Broken Network Card Config Software is hogging my harddrive!
November 8, 2006 9:25 PM   Subscribe

Why won't "Instant Wireless Compact USB Adapter Configuration Utility" uninstall, and why does it seem to take up 14.2GB of my hard drive?

My google-fu fails me. I can't find a single thing about this online.

I have used a linksys WUSB12 usb network adapter in the past on this dell desktop, but not in a while. Once I noticed how large this program appears to be when I examined it in "Add or Remove Programs" I wanted to uninstall it, but it's a stubborn sucker. Nothing works, not even clicking the "remove" icon in the program's folder.

I want those 14GB back!
posted by billtron to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I doubt it's actually using that much space. I've had programs incorrectly display how much disk space they use before, and it's inconceivable that a driver for a wireless USB adapter would take up 14GB of space. Whatever algorithm MS uses to compute install size in the add/remove programs applet seems to not always tell the truth. You're probably safe just to leave the driver installed, since it is, in all probability, only taking up less than a meg of space.
posted by fvox13 at 10:28 PM on November 8, 2006

There is no way on earth it is actually taking up that space. The Add/Remove program can only estimate the space used, and it's often completely and totally wrong.

To elaborate, the only required field that a program must supply (in addition to the name field) to be listed in that list is a command to run to do the uninstall process. Some installers leave more information, but that is all that is required. So the Add/Remove widget often has a hard time mapping that command into something useful, like the directory where the app is actually installed.

For example, a very braindead uninstaller might copy itself to %SystemRoot%. So all that Add/Remove has to go on is the command "c:\windows\uninstall_foobar.exe". It has no idea where foobar was installed, whether it put files in the user profile, under \Program files, or somewhere else. It can only guess, and many time it guesses wrong -- I think there's a heuristic where it will look for \program files\foobar and if it exists it will use that to guesstime the space used.

Anyway, the take-away point is that the sized listed in Add/Remove programs are only estimates, often very wrong, because the system was never designed to require this information from the installer, it was only added later as an optional extension, and so in many cases Add/Remove just pulls something out of its ass to list as the size. The fact that the uninstall command won't run just cements the idea that the install.exe did something wrong and that the current uninstall command stored in the registry is nonsense, and Add/Remove just did its best to try to piece something together from that nonsense.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:05 PM on November 9, 2006

Here's a strange suggestion to consider: if you have the original installer, install it again.

Then try to uninstall it.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 5:03 PM on November 9, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for the information. What you are all telling me makes since, especially after I noticed that the size of the program fluctuates as I add and remove things to the harddrive.

Steven, right after I posted the question I thought "Hmm. I probably should have mentioned that I no longer have the installation CD." I chatted online with a linksys rep three days ago, and was told that I would receive an electronic version of the installer attached to an email within 24 hours. When that never showed up, I turned to alternative solutions, while continuing to contact linksys to find out what happened. The problem persists until linksys sends me something. If you work for linksys, please put in a good word!
posted by billtron at 7:32 PM on November 9, 2006

Is this the installer you're looking for?
posted by concrete at 11:24 PM on November 9, 2006

Response by poster: That is the driver I was waiting for. Thanks! However, when I try to install it, my computer tells me that it's already installed, and that if I want to uninstall it, I should click on the uninstall icon in the program area. But that just brings me back to the original problem, that I couldn't uninstall in the first place. Can I force a re-installation?
posted by billtron at 7:23 AM on November 10, 2006

« Older "Ee-pa-ro"? What does that mean?   |   I want some sausage! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.