Posts Tagged ‘installation

05
Jan
18

Advanced Uninstaller Pro 12, Should I Be Concerned?

*****

So, I installed an old PC game on my new Win 10 laptop and found myself stuck with “catastrophic failure” when I could not run the game and tried to uninstall it with the tools already on my PC.  I did a quick search and came upon an offer for Advanced Uninstaller Pro strangely linked to the game I was trying to uninstall.  Hmm.  What are the odds of that?  Unless, this was just one user’s experience in some sort of blog, a user who happened to either be working for or a “consumer” who obtained AUP.  I took a big chance downloading the uninstaller installer (ha) from what I presumed was a safe website and installed the program a day or two later.

Here’s how the uninstallation went down…

Well, first off, the uninstaller program took a moment to get started, and I had the feeling I might have invited some malware or something similar from the way certain screens either duplicated or did not appear.  When I felt satisfied with the installation of the uninstaller, I thought everything would close unless/until I decided to use the uninstaller.  But, one window remained open; rather there was an icon on the taskbar but no window to view or close.   There was also a window that opened to do something online, but I was unable to get online at the time; I closed that.  It’s not like the program said anything about registering the software right away or later.  Or, if it did, I must have ignored that?

So, I did a restart and noticed two very suspicious black boxes appear briefly as the computer started.  I also noticed my cursor doing more “loading” than usual.  I thought…did I just open my computer to someone on another computer who is now scanning or accessing my files?  It was a tad unsettling.

I ran the uninstaller only to find the “interface” did not match the ones I see in reviews!  The pages I’ve seen show a menu of colorful squares for the options you can pick.  Instead, I got narrow bands stacked on top of each other.   So…my next thought was…is this a “phishing” sort of phony, mimic version of the program?

I followed the directions to find and uninstall the pesky game that would not uninstall any other way.  The uninstaller said there was about 600 MB of space to recover with a full uninstall and asked about doing extra cleanup.  I cautiously said, sure, take a look.  It found about a dozen “pieces” left behind.  I had the option to uncheck certain items.  What really concerned me was the last item in the list.  It did not include any mention of the game, its maker or anything that sounded remotely game-related.  It sounded like a Win 10 file, something that would affect the version of Windows I have or the registry, even.

So, I unchecked that one and finished the cleanup…only to discover the game files were still there!  Every item on the start-up menu was still there!  What did the uninstaller uninstall??

So, I ran it, again, and it removed more files, showing me how much space it recovered, less than the previous search/removal.  I checked the start-up menu, again, and found half of the game items still there.  Okay…so now I had fewer pieces to complain about…right?  But, still, there are pieces.

So, I went back and ran the extra clean-up, again, it honed in on that one file that concerned me, the Win 10-ish version file.  There is NO reason that one file represents the pieces left behind on the start-up menu.  So, what gives?  I left the file where it was, not uninstalling it til I know it’s not something my PC should keep.

What am I to do/think?  I still have pieces on the drive.  And, when I tried going back to the tools of my PC that remove files/apps, it said the game files were “unavailable” to process/remove/alter.  So, the only way to deal with them is the AUP?

I ran some other clean-up tool, which spoke of clearing up possible pieces and registry issues, the particular name slips my mind at the moment.  It found 3 “empty folders” which I thought nothing of til I saw one labeled a “settings” folder which, again, made me think I was being stripped of something that was part of running the computer normally.  I tried looking for the program folder and running the program to find the way it now looked had changed.  I can only hope I didn’t do it any harm.

Now, days pass by, and I get pop-ups for daily cleaning services.  I also, today, got a pop-up mentioning the program had done a “daily cleaning service” by finding roughly 20,000 junk files?  And, some of those “junk files” look a lot like normal files the computer would use to remember and protect what it has done.  Ya know.  Like registry and system restore point stuff?  So, why is this uninstaller targeting those?

Suffice to say, I am a lil concerned and more disturbed by all things computer.

28
Dec
17

The Trials of Old PC Software and New PCs

*****

I should have learned my lesson by now.  And, hopefully, I never repeat this in the future.  I never was a big fan of PC gaming.  But, I did come across a few games I thought might be fun.  Alas, I am not the best at comparing requirements and thus have made more than enough mistakes.  I’ve invested in now useless disks that might as well be turned into modern art.  I’m just here, telling anyone who cares to read into it, how my experience with installing older games on a new PC has gone.  I had asked around, but no source seemed to grab me with useful information.  No one I know seems PC smart enough to know what will or won’t work.  Thus I was left to take the risks all by myself.

In short, the lesson I learned:  DO NOT try installing older PC games on a new PC.  [And, my previous computer lesson:  DO NOT try modifying a computer with alternate parts like memory strips and hard drives.  If the PC does not come the way you want it with all of its parts already in place, look for another model.]

I have a rather new Windows 10 model laptop.  It should be able to handle just about any game you throw at it, minus those really intensive 3D and first-person games you see for the hardcore gamers which require a gaming PC.  You would think any old 3D game would work on a new PC even if it’s not a gaming PC.  After all, the technology has advanced a fair amount since Win Vista.  But, no.

I got lucky with 3 older games:  Paradise, AGON and Mysteryville 2.  All of which said they worked with PC as long as you met some rather low requirements (in new PC standards) and had, at least, Win XP, maybe Vista.  Nothing about being good for older PCs; I have no idea how Win 98 could have handled some of the stuff these games put out.  But, surprisingly, of about the 10 games I tried to install, these three worked.  Most of the others were kicked out right away without installing; the PC told me they would not work.  And, the uninstall bit was fairly easy.

The good news (if you get the chance or care to play these):

PARARISE:   It’s a bit of a shoddy short story about a young woman (I’d guess 21-25 years old and very shapely, for whatever reason…) who is flying to visit her father in some odd part of Africa when her plane is shot down, causing her to forget everything before she is taken in by a harem prince.  You would think your mission is to restore your memory and reunite with your dad.  But, it’s not that simple.  And, the ending is…not great.  But, this is a beautifully rendered game with a nice soundtrack and puzzle system.  If you like those Resident Evil type games, this one is decent without the horrors.  You can save as many slots as you like to replay certain parts.  You can view the cut-away scenes separately, once you acquire them.  You get to play certain stages as a panther, which aren’t very long or impressive…but you get to play as a panther.

AGON:  This is just one part of a larger story, though I am not sure if this is part 1, part 2 or parts 1-3 of what is supposed to be a 12-14 part story.  It’s based on some games and other story/stories found somewhere.  I got the game as part of a collection of PC games, not knowing what to expect but having low expectations.  I was greatly surprised how nice this game actually turned out to be!  It’s a MAJOR brain challenge for which you’ll likely want a walkthrough found online.  I just didn’t have the time/brainpower to figure out the very puzzling puzzles.  And, there are way too many books to go through within the game.  Yet, those books are like a digital library of information that could potentially be used in other projects, if you write that sort of thing.  You can find alphabets from other languages, for example.  Like Paradise, this is a very decent 3D perspective, exploring game with both mind and physical puzzles to complete in various lands.  There’s a beautiful isolated island beach stage and a refreshing–though bleak–snowy winter stage.  You are collecting ancient board games and stones which combine to unlock some greater secret yet to be understood.  You play a sort of stocky Sherlock Holmes who is corresponding with his research assistant Watson back home as you travel the world.   When I completed this one, again, it felt a bit underwhelming as this is just a segment of a larger story.  But, just exploring the various worlds/stages is a treat.

Mysteryville 2:  I wanted to get Mysteryville 1, but it said it was for older PCs; so I passed.  Now I wonder if it would work.  This is a sequel to a mystery about missing cats and a major test of eyesight as you search various places for hidden items and put together jumbled slide puzzles to solve a mystery about an art show that may not be what it seems and a missing “friend” who may not be who he seems.  I poured myself intensely into this one and completed it in a few days because I kept wanting to get to the bottom of it.  When all was solved, I wasn’t sure what to think or do.  I think I liked the music best, very Twin Peaks mysterious.  I have gone back to replay a few of the puzzles, now and then.  It’s better, in some ways, than another hidden item game I had on my last PC, one about fairy crystals and a missing husband (which still doesn’t make total sense with me).

If any reader has more information on these games, like where to get others in the series (if there is a series) and/or if they work on new PCs, let me know.

Now, to the ugly business of erroneous installations.

What prompted me to write this piece was a good-looking game from 2002 called Freedom Force in which you can design superheroes and complete about 20 missions against all sorts of premade comic villains.  It all sounded good, and the requirements didn’t seem out of my range.  It installed beautifully!  If it wasn’t going to work, why did I get treated to all sorts of images?  It asked to install Direct Play which I accepted but turned down Game Spy Arcade as I thought that was some additional game or online option I did not figure would be any good anymore.  After all, chat rooms aren’t what they used to be, and plenty of sites close shop in a handful of years.  After installation, I could not get it to play.  It said I had to log in as administrator and try again.  I see no way to do just that, so what was I to do?  I checked my requirements and found my PC was an NT?  Not fit for XP software?  And, my processor is not up to speed?  I doubt that.  Anyway, so, with the game not working, I figured I might as well uninstall.  At least the software has that option…OR DOES IT?!  Apparently, this game is so special that when I tried to uninstall it, I got “catastrophic failure.”  Missing component?  What the?  Sooo…  I’m sitting with this dud stuck in my computer.  I tried to system restore to a previous date and only caused the computer more grief!  Registry errors.  I couldn’t open image files.  I couldn’t run certain programs.  What gives?  Talk about a nightmare.

I’m currently, nervously working on the problem.  But, it scares the crap out of me and makes me feel stupid.  I should have just listened to my younger self who said he wasn’t going to dabble in PC games.  It’s just a shame more aren’t as fortunate as the ones I DID manage to install and complete.  I really wanted to play The Movies, among others.

If you have any info on these or related games, I appreciate any input you can provide.




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