Crapware and a (potential) helpful little tool: PC DeCrapifier

Configuring a new PC can always be a headache, especially when it has to be done completely by hand (i.e. no Ghosting or imaging).  As there are often a myriad of little changes that have to be done when configuring a PC manually, I have devised a checklist cum installation form that I follow.  This ensures that not only is the PC delivered up and running, but I also have a record of just what was done.

However, when I originally drew up these checklists I missed out the step labelled <i>Now spend one or more hours removing undesired pre-installed software (aka Crapware)</i>.  The chances are that if you get a new computer, it will come pre-loaded with a number of trial versions of software which you have to remove before you can install anything else.  Common trials are those of Norton Antivirus, McAfee or Microsoft Office 2007.  The latter can take a small ice age to remove.

I am pretty sure that I am not alone in my annoyance for the presumptiveness of the manufactures to install this software on new systems.  When I buy a new PC, especially one that is touted as being for businesses, I expect it to be delivered working (this helps, nothing makes me move suppliers quicker is a PC straight out of a box that doesn’t work), with the operating system pretty much ready to go and that’s it.  No trials, no please wait one hour while the OS installs all the required drivers.  Ready to go.

I had this recently with a new laptop.  It was supplied with Windows Vista, which was promptly downgraded to XP using the supplied media (manufacturers occasionally get something right).  The laptop flawlessly booted after the Windows XP installation and then presented me with a whole suite of crapware to remove.

Needeless to say, this did take some time.  What I could of done with then is a little tool I recently found whilst searching around for something completely different: The PC DeCrapifier.  This handy, free little utility removes all unwanted crapware for you.  Whilst I have not actually tested it yet, I have read a number of positive reports and it is definitely going into my IT Toolbox.  Once I get the opportunity to test it, I will post my comments.

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