Thursday, 27 March 2014

Windows: How To Manually Uninstall Software Program On Windows (Scenario: Avery Wizard 4.0 - 5.0)




Why?

You are here, because you are probably looking for a way to uninstall a program out of the system. You have tried to uninstall the software program with the usual ways and they all have failed:
  • Add/Remove or Program and Features in the Control Panel
  • The software program's uninstaller. 
  • Third party programs such as: CCleaner, Revo Uninstaller or Advanced Uninstaller Pro.
What?

I have tackled a program called "Avery Wizard" a program provides Avery templates , it's built and run on top of Microsoft Word.

So here is the scenario, Avery Wizard 4.0 version was installed on the computer with Microsoft Office 2010. However, Office 2010 was updated recently to 2013 and therefore Avery Wizard were no longer compatible with Office 2013 and stopped working completely. After some internet Googling, Avery Wizard has released a newer version of the software 5.0 version that supports Windows 8 and Office 2013.

Problem solved, ermm not really. All you would have to do now is now to remove the program from the system or install the 5.0 version directly on top of the old version 4.0. It sounded easy, however stuff doesn't go that smooth you would thought it would be.



Avery Wizard must have corrupted itself and the program cannot be uninstalled. Whenever I tried to uninstall Avery Wizard, the program looking for it's old missing installation files "Avery Wizard 4.0.msi" that might have moved from the User's AppData LocalTemp folder after the Microsoft Office has been updated.

OK, so the Avery Wizard 4.0 was looking for the older installation file called "Avery Wizard 4.0.msi". In my logic mind, if I can get Avery Wizard 4.0 installation file I should be able to bypass this. So how I have approached this was go to Avery Wizard website and download the 4.0 version. One more important I have noticed that the installation file extension was ".exe" not ".msi", therefore I have used a program called "Universal Extractor" to extracted the .msi file from Avery Wizard 4.0.exe.

After a long play around and finally got the Avery Wizard 4.0.msi file, run the Avery Wizard 5.0 installer again, point it to Avery Wizard 4.0.msi that I have just extracted. The uninstaller now say, its unable to open the package file... so back to square one... D:

How?

The resolution is to remove any relevant "Avery" registries in the RegEditor.

Pre-tasks
Here's couple of safety steps you may want to consider before you start applying those steps to your system.
  • Create a System Restore Point
  • Backup Present Registry
If you like me, a person never have done a backup registry before, just follow the steps below:
  1. Start -> type "regedit" - > Enter
  2. File -> Export -> Give a name "Backup" and save it to "C:\".
Action Tasks
In order to find Avery Wizard's registry, we will need to go through the entire system's registry file. Yes. However, by using the Search function it makes a lot of things easier.

1. On the Registry Editor menu -> Edit -> Find -> type "Avery" -> leave the settings as default and click Find Next.


2. The Search function will take you to the nearest "Avery" registry folder or file. As we want to completely get rid of Avery Wizard from the system, we need to delete everything that is related to Avery, so delete the folder completely a screenshot shown below:



3. Use shortcut key "F3" to find the registry and "Delete" + "Enter" button to go quicker.

4. Keep deleting the Avery's registries until you cannot find them anymore on Registry Editor.

5. Once you have finished, close the Registry Editor.

6. Fire up Avery Wizard 5.0 installation file, in this stage the 5.0 installation stage will not be able to pick anything up from the previous version. It will be a full new installation on its own.



Avery Testing

End of the Avery installation, Microsoft Word will automatically start up and Avery Wizard welcome screen will pop up. This means that the Avery has been successfully installed on top of Microsoft Word.




Summary

Manually uninstall software does sounds fun, and if done correctly it works effectively that what you want the system to do. Playing the Registry Editor is not recommended to any novice IT persons, if crucial registries have been modified and deleted the system can easily be corrupted, so be careful and make sure you backup your registries files before you attempt to make any changes to it.



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