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Trying to remove all traces of Google Chrome from PC
August 11, 2014 12:08 PM   Subscribe

I need help uninstalling Google Chrome and, most importantly, ridding a Windows 7 computer of tens of thousands of profiles. When I try to uninstall Google Chrome I get an error: "There is a problem with this Windows Installer package. A program required for this install to complete could not be run. Contact your support personnel or package vendor." I've tried to uninstall it before and it seems to be mostly uninstalled but there is the matter of these profiles, please see my extended explanation.

There is no Google Chrome in the Google folder under program files (there is Google Earth which I want to keep if possible). The only evidence of it on the computer is its listing under Control Panel/Programs and Features where I attempt to uninstall it. So maybe it's not really there, but I think there is something there because of these profiles.

On the following path: C:\Users\MYCOMPUTERNAME\AppData\Local\Temp\GC\Profiles

There are many, many thousands of files contained within a lot of folders. When I run an antivirus it has taken DAYS to get through these files. I know there are upwards of 50,000. I wish I could just delete the GC folder but because there is so much inside I don't think I can, at least not by hitting delete. I've tried going through each one by one but the tedium got to me. If that's my only option then I'll set aside a day, put on music and do it, but note this isn't even my computer, it's my parents' and I have to travel. I'm here today so I'd like to figure out everything I can.
posted by Danila to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I wish I could just delete the GC folder but because there is so much inside I don't think I can, at least not by hitting delete.

Have you tried deleting it? I get a message for things that won't fit in the Recycle bin, but I can just hit okay and they are deleted anyway. It may be the same for folders with numerous files.

Also, have you tried something like CCleaner?
posted by soelo at 12:16 PM on August 11


There is no Google Chrome in the Google folder under program files

Google Chrome actually doesn't install in the Program Files folders for usability purposes.


but because there is so much inside I don't think I can, at least not by hitting delete

You can. If it's too big, it'll skip the Recycle Bin, but that's OK because you don't really want to delete it twice. Actually, if you the shift key, press delete, and the release both keys, that will bring up a confirmation box that will skip the Recycle Bin altogether.

On the following path: C:\Users\MYCOMPUTERNAME\AppData\Local\Temp\GC\Profiles

The current version of Chrome doesn't use that folder, so that may be from something else. After you delete it, you should probably scan for malware using something like Malwarebytes.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 12:20 PM on August 11


I'd run a malware scan, but to be honest, 'parents pc' problems tend to result in me just doing a clean reinstall, because who knows what kind of bullshit they installed on it.
posted by empath at 12:22 PM on August 11


You might want to consider using Revo Uninstaller. It can usually find these bits and pieces that the regular uninstaller leaves behind. But as with any utility that messes around with the system, use with caution.
posted by tommasz at 12:25 PM on August 11 [2 favorites]


The current version of Chrome doesn't use that folder, so that may be from something else. After you delete it, you should probably scan for malware using something like Malwarebytes.

That is very interesting to know. I cannot believe I left out a key bit of information in my question but yes, this computer has been infected three times with police ransomware (FBI virus, moneypak virus, it has many names). Three times I have removed it, though it gets increasingly more difficult. The virus is coming in through browsing. I am trying to clean the computer as thoroughly as I can and I do not believe the virus is present at the moment. Malwarebytes does not catch the latest variant that I just dealt with, but others like Avira does. This is the last thing that I'm struggling with.
posted by Danila at 12:44 PM on August 11


this computer has been infected three times with police ransomware (FBI virus, moneypak virus, it has many names).

How did you remove it? Problems deleting files can be a symptom of a virus.

I'd recommend following the instructions in deezil's profile (scroll down).
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 12:52 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]


It's been infected three times? Nuke it from orbit and re-install Windows.
posted by jeffamaphone at 12:57 PM on August 11 [8 favorites]


You can use msiexec to run the installer manually. Use /x to uninstall and /l to log the errors. Then you can look at the log file and see what's missing that it wants, and then maybe give it what it wants. Full switch reference.
posted by jeffamaphone at 12:59 PM on August 11


It's a common opinion that if a Windows PC is infected by malware, the best thing to do is erase the partition and reinstall Windows.

The reasoning is that it's impossible to know if you've truly removed the entire infection. Also, if there was an infection that you know about, there are probably others that are not apparent.

Reinstall Windows and train your parents to not open email attachments unless they are explicitly expecting them, never install programs that they have not heard of in the real world, and never click a link in an email (instead, if the email is from their bank, for example, type bank's web address into their browser manually).
posted by zixyer at 1:35 PM on August 11


Definitely reinstall. It will run a bit better, too.
posted by Sebmojo at 1:36 PM on August 11


Absolutely re-install windows after something like that. You never know how many viruses have been installed, plus rootkits, etc.
posted by empath at 2:38 PM on August 11


You've already been infected 3 times with ransomeware?? Nthing nuke and re-install Windows ASAP. It seems very unlikely to me that the computer isn't still infected with something. If at all possible, make your parents use Standard User accounts rather than administrator accounts for day-to-day use from here on out.
posted by Aleyn at 2:55 PM on August 11 [1 favorite]


I was about to post some instructions of what i'd do in this situation, but yea i'll add to the pile on that you really want to just nuke and reinstall at this point.
posted by emptythought at 4:13 PM on August 11


Yep, nuke from orbit. And then install deep freeze, which lets you roll back to a nice clean partition, or even just restore on every reboot.
posted by rockindata at 5:50 PM on August 11


Wipe and reinstall.

If you don't have a Win 7 DVD, you can download an .iso from here. As long as you have a legit Win 7 key, you should be good to go.
posted by Gev at 5:16 AM on August 12 [1 favorite]


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