Can’t Uninstall A Program

Dear Computer Lady,

I have windows XP. Norton wants me to remove Panda 2005, but I cannot remove it from “Add or Remove”

What should I do?



Dear Betty,

Here is what I would do if it was my computer.

I would back up all my data and important files like pictures, music, address book and documents.

I would then erase the hard drive and install Windows XP on the now clean, hard drive.

Then, I would install the antivirus of my choice (I prefer AVG over Norton) before I put back the files that I backed up.

I know that not everyone knows how to backup, format and re-install an operating system, and that it costs money to have a computer shop do it for you, but this really is the only way to get your computer functioning at its best.

Is there a way to remove Panda from your computer if you can’t do it from “Add or Remove” in the Control Panel? Yes, there is, but it involves deleting files manually from your hard drive, and removing entries from your registry. This is a time consuming job, and a dangerous one. (not dangerous to you, just your computer  ) If you remove the wrong registry entry, or delete the wrong files, your computer will not be able to boot into Windows and you would end up having to do that re-install of Windows I mentioned earlier.

Hopefully, you are comfortable doing a clean install of Windows, if not, make a list of the files that you would need backed up, and call your local computer repair shop for an estimate. Compare that estimate to the cost of purchasing a new computer before you decide to go ahead. You might be surprised at how prices have changed since 2005.


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    • clad
    • June 24, 2011

    There is a freeware version of Revo Uninstaller that can do a thorough job of uninstalling a hard to uninstall app, including finding Registry entries, which are listed and available to delete at your descretion.

    The link to the freeware version is difficult to find from their main page. It is at: (this should be all in one line)

    It first tries the standard uninstall, then scans for leftovers after the standard uninstall

    • ailurophile
    • June 24, 2011

    I’ve been using Revo Uninstaller (the free version) for years and I’ve never had a problem with it, nor are there “ghosts” of the extinguished program. Besides deleting the program, it also does a scan of your Registry and deletes all the references there, and it also gets rid of related files and links with other programs. It’s a clean removal of the program, as if was never there.

    • Wildhorse
    • June 24, 2011

    There is a free program called Revo Uninstaller Pro which works beautifully to uninstall fragments of uninstalled programs. Just Google “Revo Uninstaller Pro”.

    PS: I find both Norton and McAfee antivirus programs to be lame, slow, etc.. There are far superior programs available. One of which is CA (Computer Associates) Internet Security Suite.

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