickBooks Trial
  • Reset IE Home and Search Pages
  • Roxio Express LabelerRoxio Easy Media Creator
  • Roxio MyDVD LE
  • Roxio RecordNow
  • Sonic DLA
  • Sonic RecordNow Audio
  • Sonic RecordNow Copy
  • Sonic Update Manager
  • Tiscali Internet
  • Travelocity Gadget
  • Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 14
  • Unnecessary Startup Items
  • Vongo
  • Wanadoo Europe Installer
  • Wild Tangent Games
  • Yahoo! Music Jukebox
  • Yahoo! Toolbar for Internet Explorer

Download at: Download.com

17 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Freeware, Portable Applications, Slow Computer, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Every Good Story Needs a Villain!

This is a guest post by Paul Eckstrom, a technology wizard and the owner of Aplus Computer Aid in Menlo Park, California.

Paul adds a nice humorous touch to serious computer technology issues. Why not pay a visit to his Blog Tech–for Everyone.

This story opens gently enough. It begins with a friendly and helpful Comment posted on a friendly and helpful blog.

Someone had written to share “the results of their work”, which he said “solved his security problems.” He was talking about viruses and spyware, and other malware, and he said his method “covers 99.8%! of all known threats.” He posted his advice/Comment on an article about How To prevent the dangers posed by spyware (and also warns about “rogue” anti-spyware programs). He signed himself “Spycrasher”.

So far, this all sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? 99.8% effective certainly sounds good.

As you have probably deduced, Dear Reader, the “friendly and helpful blog” in question was this one. Tech–for Everyone, like most blogs, provides readers the opportunity to respond, ask a question, or just “put in their two cents”, simply by clicking on “Comments” at the bottom of the article. And also like most blogs, I have the ability to “moderate” which comments get posted and which don’t– for instance, Comments containing offensive language will not be published. Spycrasher’s 99.8%- effective security solution will NOT be seen here.

But.. maybe you’re a little curious as to what it was. And.. maybe, why I deleted it. (Take another peek at today’s title..) “Spycrasher’s” comment said to use three particular anti-spyware programs– in tandem– and he provided download links. (This, alone, triggers red flags.) He mentioned two tools I was not familiar with, and one rather well-known program.

* Hyperlinks are always suspicious (and blocked as a matter of policy), and the first thing I checked was, did the links point to legitimate websites..? Or would clicking on them take you to a poisoned webpage (which could infect your machine) or a pharming site.

No problem there. The links he provided did indeed point to real websites.

* The next thing was to check out the unknown programs themselves. No self-respecting and legitimate tech writer will advocate something they have not used, and tested, themselves. Period.

In my initial research of the first program (XoftSpy-SE), I found a wide range of reviews and comments.. from “this is rogue” to “this is the best thing since sliced bread”, and I learned that the program was “for pay”.
I don’t promote “for pay” software here (but do provide a daily free download), nor, even potentially rogue app’s; and so I stopped right there. I would not allow Spycrasher’s Comment.

· Being the gentleman that I am, I decided to write Spycrasher and thank him for his submission, and explain why I had moderated it. But before I did, I wanted to get a feel for where he was coming from.. so I ran a Whois on his IP…

Now, I gotta tell you.. it is very rare for ARIN to come back with a “no match found”. Very, very strange.

So I traced him.

New York >London >Amsterdam >Berlin >Warsaw…

And then he disappears into a virtual private network somewhere in the Ukraine.

Odd.

* So I used a search engine to find instances of the word “Spycrasher”… and he came up a lot. Spycrasher likes to post in various forums. Quite a few of them, actually. Like, practically all of them.
And he posts a lot of Comments there.
* Guess what? They are all identical to the the one he posted (I should say “pasted”) on mine.. right down to the ‘wink’ smiley ;-).

Very.. odd.

Tip of the day: Be very leery of hyperlinks, folks.. and please understand: not every innocent looking thing you see on the Internet is in fact “friendly and helpful”. There are people whose full-time job it is to try to trick you, and seduce you into doing something you normally wouldn’t.
I am very sad to say.

[note to bloggers/forum moderators/webmasters: you may want to search your published pages for instances of “Spycrasher”, and delete this guy.]

Today’s free link: I am going to repost a program here today, because I have it on every single one of my (Windows) machines, and I think you should too. ThreatFire (originally named “CyberHawk”) is a free, behavior-based anti-malware application. I use it as a supplement to my antivirus and other anti-spyware tools. Heuristic tools like ThreatFire are your only defense against “zero day” exploits.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved*

4 Comments

Filed under Interconnectivity, Internet Safety, internet scams, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, Spyware - Adware Protection, Windows Tips and Tools