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How to Fix Bad Software Uninstalls (rough draft)...
lbyard Nov-29-00 07:43 PM
When booting Windows you get error messages similar to the following:

The system could not load or run a program in the win.ini file.

Cannot find file filename.exe (or it's components)…

The Windows registry or SYSTEM.INI file refers to a device file, but the device file no longer exists

In the last case, the specific file name may not be present…

These problems are usually caused by a bad/aborted or improper software uninstall. They can also be caused if a file is inadvertently deleted or is corrupted. A remnant (line/shortcut) of the incomplete uninstall is still in the Startup Folder or one of the system configuration files: win.ini, system.ini, or System Registry. Lines in the config.sys and autoexecute.bat files can also cause problems of this nature. These errors result when the system tries to execute a program, load a driver, etc. which was removed during the uninstall.
If these error messages start occurring right after attempting to uninstall a program or you did not use the software’s uninstall program to remove it. Try running the uninstall again. Uninstall programs are usually in one of two places:

In a folder associated with the program.

Start, Settings, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs

If that fails to fix the problem, try reinstalling and then uninstalling the program. If that doesn’t work or you don’t have a clue as to what started the error messages…

The first problem is the easiest to fix and is quite common.
It can be solved by using Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Tools, System Configuration Utility. The System Configuration Utility can also be accessed with Start, Run, and entering msconfig. Click the win.ini tab, expand the folder and uncheck the offending load= and run= lines.

The second problem can be caused shortcut left in the Startup folder which points to an executable which no longer exists. You can troubleshoot this possibility by unchecking one shortcut at time with the System Configuration Utility/msconfig, Startup tab.

The third one can be more difficult. If the filename, a driver, ends in .386, the line is in the system.ini file, which may be accessed with the System Configuration Utility/msconfig like the win.ini file. Check the <386Enh> section of the system.ini file for the driver. The entire system.ini file can be searched as well. Uncheck the offending line. (Unchecking the line is the same as remarking it out with an editor by placing a : in front of it.)

If the file name ends in .vxd, the line is referenced in the System Registry. Add/Remove Programs, above should remove it, but not always. If not, Start, Run, and enter regedit. Backup the registry (see help), search (Edit, Find) for the driver, and delete the reference. Do this at your own risk!

If the file name is not present, the offending entry is a Static Vxd in the Registry in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\VxD and probably has nothing or blanks in the Value field. You can troubleshoot this problem with the System Configuration Utility/msconfig, Static VxDs tab or directly in the registry. If a vxd is proceeded by an * it is part of the vmm32.vxd file and an attempt to delete it should not be made.


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