Introducing the Dell De-Crapifier…

It’s a sad state of affairs when you buy a new computer these days and it comes pre-loaded with a ton of garbage software that brings your new machine to a crawl. If anyone’s bought a Dell PC in the last few years, you probably know what I’m talking about. Just recently, I was helping a friend set up his brand new Inspiron 1300 and it took FOREVER for it to boot up. It’s a very dissatifiying experience to pull a brand new computer out of the box and be spammed with a bunch of trial software. After removing all of the crap, (wich took a significant amount of time) it booted much faster and performed like it should. I kept thinking it would be nice to have an automated way to remove all this stuff. Thus was born the Dell De-Crapifier script.

Now, to be fair, I know most all of the major PC manufacturers have similar practices of installing trialware. I would suspect they don’t make any profit on the hardware (or even a loss) and they make their money on the kickbacks from the software companies. I don’t know.

Anyway, I wrote the Dell De-Crapifier using a great little scripting tool called AutoIT. You can use it to automate pretty much anything in Windows. There is also a cool editor called SciTE that gives you all the tools you need to put together a script. The best thing about this whole system is that you can generate stand alone executables that don’t require a runtime.

Screenshot
The script displays only a simple dialog box in the upper left corner of the screen. It’s only purpose is to show the current status. Eventually, this may have a progress bar, but for this application, it wouldn’t be that useful. The dialog really just displays the same information that is being saved to the log.The script was created for a Dell Inspiron 1300, but it should work just fine on many other Dell computers. I’ve also written the script in a modular way so that it can be easily expanded to uninstall additional programs. I’m really hoping that through additional contributions, that this script would be enhanced to cover just about any standard Dell installation. It could also be used as a baseline for other PC manufacturers. I’m willing to maintain and host the script(s) if people want to send me enhancements. I’d like to keep to the following guidelines though:

  • Any uninstall routine must be able to check if the program is installed before running the uninstall. This can be as simple as checking the existance of the main executable. If it doesn’t exist, it should skip the process.
  • The uninstall must run completely unattended. Foretunately, most MSI installers have a silent uninstall, but other programs, such as AOL requires automated button presses.
  • Any uninstall routine must use the standard functions I’ve created for logging. These can certainly be expanded, but it would be good for all routines to use one logging mechanism. This also allows for the simple GUI box to be updated in a consistent manner.
  • Any non-standard program should be uninstalled. Exceptions are made for the Dell utilities that are needed to maintain the PC and drivers and such. For the annoying Dell Support tool, I did not uninstall it, but I prevented it from running on start up. In general, anything that’s part of the operating system that’s optional should be left alone. Anything that’s freely downloadable should be removed. I don’t want to get into any debate as to whether the Google Search bar is useful/annoying or not. The fact is, it’s not part of a standard build, and you can easily download it, so it should be removed.

There are some things that I would like to enhance. The major thing is the reboot issue. If an uninstall routine really needs to reboot the machine, the script should put an entry in the RunOnce registry key and allow the machine to reboot, then pick up where it left off. The other major feature I’d like to have is the ability to select the available installed applications and then automatically uninstall only the selected apps. This would eliminate any whining about my last guideline.

USE AT YOUR OWN RISK! If this script totally hoses your machine, it’s not my fault!

Let the De-Crapifying begin…

PC De-Crapifier Page

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123 Responses to Introducing the Dell De-Crapifier…

  1. Interesting, for quite some time now one of the first things I’ve done when opening up a new computer is running FDISK (or more recenly DBAN) to blow away the pre-installed image and then re-install from scratch.

    That’s probably stil the best choice for someone like me but for a less technical person this could be a good solution, especially on a laptop it can be a pain to get all the drivers back in place after a re-install.

  2. Jason says:

    Robert,

    I agree with your statement. This script is really meant for someone who isn’t as technical. Also, with this particular laptop, we didn’t have the restore media. It’s all stored in another partition on the disk. If you do a recovery using that partition, you still end up with all the same junk. The only (legal) way to wipe it and remove the crap is to buy another copy of Windows XP and reinstall, which is pretty ridiculous.

  3. jeff says:

    Your are the man. This has been a long time coming

  4. Neil says:

    Incorrect, Jason. You can reinstall your Dell using media provided by Dell (OS CD, drivers and applications CDs) and have a “fresh” install without the bloat-ware. All you have to do is contact Dell tech support and request the CDs.

  5. Aaron says:

    Nice idea.

    “The only (legal) way to wipe it and remove the crap is to buy another copy of Windows XP and reinstall, which is pretty ridiculous.”

    This isn’t accurate. I just received my Inspiron E1505 yesterday. I used the online chat to tell the support tech that I wanted to dual boot my laptop. I had the Windows XP dvd (clean install without garbage) in hand today.

  6. Xyber411 says:

    kick@$$ i’m using it right now… thank you so much dude. BTW, care to help me on my .au3s? check out my site and let me know what you think.

  7. One of the programs that Dell has been installing is My Way Search Assistant, a known spyware program. Perhaps your script is able to easily remove this application, but My Way does a good job of preventing users from easily removing it through the Control Panel’s “Add/Remove Programs.” I contacted Dell about this, and they said that they would be happy to teach me how to properly remove it if I agreed to pay them $49. It’s crazy to think that Dell is not only paid to put this crap on there, but that they also charge to remove it.

  8. Gary Morris says:

    We buy a lot of Dells at work here. The corporate lines are as bad (no trial ware Norton AV or anything) but its still a pain. Reimaging isn’t always the ideal way of going about it. There’s something to be said for running this during deployment

  9. Matt says:

    Wow, looks pretty great. But how would you explain how to run this to somebody?

    “I click on the download and it just pops up with a bunch of text :(“

  10. Logan says:

    When I first got my newest Dell laptop, it had a bunch of stuff preinstalled. I noticed that Dell provides a program which burns a backup copy of XP for personal use (I think it only works one time and on the same computer, but haven’t experimented with it). I used this copy to reformat and install clean without any junk trial software. I think if you contact Dell, you can also obtain a copy of the XP installation media for your laptop through them.

  11. cb says:

    Wow great work. I’ll check it out and post results. Unfortunately I have exams coming up or I’d help with scripting because I have a 6000 & 700M as well. This will be helpful 🙂

  12. Have you checkd out nLite (http://www.nliteos.com/nlite.html) … IT can come in handy if you have the original setup CD.

  13. Charlie Hayes says:

    You need to change the color of the text on the top of your site or change the photo. The white on white is impossible to read.

  14. Andrew says:

    You can do a fresh install without losing activation and without having to buy a new version of Windows XP. If you can get your hands on an OEM XP installation CD (they are the same as retail copies but with a few dll and ini changes, infact you can suitably modify any XP CD) you can backup the OEMBIOS.* files from your OEM installation and maintain perfectly legitimate activation on a fresh install.

    Details here:
    http://unattended.msfn.org/unattended.xp/view/web/29/

  15. FWIW, I was able to format and reinstall my Windows XP Home Edition on my new Dell XPS system, for a clean, completely fresh, install. The Windows CD came with the system. I did not have to ask Dell to send one to me. Then I reinstalled only the Dell software I wanted.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Is there a list of what this program uninstalls? Or does it offer you a choice when you run it?

  17. Spencer says:

    should’ve gotten a mac.

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  19. Lindsey says:

    Why not demand a better product from OEMs rather than cleanin up their crap for them and letting them continue to give customers what they don’t want?

  20. Lane says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    I literally laughed for a good 15 seconds after hearing this name…. Good idea and all but seriously kick ass name.

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  22. Des says:

    Good on ya mate!

  23. MaZa says:

    Dude,

    That is an awesome idea. Seriously, kickass idea man. The crap that comes on packaged PC’s is insane. And this is perfect for a not-techies, so sick of rebuilding “new” PC’s..

    Might have to rip the idea and do a one up for an HP (Hewlet pack-a-shit-ard).

    Will definitely send in to you if I do.

    MaZa
    Have you meet the bees?

  24. 3ch0 says:

    I just pulled out one of my Ubuntu CD and installed it. And it’s done. No problems with the drivers, no spy-ware. Easy, fast and great… Took me like 30 minutes tops.

    http://www.ubuntulinux.com

  25. Kvad says:

    I’ve had an issue when using anything but a Dell XP CD will not get the sound card working. (630m)

    Sounds like a good tool. Will check it out.

  26. Russ Miller says:

    What a fantastic tool. I literally just got a Dell Inspiron E1705 for a family member and this tool just saved me an all night project! It worked like a charm.

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  28. Alex G says:

    A couple of things to think about here. First, this script is EXACTLY what I need since I buy about 100 Dell systems a year and resell them to clients. The first thing I use to do was wipe the system and reinstall with the OEM disc. The problem with that is once you wipe the partition you loose the VERY handy Symantec utility to restore the system (PC Restore). This can be a very handy tool when you have that worm/virus/trojan/what ever else is ruining your day. So with a script like this, I can do a PC Restore and then just run the script. I am going to try it right now on my new XPS 600. Thanks in advance…

  29. DB says:

    Excellent idea, great application. Consider making it open-source to accomodate future setups Hell, er, Dell, might have?

  30. dirk says:

    Nice idea. I like it…. but it hangs on musicmatch uninstall for some reason.

    System is Dell 4600 purchased April 2004 w/XP Pro Sp1a installed. Autoit version is current. Tried the script in safe mode… same results: hangs on “MusicMatch Jukebox Uninstalling”. Maybe I’ll uninstall MusicMatch and see if the script progresses from there.

  31. Gilsmethod says:

    great name…i’ve used the autoit software, never thought of using it for this application. where the hell did i put my copy….

  32. Kirk Henry says:

    why dont you just build from scratch dell is a crook

  33. rock says:

    Let me repeat what Matt wrote earlier:

    Wow, looks pretty great. But how would you explain how to run this to somebody?

    “I click on the download and it just pops up with a bunch of text ”

    I, too, don’t have a clue how to go about it. And this was supposed to be easy for us greenies??? 🙂

  34. Jeffepops says:

    Recent Dells have not included the OEM Windows XP CD unless you opt to pay an additional $10.00. I purchased one without knowing what a headache it is to only have the Dell Recovery/Restore disk.

    I have seen Dell decline from a first rate company to a dismal corporate black hole. But I don’t know what the PC alternative is. In my case converting to Apple/Macs would be quite costly for a family with 6 computers.

    Thanks for the helpful program.

  35. Newbie says:

    please forgive an obvious question, but how do i run this script? in my browser, when i click on the “download” link, it just opens a web page in a new browser window. thanks.

  36. Silent Android says:

    Dells suck.

    If you want a PC, without the crapware, build your own. Or if you want a laptiop, got for a brand like Sager (www.sagernotebook.com) and you’ll get a PC laptop with XP and nothing else.

    The reason why PCs have problems is because of crapware that’s bundled with computers. But get a computer without it and you’ll fly.

  37. The Dude says:

    What should I use to run this script? Im new to this, but Im in dire need of cleaning out the craaaaap from my Dell.

  38. Steelers says:

    Anyone that has actually used this have any input? I just set up a system for a friend and I manually removed a bunch of the crap, but it’d be nice to know if I should run it through anyways.

  39. FalconV says:

    @MaZa; great idea about making this for HP as well! I wish I had easier access to all these different laptops, I’d love to help expand the code to include any of these crapwares. We occasionally get some at work, if I happen to get some time alone with one I’ll be sure to take this code and add modules for the HP added software and send it back here.

  40. Slick … but I don’t care for the fact that the moment you click the above link and click “Open,” it immediately begins churning away at uninstalling stuff, without a warning. I realize that a goal of yours is to make a fully automated uninstall, but I really think that the user should be given at least ONE warning saying, “Warning, about to uninstall the following programs,” along with both OK and Cancel buttons.

  41. Nicks says:

    Really good idea….but having just run it I am assuming that the script only runs for American Dell systems. I have a UK version of your laptop (1300) and it only seems to remove McAfee products.

    I may use your script as a template to make a “UK” version if I have time.

    Cheers!

  42. Mike says:

    I agree with the whole “buy a Dell PC, wipe it, install from scratch” routine. But, having just bought a new Dimension 5150 PC, a word of warning.

    Before you re-format or run fdisk, grab a copy of the Drivers directory from the Dell’s hard disc image. I found that Windows XP Pro installed fine on my new PC using the drivers available on the Dell website *except* for the audio drivers.

    None of the three audio drivers on the Dell website would work with my machine… and I couldn’t find anywhere containing the correct SigmaTel audio drivers on the internet.

    So grab that Drivers directory before you start reformatting !

  43. Sam says:

    How do you use this? I just bought an Inspiron 6000 and want to murder it but then I came across this program. Only problem is I don’t know how to use it. All I get when I click on the “Download…” link is another explorer window popping up with text in it. Someone help me before I stab my laptop in the ass.

  44. It’s a bit complicated. Good article nonetheless.

  45. Brian says:

    Nice idea, but I agree that reformatting the hard disk using the Dell restore cd is a better idea. Most times, the CD that Dell provides can be used on any Dell-branded PC and does not require a CD key.

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  47. rock says:

    Help!!!

    I got it started. I was logged on to AOL at the time (free trial). Message came up asking to close AOL, then proceed with uninstalling. I clicked on Cancel. The De-Crapifier window froze with the message “AOL Uninstalling”.

    I clicked on the De-Crapifier icon, and it started with a new window, and brought me back to the AOL situation. I repeated my previous actions (Cancel, click, etc.) with the same results. Now I had two frozen windows, and one operating window.

    This time, when it asked to uninstall AOL, I decided, well, why not? It went ahead and uninstalled AOL.

    Now it’s stuck on Musicmatch Jukebox Uninstalling, and won’t budge. Re-booting, Re-starting, Re-clicking, don’t help. The boot-up is no faster, I’m sans AOL, and I have a frozen De-Crapifier window on the monitor. Classic case of ignoring “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?? 🙂

    Need all the help anyone can give. Thanks!

  48. Mike says:

    The sad part is for years Dells came out of the box clean as a fresh XP install. That was one of the selling points I gave to customers. Now they have fallen as everyone else has.

    Another problem with the Dell’s is that after you pay them the $10 to get your XP backup CD’s they still don’t send you your DVD movie software and Burning software unless you contact them again and ask for it.

  49. graham says:

    Anything similar available for a Hewlett Packard. I’ve got tonnes of pre-installed stuff on it and boot time is paaaaaaaaainful. 😦

  50. Chuckster says:

    Hmm. I have an XPS M170 coming with Media Center Edition. I got a really super deal so I’m guessing I don’t have the OEM install CD/DVD. Will this work on MCE?

    Charlie
    “If you want to pass life you can have one.”

  51. George says:

    OMG OMG i just found this place i go through (in a slow month) about 4-5 dells per/month (setting up for new customers). And as mentioned above the easiest solution i’ve found so far is using Advanced Uninstaller to start remove processes however, there is still no automation to hit the next key or continue on to the next uninstall.

    I have been using AutoIt and AutoExe for awile now mainly for smaller things, i always wanted to generate a script for this but never had the time. This Script is by for one the best tools i have ever found, I will exploit and let the world know about this script

    I will happily donate money for your time and effort.

  52. thonga says:

    Same problem with HP mediacenter PC, takes time to clean pre-installed crapware.

  53. wally says:

    One problem with wiping the hard disk and re-installing Windows on a Dell is that (Dimension 9150) they have *no* PS/2 ports , and no floppy drive. This makes it impossible to install WindowsXP because the install asks for formatting info before its loaded the USB drivers, so the keyboard doesn’t work. Best bet is to create an unattended install disk with something like nLite.

    W.

  54. kevin says:

    For all those asking about how to make this work, the author gives (perhaps not so obvious to some) instructions:

    Download Dell De-Crapifier v1.0
    (Do a right-click, save as…)

    You also need AutoIT to run the script

    Meaning:
    1. Right-click the link and ‘Save As’ (or ‘Save Link As’ for Firefox users)
    2. Download and install AutoIT from the link.
    3. Use AutoIT to run the script.

  55. @dam says:

    Can you publish a list of what it uninstalls? I want to run it (was about to attempt a reformat tonight anyway), but I don’t want it to uninstall the DVD Recording and viewing software Dell installed (Sonic Record Now and Power DVD, I believe). Those are the same programs mentioned above that don’t come with a backup- you have to call dell and order them.

  56. adamh says:

    Dell isn’t the only one…my old HP Pavillion 7915 had this “recovery partition” too….after a “Format” (well, we know it as a “System Restore….), I was left with 96% free space, yep….HP took up 4% of my newly installed computer. I said screw that, bought Windows XP Home edition for it, and it’s clean as a whistle now 🙂

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  58. John says:

    Hey, wonderful job.

    This story got dugg, which is great for you! Anyway, nice script, way to comment in the script too. As a scripting newbie this is great for my day to day tasks. We use Toshiba here so I will modify it for our laptops. It seems I am configuring a couple a week and this would save me a grip of time. My only other option was to just build an image. Also, your script is perfect to help me learn about install/uninstall process.

    Thanks!
    John

  59. Linden says:

    Great name. Fortunately, I don’t have to put up with tribulations that off-the-shelf computer buyers do. I got fed up years ago and learned to build my own computers. But it’s my hobby, and I realize it’s not for everyone. Thanks for providing this tool for those in need. It’s a shame that computers so powerful, relative to just a few years ago, are burdened down with so much junk. Unless you purchase from the boutique dealers, a custom shop, or build your own, you are just paying for a commodity. Folks like Yorkspace help elevate personal computing to something more than just running a branded machine.

  60. Victor says:

    As a dell technitina, i see here several errors about the reinstallation of windows and other things here
    1. if you don’t have the cds, and need to reinstall the os, just call the tech support and request those. that is sometimes the fastes way, if you have problems with accents, try the chat. normally they will ship the cds at the next bussines day.
    2. a usb keybord is going to work, without any problem
    3. you could request also the applications cds, the aplications will have the roxio/sonic software and the dvd player software. the one that you can’t ask for are the one that is not made from dell, the applications like office, etc.
    4. the drivers cds depends on the avaliability of the cd, the computer taht are not made anymore do not have those drivers, you need to dowload from support.dell.com
    5. to boot from the cd, press f12 in the bios, you will see a boot optios, select the cd.
    6. if you need help, you could always call the phoneline, that is a 50% or more chnace of having a tech that knows how to reinstall windows, that is something we do a lot, and almost everyone knows how to do. also check the support.dell.com for reinstall guides
    7. alos dell sell some pcs without a os, the name for that is n series, just search for that in the dell website.

  61. Byte Me says:

    Jason, you are either too kind or too naive. You could have made millions. 🙂

    Surprised nothing like this has hit the net sooner.

  62. Ben says:

    For all you guys that want to reformat your machine, you can send Dell an email just explaining what you want (all the software on discs) and that you don’t want to pay for them. If they say no, just say you’re replacing the hard drive and it should be no problem (since the software is all on THAT harddrive, you can’t use it on the new one). I asked for all the CD’s and got 5 total AFTER I received the computer, shipped next day air in 2 shipments (3 and 2).

    http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?sduid=18673&t=160546&highlight=dell

  63. Nicholas Pishvanov says:

    Sounds like a great idea. I was so upset with Dell’s garbage in my new laptop a couple of years ago that I decided never to buy a Dell product again. This may still help for removing remnants of junk I couldn’t remove.

    May I suggest you do the same with HP accessories? After several upgrades and updates of HP Laser printers, Inkjet Printers and scanners, my desktop is loaded with megabytes and megabytes of old programs, new programs and left-overs from previous installations. When I get time, I plan to uninstall every piece of hardware plus what is left over and start reinstalling and upgrading minimum requirements from scratch.

  64. Jim Co;;ins says:

    Look at HP/Compag, Gateway they also install Junk programs on their computers.

  65. Some Guy says:

    Victor,

    Doesn’t Dell require their technicians to be functionally literate?

  66. Tom Domino says:

    “Some Guy Says:
    Victor,
    Doesn’t Dell require their technicians to be functionally literate?” LMAO!

    You obviously haven’t spent any time with their “award winning support” team lately. It’s all you can do to get an intelligible name out of them, let alone anything else, regardless of whether you’re using e-mail or the phone.

    The De-Crapifier is a must have tool for anyone setting up new Dells.

  67. Ron says:

    Dell, Compaq, Toshiba, IBM etc… you name it, they all come pre-loaded with tons of crapwares. An OS with crapwares removed is not the same as a clean install OS.

    Dell is better than Compaq. At least they sent me an original WinXP setup CD with nothing in it but the OS. I asked Compaq for WinXP setup CD, they sent me 8 friggin CDs containing the OS and… yes, tons of craps. Pop the CD in the drive, setup kicks in automatically to install the OS + craps in the HD.

    I will never buy a computer from manufacturer who can’t give me OS installation CD without their shitty products installed along with it. First thing I do when I get my new system is format the drive. Reinstall the OS.

  68. Tommy says:

    I can’t believe someone is finally talking about this. We are IT consultants and have been recommending to our cusotmers for a long time NOT to buy a DELL or Compaq or most other major brands because of this problem. The only major brand we know of that does not install crap and spyware is Systemax. You actually get a clean computer out of the box. And the computers are made in the USA from quality components AND cost much less than the advertised brands. Getting a clean system out of the box is far superior than cleaning out a bunch of garbage from a loaded system.

  69. Jason,

    I’ve just featured your wonderful De-Crapifier in my blog.

    Here’s the link:

    http://www.bookofjoe.com/2006/04/dell_decrapifie.html

    Best,

    Joe

    http://www.bookofjoe.com

    ‘World’s most popular blogging anesthesiologist’

  70. Pedro says:

    I always format after buying any new computer. I prefer to have complete control (and a fresh registry). Just my opinion, but I am glad someone thought of this. As mentioned earlier, it could be used for those with less technical experience and it takes less time than a full reinstall. 🙂

  71. JW says:

    3ch0 Says:
    “I just pulled out one of my Ubuntu CD and installed it. And it’s done. No problems with the drivers, no spy-ware. Easy, fast and great… Took me like 30 minutes tops. ”

    Great. And can I play Farcry, BF2, Everquest, run Photoshop, Premier, Itunes or do anything else useful on it? Uh-huh.. thats why we run Windows isn’t it.

  72. Whatever says:

    You should add another guideline to your list, and that is to use dynamic paths to files (i.e. for checking the existance of executables), like %windir% and %system% and most importantly, use the actual path to the Program Files folder. People who don’t have an English windows version would probably like to be able to use this interesting tool as well.

    Thank you.

  73. Stever says:

    Some Guy Said: “Victor, Doesn’t Dell require their technicians to be functionally literate?” LMAO!

    You obviously haven’t spent any time with their “award winning support” team lately. It’s all you can do to get an intelligible name out of them, let alone anything else, regardless of whether you’re using e-mail or the phone.

    I work for a [L.arge M.ajor] Aerospace company that is solid Dell, and we’ve always reimaged our machines fresh out of the box (Dell might be doing that for us, in the future) with all our apps, drivers and what-have-you. At the start of the year, I bought my first home Dell, and while I’ve cleaned out a lot of crap, I have no doubt that this handy little tool will find some more garbage to rip out.

    At work I like dealing with the folks at their Canajian call center- they are very professional, and EASY TO UNDERSTAND. THe various southern centers seem to employ folks who English is horrible, and I’m not not talking about those for whom it’s a second language. I was taught that if the Dell TEch didn’t give you want you want, hang up and dial in again, and the roll of the dice would likely give you one you could understand or who won’t make you jump through silly hoops to fix your machine. AT home, I keep runnign into techs with names like ‘John’ and ‘Bob’, whose Hindi accents interfere with my understanding them at all. WIth them however, I don’t dare hang up, because the home waits are closer to 30 minutes before I get through to anyone!

  74. Steve says:

    I have a fairly new Dell 9100 with Windows Media 95 OS. It came with Musicmatch Jutebox. I have never used this program but everytime I put in a music CD it pops up asking for registration. I see that Musicmatch is one of the programs the DeCrapifier deletes. What is it about this program that warrents deletion? What are some better alternatives?

    The installed photo program does not have very good editing capabilities. Any suggestions for this function?

  75. Jason says:

    In Reply to Steve:

    On the machine I had, the Musicmatch Jukebox software was only a 30 day trial. I think that’s standard for the Dell machines. As a replacement, I just use Windows Media Player, mostly out of laziness for not finding something better. I actually previously used Musicmatch Jukebox, but Media Player 10 does everything I wanted. I just recently came across this site with links to a bunch of good freeware programs.
    http://www.econsultant.com/i-want-freeware-utilities/index.html

    As far as the photo program. There are a bunch out there. Google’s Picasa is pretty good for day-to-day photo editing. (http://picasa.google.com/)

  76. David says:

    This is a great idea and I’ll try to check it out with our next order.

    Currently I have an XP cd created from a Dell XP Pro OEN disc with all the Dell OEM details stripped out.
    It also contains a copy of as many Dell drivers as I can get my hands on, its slipstreamed with SP2 and RyanVM update packs, as well as nlite’ned. This gives me a very lean install with absolutley no crap.
    I’ve also got it to autoinstall some general software we use on every machine.

    Probably alot of effort for most people so this script could be a god send in some situations.

  77. Brian says:

    Wouldn’t it be easier to stop buying Dell products? With the bloatware and all of the proprietary hardware issues related to Dell products, the difficulties upgrading, revising, etc., we simply stopped buying their products a few years ago. We either build ourselves or buy from a reputable white box vendor who builds to our specs.

  78. JamesH says:

    If you buy a Dell computer and don’t get the OS and Drivers Disk etc just call Dell and ask them for it. I recently purchased a Dell laptop and did not receive any software except Word Perfect. After calling Dell’s support they shipped me several disks including upgrading Windows from the Home Edition to Professional.

    I have bought 4 Dell computers and have never had any problems that were not corrected within a reasonable amount of time.

  79. Sherry says:

    Wow this is amazing. I have a 3yr old dell, and now that i have read all this stuff, i see that my comp came with all this pre-loaded crap. But i don’t dare try to mess with this delicate stuff of scripts…i have no idea and i know if would blow this thing up if i tried. But I do understand and know that this yuky stuff is on my computer, i have seen a lot of it, and when you try to remove the stuff, its very hard to get rid of. I wish i knew more about computers so that i could attempt this without messing things up. Thanks for developing this, i am sure many will find it very helpful!

  80. Hello to you all ! I was very interested in your statements about DELL ? I have a different problem, when I start Dell Setup comes on. I have to go thru the routine of signing on and then click escape, to finally get my Bellsouth main Page. This is something new that never occured before. I hope that you can help me with this Problem ? This is a very interesting Site. Thank You, Tony DiBitonto !

  81. Brother Devon says:

    Linux… THe rest be damned.

  82. Greg from PA says:

    When using GUICtrlCreateCheckbox, how can I bring it up already checked?

  83. Jason says:

    Hi Greg,

    After you use GUICtrlCreateCheckbox, you can set the state using GUICtrlSetState:

    http://www.autoitscript.com/autoit3/docs/functions/GUICtrlSetState.htm

  84. Apex says:

    As to the below post:
    >

    All I’ll say is, stick a “Donate via PayPal” tag, and anyone wishing to contribute as appreciation” to this project (PS: its not selling the lsoftware or license, its a ‘gift’) is free to do so.. whether its £0.50 or even £500.00

    Good you .. THIS is the purpose of the internet, knowledge IS power!

  85. Jill says:

    There’s a new problem cropping up with new Dells where McAfee Antivirus software (the REAL version) has a conflict with the Google Toolbar/Desktop. Even AFTER uninstalling GT/D, two files gtb.exe and gtb2.exe are left in the Dell e-center folder, not to mention several regsitry entries. Those to .exe files are the ones that crash when McAfee is installed.

    I was wondering if it would be possible to make it get rid of these things also?
    I just thought I’d mention it. This is an AWESOME idea by the way. Two Thumbs Up!!! No, three!!!

  86. Gino says:

    Hi Jason! Thankk you so much for creating this. I just ordered the B130, which is the other name for 1300, on Friday night (June 23) and I was amazed that this was actually originally made for this laptop! I will of course use this as soon as I turn on my new computer and I won’t even begin to open anything up until this is done! I then, of course will install Firefox from my USB drive to be sure of not even opening Internet Explorer or else my computer would be full of viruses in a day! haha! 🙂 I just want to thank you once again and I am so excited you created this!

  87. Peter says:

    I’m guessing bloatware is how they keep people coming back. By installing enough initial crap, they’re shortening the time it takes for the Windows install to rot. Then Joe ComputerOwner says “I need a faster computer”, and goes on the friendly Dell website. They don’t have a clue that they’re getting conned, they just think that computers are *bad*. Even cheap modern hardware is blazingly fast, and Dell needs to give people reason to upgrade. Otherwise people would be using the same computer for five years. (*gasp* Value?) Everyone would simply buy the ubercheap if they knew that it’s not ACTUALLY slow.

  88. J says:

    you may want to check out:
    http://people.bu.edu/allanonl/gtb/
    for more information about the GTB/GTB2 issue.

  89. Xyber411 says:

    Just saying this dell decrapifier is awesome. I have used it on countless machines and it has worked flawlessly. Any other little gems you got, let us know. *bookmarked*

  90. Newbie says:

    I have purchased several Dells in 2002 & 2003, which still has all of the crap on them. Does this program detect, which programs are crippled software that needs to be removed?

    Are there any programs that popup, which should not be installed?

    This is great software.

  91. Jason says:

    In Response to Newbie:

    The program has a pre-determined list of programs that it will uninstall. It only does detection in the sense that it looks for the programs it knows about. When you first run it, it will show you what programs it knows about, then you can select which ones to try and uninstall. I hope that answers your question.

  92. Phil says:

    Hi…I am posting out of desperation!! I have purchased a Dell Dimension 9150 and to cut a very long story short for which there is no logical answer I have removed the dell hidden partition….I wasa trying to partition the C drive with partition magic and it was only by doing that it would let me proceed. As it was only for system restore I thought lose it! I wanted XP on anyway at some stage. Removed it asked me to reboot….now it will only boot to the message “loading pbr for descriptor 2 ok” and then it hangs…..If I boot with a Windows XP Pro disc it starts the windows installation and then hangs saying it is not going to proceed to prevent damage to the PC!

    So has anyone any suggestions! Is there anyway to get the dell restore stuff back on…is there anyway to get windows to lad…I am in UK so no dell support until Monday…24/7 in the states won’t help as it was purchased in the UK….even if I speak to them I will have to play dumb. I must say I thought I was over messing with this stuff years ago!

    If anyone can help and talking would be easier I will happily call you whereever you are in the world…or is it a lost cause?

    I have run all the test on the Dell diagnostics dic and it passes them all.

    Cheers from a red faced older guy from the uk!

  93. Wes says:

    If you think Dell is bad, try a Sony Vaio…twice as much as any Dell I’ve owned.

    **Phil, I did the same thing on my VAIO, used partition magic to remove the pre-load partition to do a pure XP Pro install, only the same happened to me as did you.

    I much prefer Dell over Sony, but the owner of our Web Site bought it for me. I immediately purchased the DVD Preload Recovery for that model and I was able to completely recover the system, but it did reinstall the Pre-Load Partition.

    However, there is a way to do what you want to do, but it takes a little creativity, patience, time and a program where you can create normal software into .ISO and extract portions of the pre-load into the .ISO the PC/Laptops need when the partition is not present. Roxio and Nero both can do the .ISO Image, problem is I cannot locate the instructions, I will make a note to find them a post them back here, there will be minor differences between manufacturers.

  94. Chris says:

    Just another tip, try Norton Ghost. its an imageing software. when you get your system all cleaned up and before you start filling it up with your personal stuff, create an image of your system with Ghost and you can use it to restore your system later on if you ever need too and you can use Nero to do backups of your personal stuff. Thats how i keep my stuff up and running. i got hit with a trojan a couple of months ago and didnt loose a thing. i use DVD-R (they are RW’s) and make a backup of my system once a week just to make sure i dont loose my stuff.

    Also, with Ghost, if you have multiple PC’s of the same type, you can reimage every one of them at the same time across a LAN system! i’ve reimaged 35 machines at one time and it only took 35 minutes to do it. if you do do it this way, you MUST use SYSPREP. if you dont, all the machines will be IDENTICAL (SIDs) and you will have a mess when you try to connect them to the same LAN system.

    if your into building AUTORUNs, check out http://www.IndigoRose.com. They have a great lineup of software. I use AutoPlay Media Studio 5 & 6 and i would recommend them to anyone that likes to script.

    Chris

  95. ron says:

    ok guys, i agree this anti-crapola dl is great news , however, its like offering a homeless man a cold beer on a hot day while his homeless buddies sit next to him and watch him slug it down.
    in short , i’m one of those buddies …. i {sadly admit } , who own an hp media center and as many other disgruntled { AMERICAN } hp owners , dont speak aribic { not to mention spelling it }. i have called hp dozens of times in the past year and have been told 27 times , yes , thats 27 times , in the past year , to run my system covery disks { all 8 of them }. but thats another story and i dont really want to start my morning with whether or not i should use this pc for target practice with hps’ logo on the monitor.
    anyway , my hats off to Jason, great job , you get an “ATTA BOY ‘ in my book….. DUDE , I’M GETTIN A DELL !!! now would it be too much to ask if you had another one of those beers?

  96. me says:

    I love when idiots have to bring up Linux or Apple during every situation that doesn’t apply to Apple or Linux. How does installing Ubuntu (baby, crappy, wussy distro anyway) remove unwanted software from a Dell? It doesn’t.
    How does custom building your own computer remove unwanted software from a Dell? It doesn’t.
    Great job Jason! I can’t wait to try it with my customers. Or I can install Ubuntu for them, and lose my job when they cannot function with the rest of the business minded world.

  97. Lionel Bradshaw says:

    I suggest that after you use the Decrapifier to clean out the undesired programs you then either use an internal DVD Writer or an external one
    (Don’t have one? Your friend does. Borrow his.) then use Norton’s Ghost to create a copy of what is now on your drive. Usually it only takes one or two DVD discs if you haven’t overloaded the hard drive already. Personally I only have the original stuff after using the DeCrapifier and i have only installed Office 2003 and a few small programs such as End It All. Eventually when i reformat my drive or install a new one. I boot up from a bootable CD, DVD or floppy, using GHOST and bring back the Ghost stuff i had saved. It takes hours but once you start it you can go to lunch. It is all automatic and you won’t have to uninstall all that junk.
    Good Luck. ChooChoo Bradshaw

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  101. Bojangles says:

    I just bought a Dell computer a couple of days ago. All it took was one call to their customer service to get the XP and driver installation cds. When you ask for them, they’ll try to tell you that you don’t need them. Tell them you’re putting a new hard drive into the computer or are going to dual boot and need to reformat. Insist that you have to have them or you can’t use the computer and they’ll send you the disks free.

  102. Hawk says:

    My new XPS M1210 runs beautifully using Ubuntu. Easy install, quick start-up and no crapware. Movies run using ogle. What are viruses?
    Oh and since I spend most of my time running M$ office programs, I installed crossover office from http://www.codeweavers.com – this works well with Office 2002. Even Access 2002 runs fine, Just click on a file and it knows what windows program to start! Right click and you get a choice – openoffice or the other. And it runs IE if you need, without the security risks!
    Did I mention it’s ca 20% faster running Super_pi than when using windoze?
    Oh and for your digital audio player, visit http://www.rockbox.org
    Welcome to the world of free, safe and functional software!

  103. marco770 says:

    Thanx for the decrapifier. I used it successfully. I still have a problem when I surf via Internet Explorer. The Dell help and Google search page comes up and won’t allow me to enter the site I select. This seems to be a miserable annoying loop. How do you fix this? Thanx

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  105. Jonny says:

    Thanks for this. Uninstalling dell crap at the moment! It was p**sing me off so much I just happened to google: dell install crap and found your page! 🙂

  106. Ben says:

    I suggest you spend the $10 for the backup XP cd and as soon as you get the computer wip it and do a clean install.

  107. Aienka says:

    Usually when you get a DELL without the OS cds, there is a folder called I386 on your HDD, and a tool called DELL Operating System Recovery Utility, which allows you to burn your own reinstall CD.
    More info at http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/dsn/en/document?c=us&l=en&s=gen&dn=1091713

  108. mangler says:

    getting ready to receive two Dells…a 1705E and an XPS 410….
    Does the De-Crapifier run standalone, or do I need this AutoIT to run it?

    I’m just dangerous enough to wreck my computers…so a bit more guidance is warranted. I will be calling and requesting the OEM disk for the 1705E…one comes with the XPS.

    Thanks for doing this Jason!

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  112. Nick Marques says:

    One of the reasons I like Dell is that even the crap they ship with isn’t nearly as bad as those on HPs, Compaq, and Toshiba put on.

    I also can’t stand computers shipping with a “Restore CD” and not a true Windows XP or Vista CD. I figure you pay for the license, give me a freakin CD. I guess Dell is doing that Dell System Restore thing, but I think it’s only on those dirt cheap systems.

    The first thing I do when I get a new computer or set up someone else’s is a clean install.

  113. I’m glad that someone came up with this program. Macs have been throwing this about for years and even started make ads out of all the crap that comes on new PCs. Kudos to you for this tool.

  114. Dan Reinholtz says:

    I guess I shouldn’t be amazed, but I can’t believe how much garbage is installed on a Dell. I’m glad I’m getting ready to buy a Mac when Leopard comes out, but while supporting friends who own Dells, this is a godsend. Way to go! This is outstanding work.

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  116. R Booth says:

    I used the “Dell decrapifier” program on my new (back in Dec. 2006) Dell XPS 410 desktop, and it did remove a lot of crap; but, for some reason, every now & then, I still have my browser hijacked by the Dell/Google crap & end up with their CRAP search results… which are generally two or three advertisements unrelated to my original target site. It even hijacks me when I type a URL directly into the address bar, manually,… but, it doesn’t do it all the time… just sometimes. I have no idea what triggers it… but, I would like to get rid of everything related to Dell & Google on my computer.

    The Dell Decrapifier version that I’m using is about 6 months old now, though at the time I first used it, my new computer had only been in operation for a few hours, or days, but not very long. I’m going to try downloading a current version & see if it does anything to further clean-up the Dell/Google Crap on my machine.

  117. Anthony PIttarelli says:

    fantasic! i just had reload my POS dell and this is going to make the removal of crap process much easier! Thanks a bunch!

  118. Bobba Galoush says:

    This is why you do not buy anything from Dell Home. I don’t understand why anyone would in the first place. You don’t have to own a business or have any special licensing to purchase from the Dell Business side. No extra charge for the OS disk and NONE of the crap that comes with Dell Home PC’s comes pre-installed. It’s not even an option. Nice, clean OS, and that’s it. Of course, you should re-format, re-partition and reinstall the OS anyway, but that’s another thread.

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