Uninstall Hidden WinXP Programs

Posted by bink on October 3 2003, 8:24 PM. Posted in Windows XP.

Old tip, still cool!

We all want to uninstall everything Windows doesn't completely need to run optimally. Problem is, some programs you don't want taking up space hide away. They're next to impossible to find, much less remove.

  1. Navigate to C:\WINDOWS\inf

  2. Open the sysoc.inf file in Notepad or another plain text editor. If you can't find the inf directory, it's probably hidden. Unhide it.

    1. Click Tools and choose Folder Options.
    2. Under View, enable Show Hidden Files & Folders.

  3. In sysoc.inf, look for the section called "components" in XP or "old base components" in 2000. What looks like a bunch of gibberish is actually pretty easy to read. You'll see a component name, followed by an equals sign, followed by a list of parameters separated by commas.

    For example: Games=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,games.inf,HIDE,7

  4. The deal: the "HIDE" between the two last commas indicates a hidden component. Remove "HIDE" to unhide the component.

    For example: Games=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,games.inf,,7

  5. Unhide any component you want.

  6. Save the file.
  7. Reopen the Windows Component Wizard to see your new Add/Remove options

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