2009-07-07

Removing HP/Compaq Software

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Removing HP/Compaq Software

Xah Lee, 2009-06-23

HP's PC comes bundled with a bunch of programs, including trial software and ad-ware. Some, such as its brand of DVD player or CD-burner, are good for average computer users, but many of the bundled software is a annoyance for professional programers. Here's some info about what they do, and how to remove them.

Here's the bundled software as listed by HP of my model: Source. For my own record: hp_bundled_software.txt.

In the following, software are listed roughly in the order starting from advertisement-ware to essential hardware drivers. Whether to delete is up to you. To delete, go to “Control Panel ‣ Programs and Features”.

In the following, if you see “(delete)”, that means i personally have deleted it in my computer. Be sure also to check the Alternative Software section below, which offers reasonable quality replacement software that are free.

DISCLAIMER: I'm a professional computer programer since 1995. I give honest advice here, but if you fucked up your system by deleting software, it's not my problem. The advice here is more useful for those working in the IT industry, not average mom and pop Window users or gamers. Here's a example of glitch that happened to me. I deleted some HP bundled software after careful research on what they are, but when i restarted my PC the next time, Windows won't boot, and i was offered to roll back to previous state. I clicked cancel. Rebooted my machine again. Then, the machine started fine. PC is a very complex interaction between hardware and software and many things can go wrong. This happens to any software too, such the experiences of machine freeze. The point here is just to say that my advices are pretty safe, but there can be glitches, and that i'm not legally responsible for any damage that happened to your machine if you follow my advise. If you are not sure, contact me and pay me for my services.

HP Software To Delete

HP Demo. It displays a marketing video as a screensaver. It peddles HP computer. (delete)

NetZero Preloader. NetZero is a internet service provider. The Preloader is a software that gets you started in subscribing their service. (delete)

Juno Preloader. Juno is a internet service provider. The Preloader is just a software that gets you started in subscribing their service. (delete)

Snapfish PictureMover is some image uploading software for the site Snapfish, which is a photo hosting service run by HP, pretty much like Flickr. (See “http://www.snapfish.com/picturemover”) (This PictureMover migth be a driver for the flash card readers on your PC, am not sure. I delete it anyway because right now i don't use the flash card ports for my camera, and if i do, i'm pretty sure there are alternative generic drivers that's not HP ad-ware. PictureMover seems to be free on the site too.) (delete)

LightScribe Template Labeler is a CD label printer. See “http://www.lightscribe.com/”. (delete)

My HP Games. A bunch of games, probably stupid. (delete)

MediaSmart DVD is a DVD player from HP. (delete)

HP MediaSmart is a suite of software that manage your photos, play music and video. (delete)

Muvee Reveal is a home video making software. (see “http://www.muvee.com/en/products/”) (delete)

Norton Internet Security 2009. Norton Internet Security. A 90-day trial version of anti-virus software. (delete)

Uninstall Sidebar Gadgets

WeatherBug. WeatherBug is a weather gadget that runs on Windows Sidebar. The program location is at “C:/Program Files/AWS/WeatherBug/GadgetInstaller”. To uninstall, first launche Sidebar, by pressing the Start key, then type “sidebar”. Once launched, right click the Sidebar, choose “Add Gadgets ...”. Then, right click on the Weatherbug and choose uninstall.

You can uninstall any sidebar gadgets this way.

To disable Sidebar from running, right click on it, Properties, uncheck the “Start Sidebar when Windows starts”.

Not sure yet

  • HP active support library
  • HP Update
  • HP Total Care Setup
  • HP Total Care Advisor
  • HP Customer Experience

The above are HP's software that are related to managing the computer. They are probably just a layer or interface that relies on top of MS Windows's various apps and services. Windows Vista provide all these functionalities, so you don't need HP's shit. However, these software by HP might add gook so that if you simply uninstall them, your system may not start correctly and you may need to tweak some registry to get your machine to work again. Need more research on this.

For now, you can safetly remove some hp process that starts up. Press “Win+r” to bring up the “Run dialog”, then type “msconfig”. Then, in the Startup tab, uncheck “HP Health Check Scheduler” and “hpwuSchd Application”. You can also uncheck “hpsysdrv Application”.

For my incomplete research notes on these HP apps, see: pc_hp_processes_study.txt

Software to Keep

Hardware Diagnostic Tools. This is from PC-Doctor.

“CyberLink DVD Suite 6” is several DVD burning and authoring software. They include: LabelPrint (print labels for CD), Power2Go (Disc burner), PowerDirector (video editor). The company is CyberLink. CyberLink is reasonably well known.

Do Not Delete

RAIDXpert is AMD's software for configuring RAID drives. See: AMD 700 chipset series#RAIDXpert.

Realtek High Definition Audio, from Realtek. This is your audio driver, which is a high quality one.

Do not delete anything from ATI. e.g. ATI Catalyst Install Manager. ATI stuff are for your built-in graphics chip that's soldiered onto your motherboard. Even if you have installed a graphics card, it's probably wise not do delete the ATI driver.

Do not delete anything from AMD. AMD is the company that makes the CPU used in many if not all PCs built by HP/Compaq.

Best not to delete anything from Microsoft. If some software you don't use, just leave them there. If you really have a hatred towards Microsoft, don't use Windows in the first place.

Some Alternative Software

For anti-virus software, download ClamWin, or, download Microsoft Security Essentials (available ~2009-09). In the mean time, turn on Windows Firewall, Windows Defender, and automatic update in Windows Update.

For playing DVD, you can use Windows media player or VLC media player.

For playing music, you can download iTunes or WinAmp.

For photo viewing, you can use Microsoft's Windows Photo Gallery or download Irfanview and a bunch of others.

For creating and editing home video, you can use Microsoft's Windows Movie Maker or the bundled CyberLink PowerDirector.