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Mini-Review - PC-Decrapifier

by Alan German

PC-Decrapifier was mentioned in Part 10 of the OPCUG Free Software Guide (Ottawa PC News; p.7; November 2009) and promises that it will "uninstall many of the common trialware software applications often installed on PC's by the big name OEM's, and will remove unnecessary items from the start-up menu."

I tried it out on an old Compaq desktop machine that had been given to a friend. Much, if not all, of the original software installed on the machine was still present. The problem was that the machine was running really slowly. Removing all the bloatware, in order to clean up the hard drive, was one of the first steps taken to try to speed things up.

PC-Decrapifier essentially runs in a wizard-like format. It first lets you check for updates and displays its licensing information. Then it warns that it is difficult to tell the difference between trialware and paid-for versions of programs so that care should be taken when selecting items for removal. The final pre-removal items are a check if the program is being run on a brand new computer or not, and the opportunity to create a restore point.

There are two main stages to the actual software removal process. First, the program identifies installed software that it considers to be trialware or otherwise undesirable. Examples present on the test system were MS Office Standard Edition 2003 (60-day trial) and AOL.lnk.

On the subsequent screen, PC-Decrapifier appears to list all of the other programs that are installed, and provides a check box to select any specific item that is to be removed. My selections included Blasterball (and several other games), Compaq Connections and Compaq Organize, Sonic Record Now! and Spy Subtract.

PC-Decrapifier then goes through the uninstallation process for each checked item in turn. Some software, such as the games, return a simple message box that the program has been removed. Other packages go into the more usual Windows-uninstall process, and produce various dialogue boxes for confirmations and to provide progress reports.

Once the removal is complete, a final screen asks for any comments that you might have as optional feedback to the program's developer. There is also a link for you to click "if this program saved you $5 of your time".

My guess is that the resulting web page will ask for a $5 donation to the cause. Now, I don't want to appear ungrateful, but the program really didn't do much more than I could have done myself using the Add or Remove Programs feature in Windows. So, instead of hitting the link, I just pressed Finish, and exited gracefully, stage right.

Bottom Line:

Version 2.2.5

Originally published: June, 2011

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