Problems with Control Panel Add/Remove!!!

By Edgam20 ·
Edit: Windows XP problem
I have a problem with add/remove progams. i dont see over 3/4's of the progams i have on the computer and i use to be able to see them... the ones that are still in add/remove dont have a uninstall tab... only 2-3 progams do have the uninstall tab from 50 progams in total... i thought it was a virus the first time so i got my restore cd and wiped my computer's info. with the fresh restore it wiped everything and it was new again... i downloaded updates and started adding progams... in the beginning i saw the programs in add/remove and was able to remove any program if i wanted to, but now i went back to add/remove progams and once again am missing over 3/4's the progams that are on the computer and only 2-4 progams are able to uninstall... for the 4-5 yrs i have had this comp i have never faced this... never knew such problems existed... and i'v seen so many new things but this one is just unheard of.... any opinions?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

Here are a few ideas

by CaptBilly1Eye In reply to Problems with Control Pan ...

You may want to perform a System Restore to a date prior to when the issue started appearing.

I doubt it is spyware or virus related, but it may be a file corruption or registry issue. Registry Mechanic may help with the latter (assuming you are using XP).

Many of the listings in Add/Remove Programs come from data stored in a folder on the C Drive - C:\Program Files\InstallShield Installation Information. The listings in this folder are somewhat cryptic. But if you open one of the folders and double click the .INI file inside, you will typically get the name of the associated program.
BTW... if you do not see the InstallShield Installation Information folder, it is because by default it is a 'hidden system folder'. In which case, you will need to open Windows Explorer or My Computer, go to the Tools menu, select Folder Options, click the View tab, put a dot in front of 'Show Hidden Files and Folders' and then click Apply and OK.

If the programs listed in the InstallShield Installation Information folder match those Add/Remove listings that have problems, then you've found the source. Then it is a matter of investigating what has changed in regards to that folder.

Other than that, here is a link to read about my favorite tool for managing Add/Remove programs - 'Add/Remove Manager'
and it's free.
But use this installer:

I hope this helps.

Collapse -


by Edgam20 In reply to Problems with Control Pan ...

re-edited because the post i had was confusing even to me...

Collapse -

No Problemo

by CaptBilly1Eye In reply to re-edit

However, it is always better to do an additional post with updated or revised info rather than editing a post that has already been responded to. To avoid confusion.

perhaps there was a misunderstanding...
By 'System Restore' I was not referring to using a restore CD. That should only be done as a last resort.

An XP System Restore is a good place to start.

To perform a System Restore in XP do the following (for future reference, this can be done in Safe Mode as well):
1. Go to Start - All Programs - Accessories - System Tools - System Restore.
2. Put a dot in front of 'Restore my Computer to an earlier time' and click the 'Next' button.
3. Pick a date on the calendar that would be prior to when the situation started occurring and click the 'Next' button.

The system will then perform the XP System Restore and reboot.

Is it possible to do this?
Does the issue remain?
If so... I recommend you direct the investigation to the folder I mentioned in my previous post and let me know if it makes any sense or points to where the problem may have started.

Collapse -

still havn't found the problem

by Edgam20 In reply to Problems with Control Pan ...

i'm sorry... just read what i wrote and i think i'm misleading.... i didn't use the "system restore", i reinstalled my "whole" computer (wiped it out completly with "Ghost" or w/e its called). after that everything was like when i first bought it. i checked add/remove and all programs had the "change/remove" button. i started to install the old programs i had, downloaded updates from windows updates, and after that i checked again and it was as i didn't reinstall my computer at all... many programs dont show up in add/remove and 3 of them only have the "change/remove" where before all of them had it... i think it might be a windows update file that might have caused the problem... but i am not sure...

Collapse -

To Clarify

by CaptBilly1Eye In reply to still havn't found the pr ...

I understand perfectly.
I am advising to use the XP System Restore utility not a restore from backup or CD.

Let me explain with more detail...

The situation you are experiencing appears to be linked to a program installation or Windows Update that was performed after the restore from disk. In order to pinpoint the culprit, a System Restore to a time prior to the problems occurrence is the best thing to do. Then it is a matter of installing the programs and/or updates until the issue returns.
Since your system automatically creates a XP System Restore point prior to installing any Windows Updates, it should be an easy matter to return to a state prior to any and all updates.
Once you are able to return the system to a state where the Add/Remove Programs list looks and behaves correctly, you can start reinstalling the programs and/or updates one at a time (or in small groups) to verify the actual cause. When the problem returns, do one more XP System Restore to a time prior to the installation of the problematic installation or update and then install everything else BUT the one causing the issue.

I know it sounds like a round-about way to resolve and determine the cause, but this is the clearest path to take in this situation.

Please let me know if this helps.

Related Discussions

Related Forums