Want to get rid of all that crapware junking up your new PC? Try PC Decrapifier or Revo Uninstaller. Both are free. [New York Times]

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  1. trixrabbit says:

    i’ve tried both. they work ok.

    the best thing to do, however, is completely reinstall the os… and only the os. then install what you need after that.

  2. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @trixrabbit: I agree with you completely. I just de-crapified a friend’s pc last weekend and most of the crap installed was from the manufacturer (HP)! Other crap – trojans especially — you can never be sure are 100% removed, so it’s better to just nuke (reformat) the thing and get it over with… it’ll save you much time and frustration in the long run.

    Besides, if you maintain proper backups, it’s easy.

  3. Parapraxis says:

    I use Revo Uninstaller all the time. Great for removing garbage from new PCs, and crapware that accumulates over time.

    Also, has a registry search and cleaner as well.

    Very useful, and the price is right.

  4. tedyc03 says:

    Or installing Linux. That gets rid of the crapware too.

  5. Illusio26 says:

    That’s why I hated buying new PCs. I’m glad I switched to mac a long time ago. When you get a new machine from apple, its free of all that garbage.

  6. theblackdog says:

    I have a flash drive with the following programs

    Avast! Antivirus
    Ad-Aware
    CCleaner

    I install those three programs and within a few hours, their computers are humming along so much better.

  7. oldheathen says:

    Yep, those would be my top three as well.

  8. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @theblackdog: I prefer NOD32 for anti-virus and would add Regcrawler, Spyware Blaster, and the latest version of Firefox to your list.

    [www.eset.com]
    [www.4dev.com]
    [www.javacoolsoftware.com]

  9. timmus says:

    I write Windows software, and I have dealt with a couple of viruses that even I was unable to remove. It’s best not to take chances. Wipe the OS and start over. I would also suggest the Acronis TrueImage ($$) program so you can stick a mirror image of a clean install on DVD-R with all your fixed-up drivers, configs, newest DirectX, etc, etc, and be able to restore that mirror snapshot anytime.

  10. SacraBos says:

    @tedyc03: That’s what I do. Also has the advantage of not having to worry about BSA audits.

    When that’s not available, I generally use:
    Ad-Aware
    Spybot Search and Destroy
    Clam-AV Antivirus

  11. rellog says:

    I have to say I’m a bit leary of installing any software linked to from this site. A few days ago I installed accelman and it royally messed up my system. I just removed all I could, but it was continually locking it up.

  12. timmus says:

    Yeah, run the download by SiteAdvisor (gauge the stinkiness of the site itself, not just the download), google searches for *title* + malware, check wikipedia for the product and also its talk page, and read review sites to check for trouble. This is usually good advice before installing programs. There’s actually a lot of safe software out there; a little legwork mitigates most of the danger.

  13. thomanjones says:

    I use Autoruns and CCleaner (formerly CrapCleaner), per this article:

    [blogs.zdnet.com]

    [zdnet, George Ou)

    I’m not as extreme, I generally only uncheck the 3rd party software that is not tied to hardware (adobe, apple, winzip, real player, etc), not anything that might be a DVD driver, or tagged ‘microsoft’ or something similar.

    I’ve used the process described in the article well over 100 times now (I do desktop PC support at a mid-size company), and can compete the entire process in under 15 minutes now. It really works wonders, especially on PCs with limited RAM.

  14. RhymePhile says:

    All you have to do is read sister site Lifehacker every day (listed in the left nav over there), and you could have done this, well, months ago when they talked about it. The Times is behind the times.

  15. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @rellog: You have to tread carefully with File Managers like these or any software that messes with the shell. Always perform a backup before install or test it on a drive that’s not your primary workhorse. I’d also recommend reading reviews on any app before installing and scanning it with Kaspersky’s online virus scanner — you just never know.
    [www.kaspersky.com]

    That said, as far as alternate file managers go, I prefer Directory Opus.
    [www.gpsoft.com]

  16. i think i found out about Revo from LifeHacker…

  17. bubbledumpster says:

    Tiny XP is better.

  18. medalian1 says:

    I just used PC Decrapifier on a new Compaq desktop over the weekend. Took an hour and twenty (1:20) minutes to remove all the crap that was pre-installed. Shame you have to sit nearby though and click the acknowledgments. Glad it’s free!