Cannot remove startup programs

By ccel
Apr 17, 2008
Topic Status:
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  1. I've tried to remove several startup items, but they "re-spawn" immediately. Items I've tried to remove include among others ccapp.exe (leftover from uninstalled Norton Antivirus), Spybot's TeaTimer (Spybot is uninstalled, was said to not work with McAfee, my new Antivirus), the auto-update for Java, RtHDVCpl.exe (Realtek control panel). I've tried removing the startup entries from within Windows Defender, msconfig, TUT 4.50, and I've tried deleting keys manually using regedit. The keys reappear immediately (I move the cursor to another folder in regedit and when I go back to the "Run"-folder the keys are back). I've also run CCleaner and it's tried to remove the leftovers from uninstalled Norton and Spybot - didn't work.

    Any ideas or tips?
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

  3. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,392   +32

    You will need to make sure though that programs you want to uninstall do not start when you boot, or it will not allow the uninstall:

    Start> Run> type in ''msconfig' without the quotes> Selective Start-up> Startup tab> uncheck the process that is for this> Apply> OK.

    Reboot> Close the nag message that comes up after checking 'don't show this message again'.

    Now do the uninstall in the Control Panel> Add/Remove Programs.

    Norton has a special removal tool you will find here:
    http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/tsgeninfo.nsf/docid/2005033108162039

    Tea Timer is probably on Startup so once you uncheck it there, you should be able to complete the uninstall.

    If there are any 'left over entries' in the Control Panel, use the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility to remove:
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;290301
  4. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,392   +32

    Sorry kimsland, your post wasn't up yet.
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    That's ok, your post was more thorough anyway
  6. ccel

    ccel Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks for your replies. I was probably unclear in my first post, though. The programs are uninstalled, no reference to them in Add/Remove Program. There are traces of them in the registry, and I can't get rid of those. Neither can I de-activate other startup items. When I use
    the processes "re-spawn" and I see the deactivated process AND the same process re-activated next to it. When I delete the entries manually in the registry, they re-appear right away.

    I did try all the tips provided by you in your posts (thanks again), but it didn't help.

    Again, I'm grateful for help.
  7. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,392   +32

    Well, I guess it's my fault for not checking your system specs! I don't look out of habit as so many don't post them. Since you have Vista, the paths are going to be different. The entire process for stopping startups is different:

    Here is how to handle the msconfig utility in Vista:
    http://www.netsquirrel.com/msconfig/msconfig_vista.html
  8. ccel

    ccel Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I've tried stopping startups exactly as described - the problem still is that the entries simply double and I have one enabled ccapp.exe AND one disabled ccapp.exe (just an example; same thing happens to any startup I try to disable...). Please see the image from my previous post for illustration.
  9. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,273   +150

    Some fyi’s for you. (I don’t think the Add/Remove Program fyi will reveal anything for your problem.. but is something you should be aware of)

    1. Add/Remove Programs does not show you all the programs installed on your computer! Why? Because when a program installs itself it has the option to tell Windows not to display information about it in Add/Remove Programs! Tools you can use to really see everything:
    • MyUninstaller
    • CCleaner. Start CCleaner then click on Tools then Uninstall

    2. Your problem sounds vaguely familiar to me but would have to look into it further. I have a vague memory of having to turn off the real-time monitors that are installed with the programs you’ve installed (e.g. TeaTimer in SpyBot and real time monitors that might be part of your AntiVirus). When they are turned on, they simply reinsert the registry data you just tried to remove (that’s their job to protect!)

    3. Some may take exception to my next point, but try using Vista’s Software Explorer to look at / control your startups
    • You can get to Software Explorer in a couple mouse clicks if you first create a desktop shortcut to Control Panel > Performance Information and Tools
    • I hadn't caught this next point myself until just recently and Mike Lin’s Startup Control Panel is still one of the handiest tools to be found on the Internet but
      • There can be problems running it under Vista (though that might only be with the .cpl version, not the .exe version).
      • And the most important reason: Mike Lin, himself, tells you to use Software Explorer with Vista (Go take a closer read of the Startup Control Panel home page)

    /************ Edit *****************/
    Not the SCP Home Page only lists Windows versions through XP as supported Versions.
  10. ccel

    ccel Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    :wave: @LookinAround Thanks, mate. You put me on the right track. At first I suspected McAfee, but it turned out to be AdAware's "Ad-Watch". The following option was ON...
    Thanks for your help. I hope all will be peaceful for a while... :zzz:

    Cheers C.
  11. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,392   +32

    LookinAround , I've added My Installer to clean-up utilities' along side of the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility. Thanks.
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