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The Most Annoying Crapware

Posted on 16th Sep 2009 at 11:23 by Richard Swinburne with 67 comments

Richard Swinburne
What makes companies think it's OK to install extra crap you didn't ask for by default? There are numerous examples of this, from store-bought laptops that are preloaded with bloatware to toolbars that come included with your chosen browser. Even the most trusted sources and manufacturers have become involved with this crapware epidemic.

"Security" companies seem to to be most notorious offenders of all, constantly trying to weasel their way onto your PC when you don't want them to. Once they've invaded your registry and (previously) clean startup procedure so that they're nigh impossible to remove they begin their main task - pummelling you with notifications and subscription requests.

It's not limited to Microsoft (probably one of the worst facilitators of this) either; ATI, Adobe, Asus and Gigabyte are all guilty parties too and that's just off the top of my head. I'm sure many of you will fill me in with your experiences too, so go ahead - name and shame them!

Below, I've listed some of the worst and most annoying examples of bloatware and their carriers that I've found in the past few weeks.

Adobe: Free McAfee Security Scan
Adobe claims that the Security Scan that comes bundled with their Flash Player is optional, but I don't see how it can be if the option is enabled it by default. I only came to update Flash Player in my browser yet you are trying to palm off some McAfee crap? Are the two companies actually linked or is McAfee trying to warn me that Flash Player breeds insecure content and I should be wary of Adobes offering?

Microsoft: Messenger Live
Not only do you just have to download Messenger these days, you also get about a dozen other applications that are also set to download by default with it. The install swells to being more than 100MB more than it actually needs to be. That's not to mention that the latest Messenger looks like it was crafted by a three year old with a Crayola, but that's besides the point.

ATI: Free World of Warcraft trial / Folding@Home
As if World of Warcraft was prevalent enough, they've now started bundling a free trial with the latest Catalyst drivers. Now, I deliberately don't go down to the seedier parts of London in search of crack, and for the same reason I wouldn't fancy touching WoW with a barge pole, yet ATI seems to think better of me and gets into bed with Blizzard claiming, "don't worry, the first one's free" every time I updated my Catalyst drivers. ARGH!

Actually, having just double-checked, it seems like this particular deal has ended, which is a good thing even though I'm still visibly bitter about the whole thing. ATI has at least redeemed itself partially by installing Folding@Home by default. Where it fails is not setting team 35947 by default.

Asus: Symmantec Software
Select "automatic driver installation" on any new Asus driver DVD and the FIRST install it makes is Symmantec software. The install ca be disabled, but it needs specific clicks of investigation and Asus has gone out of the way to make it more difficult.

Essentially, before you've even got a PC up an running you're filling it with crapware that slows your boot time. Naughty, naughty Asus. And you wonder why you've not won a single award this year?

Gigabyte: Yahoo!
Gigabyte's sin is slightly more obvious than Asus' driver install DVD so it's easier to unselect and it's only a default search engine in Internet Explorer anyway, which eventually should get removed no matter what. However, the notion is the same: I've paid for your product and I'm there to install essential system DRIVERS - not start filling my PC with unwanted, useless rubbish, thank you.

The Good Guys?
It's not often I defend Apple, however I do believe it's worth acknowledging that the company did successfully back down after the uproar of selecting Safari as an "auto-update" install when people installed the more useful Quicktime and iTunes. It's still there, nagging me each time Apple drops an update, however at least it's disabled by default. Well done.

Who are your worst offenders? Please, name and shame so we can put an end to this extra "ticked by default" epidemic. Drop your thoughts in the comments thread.

67 Comments

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wuyanxu 16th September 2009, 12:38 Quote
IBM laptops come with a HUGE number of bloatware. my friend's T60 thinkpad had 512MB of RAM, and straight out of the box, XP uses over 500MB of RAM, how is anyone supposed to use it like that?

HP is pretty good though, my HP netbook only came with AIM.

what i HATE is when driver software insist on installing their own control panels. ATI and nVidia are fine because they have a lot more options. but why does Realtek want to install a cheap interface when Windows can do everything? why does every USB wireless adaptor vendor have their own wireless program?

speaking of control panels, ATI somehow thinks you want to access their CCC even when you are in other folders. (older drivers, haven't tryed new ones) i just hate File menu's first item is ATI CCC in every directory.
BentAnat 16th September 2009, 12:42 Quote
Hm... i am on a similar spree ATM. I am looking for 40GB of lost HDD space on my missus's Lenovo notebook... looks like IBM's Rescue and recovery is using it. Annoying.
When i select all files on C:\, i get 55 GB total. Treesize, perfectdisk, all report the same. BUT, the HDD itself says 90/140GB used... WTF!!!
interzen 16th September 2009, 12:48 Quote
Some good points there - my opinion is that any company that installs crap like Symantec or McAfee by default deserves to be shot through the lungs and then *really* hurt. 'Replacement' control panels are epic fail too (I loathe the ATI Catalyst Control Panel)

Having said that, it seems that Dell have cleaned up their act a fair bit. Granted, the last machine I got off them had Linux pre-installed (Ubuntu 8.04 isn't bloatware, but Dell's remix of it is crap) but the last Windows-based machine of theirs I had didn't require all that much in the way of cruft-removal.
Bauul 16th September 2009, 12:48 Quote
Just bought my mother in law a new HP laptop from PC World (she wanted the security of a big retailer, + it was her money, so who was I to argue?)

After wading through all the crap the staff wanted to install ("but you get Norton for free!" "I can donkey punch you for free, don't want that though do you?"), thanfully there wasn't too much installed on the laptop to begin with, but the installation CD (which included all the necessary drives) was RAMMED. Even included a trial version of Norton (it's following me around!).

I actually spent more time uninstalling programms than setting the laptop up. Just so much horrible bloatware and endless back-up programs that probably wouldn't work anyway. Pah.

Shout out to Wireless Programms too. Windows handles Wireless networks fine, why does every Tom, Dick and Harry wireless network dongle manufacturer feel the need to insist upon their own worthless immitation?
Krikkit 16th September 2009, 12:48 Quote
Probably a recovery software section BentAnat.

I hate this kind of evil peddling that goes on, for me Java is guilty as well; wanting to install bloody search toolbars.
steveo_mcg 16th September 2009, 12:53 Quote
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/linux_user_at_best_buy.png

:D

Actually, there are a couple of freeware products i realy used to like on windows, BS player and Foxit but both now come with crapware so i've got an oss movie player and just use the default adobe reader not that adobe are much better. Seems a shame since i've paid money to freeware products in the past but if they insist on bloating with "extras" i tend to just move on.
MrP 16th September 2009, 12:55 Quote
meh, its all just advertising so the companies getting a larger profit margin by screwing the customer.

i dont let anything bar the program install, if i cant stop it, then i find another app to do the job
doggeh 16th September 2009, 12:57 Quote
I spent ages trying to work out what "Abode" was from the third paragraph before I realised it should say Adobe! Go me!

Also to a certain extent my thoughts on crapware are: if you're daft enough not to read what you're installing you (semi-)deserve the crap you get along with what you wanted. It's sadly to be expected in these evil times.
EnglishLion 16th September 2009, 13:00 Quote
Not all wireless cards have additional software with them. I bought an ultra-cheap MSI 802.11g PCI card, installed it into the PC, rebooted into XP, ran windows update and it found and installed the atheros driver. Windows wireless utility ran fine with it just like that, no need for any additional software with fancy graphical interfaces!

I hate the way that itunes installs and auto runs a process called ipodhelper (or something like that). Why would I want that running? I've not got an ipod, I've never had an ipod and I don't ever want an ipod. I just wanted to listen to a radio station that only broadcast through itunes!
Flibblebot 16th September 2009, 13:02 Quote
You forgot to mention the biggest piece of crapware around: Games for Windows Live. It seems as though you can't install a PC game these days without being forced to install this POS.
dolphin-promotions 16th September 2009, 13:08 Quote
I am a big fan of Digsby the multi protocol IM tool and they have changed that to include and absolute sh*t load of crapware. Granted they are not installed by default but you do have to click accept or decline for each one and I imagine if you are not careful it is quite easy to be click happy and just click accept.
Big Elf 16th September 2009, 13:15 Quote
Just about everything apart from the OS installed by Sony on their laptops is crapware.
Jamie 16th September 2009, 13:35 Quote
I think the worst thing about this crapware is that is confuses the hell out of the end user.

Imagine you know nothing about computers and you buy something from a big name, such as Dell. You get home, turn it on and you are bombarded with notifications and subscription messages for things you have no clue about.

I remember setting up a Dell for a friend and it look me a good 10 minutes to get past all the popups and to the desktop. Cleaning out all the gunk takes an age too.

But companies are driven by profit and I bet these crapware companies pay a shed load of money to have their software loaded on ready to annoy the user with subsription notifications. It was just the logical step on from bundled software discs.
SiG 16th September 2009, 13:42 Quote
Dell.

Need I say more?
Krikkit 16th September 2009, 13:47 Quote
Totally agreed Jamie - laptops are the biggest and worst culprit imo.

They've become the default kind of computer purchase for folks who are casual computer users, since you can put them away in very little space and don't need to worry about a proper desk etc to put them on.

But they bundle them with so much crap it's untrue, AV software, webcam stuff, picture management crap, DVD software. Too much to digest for ordinary folk.

In fact, in my experience, some people will just click to get rid of it (and not solve what it's asking) then put up with popup boxes, tray icons and other crap forever.
ffjason 16th September 2009, 13:49 Quote
Updater programs which run in the background 24/7. Many companies are guilty of doing this in the past and some still continue to do so. If I haven't run the program I do not want you to ask me to update it!

In fact I'd go as far as to say just about any program which installs a service which runs when I don't want it to. iTunes is one of the worst, installing 3 services last i checked. Why do I not have the option to disable them when I'm installing it? They are useless for 99% of users so why have them on by default.

ANY company who thinks I want their toolbar is deluded! Browsers are crowded by default as it is (bar chrome) and any extra toolbars which add no new features and have been redundant since the quick search box was implemented are just annoying.

Don't get me started on laptop manufacturers who install hundreds of crapware programs. I uninstalled these programs from a friends laptop shortly after it was bought and saved them over 15GB of data. That is rediculous for a few pieces of bloatware.

Nero - one of the best examples of bloatware if ever I've seen one. A program which takes almost 1GB of space when <100MB is needed! Glad that program has been replaced with free alternatives!

Also all of the ones which have already been mentioned.
Arkanrais 16th September 2009, 13:51 Quote
I recently reinstalled windows XP and forgot how much programs try to install bloatware.
Azureus - yahoo toolbar
Windows Live Messenger - 3 or 5 extra useless pieces of software
CCC's need to have an 'open catalyst control center' button every time I right clock on empty space somewhere
most of the other software also tries to get me to install some useless toolbar.

these days I make sure to go for the customize installation option when installing stuff. I think even a few games have tried to get me to install toolbars and crap like that. It makes me want to go on a shooting rampage with projectiles shaped and painted to look like the yahoo and windows live toolbars. At this rate I'm willing to bet someone will write 'would you like to install our toolbar?' in their own blood on the wall of their padded cell in a mental asylum.
eek 16th September 2009, 14:39 Quote
My recent laptop purchse wasn't actually too bad(Sony) I was surprised given that my other half recently got an acer one and the amount of crap installed was unbelievable- countless game trials and random rubbish. Needless to say my first move after getting new computers is to download and back up network drivers then format it. Luckily windows 7 has been
on msdn for a while so vista was avoided!!

I did notice though that Internet explorer automatically installed msn on the laptop and as the setup failed- I tried to cancel it- on start up it would run the setup everytime. Bloody annoying.

Apple don't get off scot free in my opinion, not only am I forced to use iTunes, but this then forces me to install QuickTime. Thanks but no thanks!
wuyanxu 16th September 2009, 14:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnglishLion
Not all wireless cards have additional software with them. I bought an ultra-cheap MSI 802.11g PCI card, installed it into the PC, rebooted into XP, ran windows update and it found and installed the atheros driver. Windows wireless utility ran fine with it just like that, no need for any additional software with fancy graphical interfaces!

kind of funny that you have to connect by wire to use windows update to get the drivers. if the wireless card's driver isn't available, then you will need to go through the installer, and that's when they sneak their crapware into your system.

so far, Windows 7 has not failed me in networking adaptors/drivers on my netbook or desktop with 2 wireless dongles. and with its ability to install 99% of all drivers through update, i think these crapware that came with drivers will die out soon.
GoodBytes 16th September 2009, 14:58 Quote
Dell Small Business is interesting.
The system comes clean, with the OS disk (not some image), The only software that are installed are actually useful.

The first software is PowerDVD, because Vista Business and Home Basic edition and XP doesn't comes with a MPEG-2 codec. Power DVD is actually a good software as well. So no complaints.

The second and last software is Roxio, because XP can't burn DVD's, and Vista doesn't like thin laptop drives (fixed in WIn7). In any case it's really easy to uninstall, and doesn't leave out junk.

And I am sure I could have asked not to have any additional software when I order my laptop over the phone.

That is all. If only all OEMs would be like Dell Small Business it would be great, but then again computers will be more expensive as you don't have anything reducing it's price. And the average person will just pick the cheapest system and sees all the trial software as bonus software only to be deceived in 30-60 days.
Xir 16th September 2009, 15:29 Quote
I spent half a day kicking the bloatware from a new Toshiba satellite...

But I actually like their wireless utility, it's so easy my dad understands it...unlike the winXP variant.

Also think the CCC is too big, just a plain driver should do.
(not needing .net just to display CCC would be nice also)
[PUNK] crompers 16th September 2009, 16:21 Quote
attitudes have changed too when it comes to third party software, i remember a time when everyone just wanted as much software as possible. there seems to be much more of a "less is more" philosophy now
flibblesan 16th September 2009, 16:49 Quote
It's really not that difficult to uncheck the extras you do not want installing.
Paradigm Shifter 16th September 2009, 17:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by flibblesan
It's really not that difficult to uncheck the extras you do not want installing.

If given the choice. If it's preinstalled, your stuck - especially since I've not found an uninstall program yet that completely removes every trace of the program it is supposedly removing. Dell have been quite good recently - the Studio I bought for myself and the Inspiron my mum wanted both came with restore discs, clean OS discs, and drivers on separate DVDs. Format, OS, drivers. Bang, done, sorted. None of this "Dell Dock" and "Dell Recovery" and "Dell Auto Driver Update" and "McAfee System Defender"... etc...

edit: The worst offender in my experience has got to be Acer. The default XP install from them on my Travelmate 8215 was chewing up 1.2GB of RAM... how they managed it I have no idea, I can't get XP to chew that much up without running a game or some sort of scientific analysis program... and was merrily gobbling over 100GB of HDD space.
l3v1ck 16th September 2009, 17:52 Quote
Thank god for Ccleaner.
Some manufacturers offer the option not to have free software installed, but they're no way way of knowing if they've just deleted it leaving all the crap in the registry.
TSR2 16th September 2009, 19:13 Quote
My (somewhat old) wireless adapter seemed to be fine, I just pointed Vista to the driver CD and it installed the drivers, without the program. But that might have been that the program was merely for older OS's that needed special programs for wireless connectivity. I find HP is by far the worst for bloatware, they manage to take up 10GB for 'recovery' when Vista is only about 5 tops. That and their refusal to provide a proper Windows install DVD. Adobe speed launcher is also awful, I don't want Reader every time I boot my computer.
thehippoz 16th September 2009, 19:59 Quote
you forgot the classic bonzi buddy.. you could have a ape tell you what to do
delriogw 16th September 2009, 22:14 Quote
while i love winamp, it decided to install its toolbar to my web-browser

in itself this wasn't actually a problem but what it ALSO did was change my default search to AOL/winamp search, and it took some very deep investigation into settings one shouldn't really be needing to touch, and the help of a friend with whom i could compare settings to get rid of it finally.

was bloody annoyin
Aracos 17th September 2009, 04:17 Quote
I like the part about WLM because it's so true, exactly why I stopped using it, give me aMSN, emesene or pidgin any day.
The_Beast 17th September 2009, 06:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
You forgot to mention the biggest piece of crapware around: Games for Windows Live. It seems as though you can't install a PC game these days without being forced to install this POS.

lordy be, lordy be, you have spoken the truth
soopahfly 17th September 2009, 09:04 Quote
I've come to expect this with computers now when you buy them. I used to shift large volumes of desktops and laptops, so I used to ghost them with my own sys-prepped vanilla images.

No Bloatware, Faster PC, Less Problems.

God knows what some of these programs are letting in through the back door.
hardflipman 17th September 2009, 11:23 Quote
I got a dell mini9 vodaphone netbook. on first boot the notification area took up almost half the screen with useless crap. As if that wasn't bad enough it came with 1gb of ram and the virtual memory was set to a fixed size of 128mb. doing the simplest of things resulted in an out of virtual memory error...
Blademrk 17th September 2009, 11:36 Quote
Had the Adobe/McAffe one after updating Flash, was wondering where that had come from.
phuzz 17th September 2009, 13:24 Quote
Other people have mentioned the same already:
Dell Business ++ I have to make almost no changes to the machines we have at work (but then group policy helps a lot there...)
Apple -- Having to use iTunes just to update my phone is bad enough, but why would I want quicktime when I have VLC?

(pro tip: you can open the itunes installer in winrar and extract just the apple mobile device support msi, which lets you charge your ipod/phone. Of course they could have just given me a link to download just the drivers, but I guess steve didn't want that.)
Kúsař 17th September 2009, 13:56 Quote
Quote:
Essentially, before you've even got a PC up an running you're filling it with crapware that slows your boot time. Naughty, naughty Asus. And you wonder why you've not won a single award this year?

Indeed - this is *real shame*! Especially when useful programs like Asus Update or AMD overdrive(for AMD boards of course), are "hidden" under utilities tab.

The same goes for preinstalled av software on Acer notebooks which behaves like "if you don't buy this software you'll break the law".

Nero is also very notable crapware - even "the smallest" versions bundled with DVD writers contain at least 75% of crapware. And what's funnier - during installation nero will pop-up a window where you can subscribe for more crapware - on low-res display it deliberately moves the window so that there's no visible button to close the window.
docodine 17th September 2009, 23:23 Quote
Symantec has a single m.

WoW with ATI drivers? What the hell? D:
RotoSequence 17th September 2009, 23:29 Quote
Pre-installed antivirus trials with new computers.
alastor 18th September 2009, 01:02 Quote
My sister's Dell 1545 that arrived last week was surprisingly clean; only needed me to uninstall the AV trial and a poke around msconfig to disable the update, webcam and online backup stuff. My friend's sister's Asus X58 on the other hand, that's terrible. Especially when they insist on only putting 1GB of memory in a laptop with a Celeron and Vista

You know what really grinds my gears? As if having to use iTunes to get full features with my iPod Touch wasn't bad enough; having to install Quicktime with it every time an update arrives, which ruins my QTLite install. Arrrrgh
Jozo 19th September 2009, 09:37 Quote
HP. When installing new printer drivers first I have to download a 100 MB file so I could later remove all the image management software it installs.

Next thing is notebooks, you have to install loads of crap just to be able to switch WiFi on/off.
gavomatic57 19th September 2009, 16:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
You forgot to mention the biggest piece of crapware around: Games for Windows Live. It seems as though you can't install a PC game these days without being forced to install this POS.

I must be one of the few people who actually like GFWL. It allows me to grow my gamerscore that I started on my old 360(s) without the indignity of having to use, be deafened by, and constantly replace a 360.

As for crapware, if you can't build your PC yourself, or if you want a laptop that isn't a macbook, I heartily recommend Novatech - nice laptops, just an OS installed (or you can have one without an OS and install your own). I have a Novatech store near me and I'm there all the time buying odds & sods - same prices as their website.
GoodBytes 19th September 2009, 16:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by gavomatic57
I must be one of the few people who actually like GFWL. It allows me to grow my gamerscore that I started on my old 360(s) without the indignity of having to use, be deafened by, and constantly replace a 360.

As for crapware, if you can't build your PC yourself, or if you want a laptop that isn't a macbook, I heartily recommend Novatech - nice laptops, just an OS installed (or you can have one without an OS and install your own). I have a Novatech store near me and I'm there all the time buying odds & sods - same prices as their website.

Or many business level OEMs (you know that you dont' need to be a business to buy those) :)
Twisted_Daemon 19th September 2009, 21:07 Quote
The most annoying pre-insalled program I've ever come accross is a Norton Antivirus free trial which would frequently tell you to buy Norton whenever you booted up.

Trying to remove it took a special program that I had to download from the Norton website!
yodasarmpit 19th September 2009, 21:19 Quote
I set up a Dell laptop for a friend last week and spent longer removing crap than I did actually installing software.
MrWillyWonka 19th September 2009, 22:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yodasarmpit
I set up a Dell laptop for a friend last week and spent longer removing crap than I did actually installing software.

At work when we get new Dell laptops in I always give it a fresh reinstall to remove the bloatware. The downside is that you have to install all the drivers manually which can take a bit of time.

I vote Sony for being the worst on crapware though.
BLC 20th September 2009, 17:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by gavomatic57
As for crapware, if you can't build your PC yourself, or if you want a laptop that isn't a macbook, I heartily recommend Novatech - nice laptops, just an OS installed (or you can have one without an OS and install your own). I have a Novatech store near me and I'm there all the time buying odds & sods - same prices as their website.

You must be pretty near to me then - I also live near a Novatech store, and there's only one in Wales ;).

Pre-installed OS's are the worst culprit, IMO. First thing I do with a new laptop is customise the install disc (using nLite) so I can strip out all the pre-installed OEM crap.
GoodBytes 20th September 2009, 17:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
You must be pretty near to me then - I also live near a Novatech store, and there's only one in Wales ;).

Pre-installed OS's are the worst culprit, IMO. First thing I do with a new laptop is customise the install disc (using nLite) so I can strip out all the pre-installed OEM crap.

my experience with nLite, vLite, was terrible, you always end up with a broken Windows with issues. Install Windows as is, and you have the best Windows experience. by far. Yes i did read tutorials, yes i did my research, yes I followed everything by the letter, yes I did try several times (4 times actually). And beside, the ONLY advantage I saw is to save a few MegaBytes on your 2 TeraByte HDD.. so, really no need. I believe the OS should be installed with the system. It's something that everyone do, why not do it already. Did you ever buy a device like an an MP3 player, and it firmware was not installed? Of course not, it's silly and simply annoying thing, it's not worth pissing off 99% of it's users, just to have 1-10 people happy, because they get to install the OS themselves.
MrWillyWonka 20th September 2009, 17:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by gavomatic57
As for crapware, if you can't build your PC yourself, or if you want a laptop that isn't a macbook, I heartily recommend Novatech - nice laptops, just an OS installed (or you can have one without an OS and install your own). I have a Novatech store near me and I'm there all the time buying odds & sods - same prices as their website.

Although I find Novatech products good price and it's only 20 minutes from here (head office in Cosham, nr Portsmouth), I personally find their computers of low quality mainly using their own generic brand and the cases are cheap with far too many sharp corners. Their laptops are ok but I wouldn't recommend one even if their OS is the standard Windows install.

If you want reliable laptops go for IBM, they now have style with their Lenovo range! If you want a good computer I'd go for Packard Bell, their recent models (2008 onwards) are superb and a lot of older computers I see tend to be Packard Bell too. Their crapware isn't too bad either.
GoodBytes 20th September 2009, 18:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrWillyWonka

If you want reliable laptops go for IBM, they now have style with their Lenovo range! If you want a good computer I'd go for Packard Bell, their recent models (2008 onwards) are superb and a lot of older computers I see tend to be Packard Bell too. Their crapware isn't too bad either.

Small detail: I believe IBM doesn't own Lenovo anymore... In fact Lenovo purchase IBM PC division.
MrWillyWonka 20th September 2009, 18:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
Small detail: I believe IBM doesn't own Lenovo anymore... In fact Lenovo purchase IBM PC division.

Wikipedia suggests you are correct although IBM still hold less than 5% of shares in Lenovo (as of February this year) so I'm 5% right.
13eightyfour 20th September 2009, 19:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrWillyWonka
At work when we get new Dell laptops in I always give it a fresh reinstall to remove the bloatware. The downside is that you have to install all the drivers manually which can take a bit of time.

Thats exactly what i do. Buy new laptop and it never actually boots into the OS that was pre installed, Its takes about the same amount of time installing drivers as it does finding and removing crap.
Cupboard 20th September 2009, 19:39 Quote
Samsung are pretty bad in my eyes - Vista came with a load of bollocks and with the Windows 7 RC I had to set the screen brightness to 100% (permanently) in the BIOS because you couldn't change it without Samsung drivers which weren't available :(

They also had some "AV centre" software that provided nothing that Media Centre doesn't provide, takes up its own special button and can even load a light OS if your computer is off... but it takes the same amount of time to load as Vista (or it did the only time I tried) and didn't find anything I wanted to play :(

I think it is pretty bad that you have to spend time "setting up" a new computer that should come ready to use.
gavomatic57 20th September 2009, 20:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupboard


I think it is pretty bad that you have to spend time "setting up" a new computer that should come ready to use.

This is where Apple have one me over, with their laptops anyway. Their laptops arrive ready to go, no extra bloat and the hardware works properly with the software. They may cost a bit more but the unibody ones are great quality.

I wouldn't go near one of their desktops with a bargepole, but their laptops are great.
notatoad 20th September 2009, 21:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnglishLion
Not all wireless cards have additional software with them. I bought an ultra-cheap MSI 802.11g PCI card, installed it into the PC, rebooted into XP, ran windows update and it found and installed the atheros driver. Windows wireless utility ran fine with it just like that, no need for any additional software with fancy graphical interfaces!
most cards do this. most cards also have a big scary warning sticker over the fold on the anti-static bag telling you to install the software on the provided CD *before* you install the card, so that windows update doesn't pull in the drivers. most people don't realize windows update will get the drivers and follow the instructions on the box, and end up with a PC full of crap.

sony definitely deserves a place on any crapware shitlist. i was playing around with a viao a couple weeks ago that took 11 minutes to boot vista. i disabled all the sony preinstalls and boot time dropped to under 3 minutes.
Initialised 20th September 2009, 21:07 Quote
At CyberPower we try not to install any crapware, last week I found a particularly insidious and difficult to remove piece on an LG SATA DVD drive. It is called BlueBird and tries to autoplay every time you close the DVD draw without a disc in using 6MB of un-formatable storage. There is a removal tool but LG pulled this from their site and published a different firmware. Which didn't cover the drive I found it on. Unticking a box on ASUS installall is nothing to the lengths it took to remove Bluebird.
EnglishLion 20th September 2009, 22:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
You must be pretty near to me then - I also live near a Novatech store, and there's only one in Wales ;).

and only one in Reading and only one in Bristol and only one in Portsmouth!
OneLiner 21st September 2009, 21:44 Quote
Err..has no-one heard of PC Decrapifier?

http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/

Worked for me on a few Dell PCs...
Dosvedagna 23rd September 2009, 11:12 Quote
windows office trials with OS's...
Internet toolbars with browsers...
BTs stupid yahoo chat messenger...

Its a real problem for people who are slightly less Computer literate though, such as my younger sister who bought a laptop for itunes, and now has so many internet user search bars it takes up half her screen!
skunkmunkey 23rd September 2009, 12:02 Quote
Yeah, I totaly agree but for me the ASK toolbar (what a piece of crap) and anyhting with Yahoo in the title really get on my nerves. Trying to get rid of them is like scraping dog crap off your shoe while pulling your teeth out with a small squirell's a**e cheeks!
RichCreedy 26th September 2009, 21:01 Quote
BT with their sticker on the home hub stating you must install their crapware before connecting to your pc.

i believe other isp's do it as well

windows actually handles wireless connections better than the wireless manager shite they all supply
leslie 26th September 2009, 21:46 Quote
The worst things to uninstall is anything HP and Norton.
How is it that a 100meg uninstall takes longer than installing 2.5gigs of Office 2007?
MrWillyWonka 27th September 2009, 10:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leslie
The worst things to uninstall is anything HP and Norton.
How is it that a 100meg uninstall takes longer than installing 2.5gigs of Office 2007?


Because to uninstall you have to find the file which takes time and check dependency. To install the system only needs to find the folder which is quicker. It does depend on the program; Norton has files which are very intergrated into the system which is why it takes forever.

Word of warning, never interrupt a Norton uninstall, it wrecks your computer. Norton is the sh*ts.
leslie 28th September 2009, 22:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrWillyWonka
Because to uninstall you have to find the file which takes time and check dependency. To install the system only needs to find the folder which is quicker. It does depend on the program; Norton has files which are very intergrated into the system which is why it takes forever.

Word of warning, never interrupt a Norton uninstall, it wrecks your computer. Norton is the sh*ts.

I'm not just talking about a printer driver or a program. A 100meg file of user manuals takes longer than installing office. And while yes they may have to search for dependencies, it basically reverses the install ini file. It shouldn't take 45 minutes to install a printer, or 30 minutes to uninstall Norton, and yes I have seen it take that long.

The odd thing about Norton is that there is a tool on Norton's site that will uninstall any Norton product in about 30 seconds, it even seems to do a better job. It';s not hard to delete the application data folder, Prog. Files folder and run a quick search of the registry. Maybe check system32. No program should need 30 minutes to uninstall unless there is something wrong with the computer. I can do it manually in less time.
BLC 30th September 2009, 08:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
my experience with nLite, vLite, was terrible, you always end up with a broken Windows with issues. Install Windows as is, and you have the best Windows experience. by far. Yes i did read tutorials, yes i did my research, yes I followed everything by the letter, yes I did try several times (4 times actually). And beside, the ONLY advantage I saw is to save a few MegaBytes on your 2 TeraByte HDD.. so, really no need. I believe the OS should be installed with the system. It's something that everyone do, why not do it already. Did you ever buy a device like an an MP3 player, and it firmware was not installed? Of course not, it's silly and simply annoying thing, it's not worth pissing off 99% of it's users, just to have 1-10 people happy, because they get to install the OS themselves.

I've never used vLite for Vista, but nLite is a godsend for my netbook. It only has an 8gb SSD, so once XP chews up around 1-1.5gb of that, and my apps chew up another 2-3gb, it leaves me with nearly half of my usable disk space gone. I've managed to get an XP install down to less than 650mb by using nLite, and still have a perfectly usable OS at the end of it.

Even if I don't use the space saving features it's still a really useful tool for creating an un-attended installation; all the little tweaks and settings I adjust each and every time (such as the folder view options) can be preconfigured alongside the normal unattended stuff like license keys and user accounts.

Besides, even in the days before I knew about nLite or vLite, I'd always reinstall the OS on a new system. I don't like not knowing what's hiding in my OS, I like to know exactly what's running in the background. Hence why I started building my own machines around 10 years ago.

The comparison to an MP3 player without firmware is a bit flawed. It might be a good argument for 99% of home users, but I think it's fair to say that bit-tech readers are going to be in the 1%
AstralWanderer 18th November 2009, 07:34 Quote
Worst example of wasted disk space I've come across was Supreme Commander. Whoever wrote its installer clearly couldn't be bothered to include an option to select a language which meant having the campaign voiceovers (and corresponding videos) in Spanish, French and Italian installed in the sounds\Voice subfolder. Removing these saved a fairly substantial 1.2GB from an 8.6GB install size.

For registry abuse, top dog would be .NET Framework - while most applications and games add less then 50KB to the Registry, this plops in 1.2MB. Since MS don't provide an uninstaller for it that makes it a permanent addition, unless you used an uninstall utility to track the changes made.

The best tool to counter bloat (except the pre-installed stuff) I've found is an install monitor like Total Uninstall. It's depressing seeing how much junk application uninstallers routinely leave behind, but reviewing what has been added can be useful in removing unwanted "extras" like right-click menu additions. The downside is that Windows and other background programs make changes too, which have to be filtered out from the logs.
Blademrk 18th November 2009, 11:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by phuzz

(pro tip: you can open the itunes installer in winrar and extract just the apple mobile device support msi, which lets you charge your ipod/phone. Of course they could have just given me a link to download just the drivers, but I guess steve didn't want that.)

I didn't need to do that, I charge both my ipod touch and iphone in work without iTunes installed. I just plugged them in and Vista found the drivers and they started charging :shrug shoulders:
leslie 18th November 2009, 12:37 Quote
You shouldn't need any drivers at all.

It charges off the 5volt line on USB.
No signal is needed other than positive and negative. This is how 12v to usb chargers work as well as the Ipod mains adapter.
Blademrk 18th November 2009, 14:47 Quote
shouldn't need drivers but never-the-less it won't charge from a powered USB hub without the PC being on (same for the sony ericsson phones).
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