I’ll always clean it up when I uninstall programs because of the crap they leave behind – registry entries and orphaned files.
I’m no stranger to cleaning up computers with Windows on them because I’ve used it off and on since before Windows 95.
I follow the same procedure every time, as mundane as it might seem.
It doesn’t matter what prompts me to clean my Windows installation, I go through the same routines every time. I open the control panel and look for programs I’ve never used, programs I no longer use and programs I thought I already uninstalled. I’ll uninstall anything I don’t think I’ll ever use or ever use again.
I then run an application that hasn’t failed me yet and I’ve used it for years: CCleaner. I’ve used it since before it was renamed from “Crap Cleaner” to “CCleaner”. It can remove more than I want, so I have to be careful with the settings.
I rarely have to fix Windows and the only time I have to do it is when something installs malware on it, usually something piggybacking a software product I’m testing. I don’t test many these days because I already have what I need, but sometimes curiosity gets the best of me.
When it happens, I use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to remove what I can’t remove otherwise. It can take some time to finish so when I run it, it’s time to take an extended break. If that program doesn’t work, I have to search the net for specialized removal tools.
I can do everything I do on Windows on just about any other operating system. Windows can be a royal pain to fix when something goes horribly wrong. When that happens, I sometimes feel like throwing my laptop in the trash or out a window. I probably would if I had another computer available but I don’t. My backup laptop is dead until I replace the hard drive in it.
One thing’s for sure, once I replace the hard drive on the other laptop with a solid-state drive, I won’t reinstall any version of Windows on it. I’m looking forward to installing one Linux distribution or another – I’m almost positive I’ll go with Linux Mint.
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