Remove Zone Alarm

By billyellis ยท 12 replies
Feb 23, 2009
  1. Hi,

    Sorry to start another thread, but search pulled up nothing recent that was the same question, so...

    I am going to remove ZA and replace it with Comodo. But I know that ZA is famous for lingering on the system after standard uninstall. The following ZA forum page:

    lists steps ostensibly to remove ZA completely.

    Registry editing scares me :( , so before I follow this list of steps, I wanted to ask the experts whether:

    (a) the steps all seem safe to you, and
    (b) whether this will indeed completely remove ZA from the system?

    Thanks. If my search missed a thread that covers a safer way to do the same thing, please just link me to it and then lock this thread.

    Edit: I just noticed that the ZA thread was from '06. :(

    In this other thread from this month:

    a user suggests using cpes_clean.exe

    Is that a complete tool as far as anyone knows, or would I still need to edit the registry as described in the older thread??

    Also, does it matter whether I uninstall my AV (AVG 8) or ZA first?
  2. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    You are so correct hard to remove. And if not completely removed will impact CPU and may effect the install and operation of the new Firewall. Comodo is an excellent choice!

    See this thread Post # 30!

    Yes and also use the cpes_clean.exe

    No AVG does not need be uninstalled!


    EDIT: Also the logic here is to run thesse cleanups after a normal Add/Remove or Revo uninstaller uninstall all the rest are to cleanup after uninstall..
  3. billyellis

    billyellis TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 155

    Thanks Mike.

    So the registry editing steps listed there are completely safe?

    That first thread is a sticky on the ZA forum despite being 3 years old, which is why I saw it in the first place. So it must still be a reliable series of steps even though ZA has released several new versions since then...

    I hope I don't have as much trouble as the user in that other thread. Yikes. But question - he seems to have had the paid version (AV included), while I only have the free version without AV. Can I simply use the 3 steps below, or do I need to do all the steps in post #30 as well with only the free firewall?

    I am planning on running the 8 steps (already DLed all the necessary files, etc.) once I install Comodo and Avira. I'm replacing AVG 8 because I can't shut off avgsrx.exe ( and I need to clean up the hard drive on an older computer after removing a ton of software that I no longer needed on there.

    So just to confirm, can I get away with:

    1. Uninstall ZA using Add/Remove programs
    2. Run cpes_clean.exe
    3. Go through search/registry steps listed in the ZA forum thread (minor registry editing) to confirm complete removal
    (Is that the best order, or should I do 3 before 2?)

    Or do I need the more extensive steps in the thread you linked me to?

    And since I will be removing and replacing both ZA and AVG, does it make any difference which I remove first?

    Thanks for your help. :)

    Edit: changed a couple things in the post after a few minutes, so I apologize if you were already responding to an incomplete post.
  4. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    You have the order correct!

    I would do the 8 Steps before changing either the Firewall or Virus scanners as the 8 Steps may clean issues that would interfere with these operations.

    The person in that thread had no problems with my procedure to clean ZA as reported in the next post and his other problems were from other issues.

    The dates may be old but the process is still relevant!

    When you uninstall do ZA first! yes the registry editing steps are safe.

    In order to completely clean up ZA that is dug in with claws of steel you need the extensive cleanups

  5. billyellis

    billyellis TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 155

    OK, sounds like a plan. Thank you Mike.

    Just out of curiousity, is Comodo going to be as deeply embedded as ZA is now? Am I simply getting rid of the enemy I know for the enemy I don't know, or is the current Comodo not as desperate to remain on hard drives? Eventually a year or two from now the next generation of protection will come along, and I wonder whether Comodo will go genty into that good night when the time comes...
  6. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    No Comodo will uninstall ok at this time any way.

  7. billyellis

    billyellis TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 155

    OK, I am having a problem with cpes_clean.exe - it won't run, citing an Internet Access Monitor problem. I am physically disconnected since I am now without a firewall and my AV is disabled in preparation for uninstall as well. Why do I need to be connected to the internet to run this ZA removal program?

    Update: since that wasn't working, I went to the steps in the linked thread above.

    I ran Autoruns, but it showed no ZA items to remove.

    I ran Revo, checked the Advanced checkbox under options, but ZA did not show up in the programs list (already uninstalled), so as far as I know there is no way to check for other entries to uninstall.

    I then pasted the code in the other thread and it ran and closed.

    Can I assume that ZA is now gone without running cpes_clean.exe?
  8. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Skip that Step and continue with the other steps. After uninstalled and new FW then run it last!

  9. billyellis

    billyellis TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 155

    OK, that's what I will do. I did run a search for "zone*" after completing the other steps, and a ZoneAlarm folder was still there along with a couple other ZA files that I deleted (and some other files with "zone" in their names that looked like Windows files I should not delete), so I will definitely run that program after everything else is installed. Thanks Mike. :)
  10. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    OK good, did you do all the steps yet in my link (Post #30) .

  11. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    It doesn't need to be that complicated. A simple Registry Edit by RegCleaner can enable you to remove all vestiges of Zone Alarm. Once that is done, the rest of the uninstall is easily done by standard deletes. Then reboot and run CCleaner.
  12. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    Nope not for Norton, McAfee and ZA!

    All of these chop off registry items that point to other things named differently than expected and most Registry cleaners will ignore them to err on the safe side.

    But it would get a lot and likely enough for most!

    But being the Clean computer fanatic I am I want it all gone!

    I have a problem about being very thorough!

    And it ain't like we are going to to if often so get it all.

  13. billyellis

    billyellis TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 155

    Thanks for posting raybay :wave:.

    My biggest problem is that I have always been terrified of messing with the registry. I have run cleaning programs that run regcleaner for me during their process. But when it comes to editing the registry myself, that is the one Pandora's box that I have always avoided opening, even with years of experience working with computers. So I have no familiarity with manually running registry cleaning programs, and I am too scared to learn by trial and error on my own computer. If I could borrow the laptop of someone I didn't like for a few days...:haha:

    As for cpes_clean.exe, I did try to run it now that I have installed Comodo and Avira, but it still will not run and gives me the same connection error as before. So I am giving up on it at this point and hoping that ZA is pretty much gone from the system, since there does not appear to be much more I can do.

    I am now running the 8 steps to check if the drive is clean post-install(s).

    Thanks for all the help fellas. :)

    Edit: I just went into msconfig to disable Java quickstart in the future, and guess what still has an entry in the startup tab? Zone Alarm. Son of a... It's unchecked, but how the H do I get rid of the entry?? There is also an entry for ewido, for crying out loud, and they changed that name ages ago (and I have long since uninstalled anyway). Is there any way to remove entries that are dead and gone from the startup and services lists? I know the answer is going to be editing the registry, isn't it? :( The thing is, I have run Ccleaner and Regclean several times already, and while they tell me that they removed a lot of things from the registry, these obsolete entries are still there in msconfig.:(
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