So here I am, having freshly reformatted my computer, and one of my first acts after installing XPSP2 was to delete that goddamned Outlook Express. So I go into the handy "Remove Windows Components" area of the Add/Remove Programs dialog, uncheck OE, and go about my business whistling a happy song.
But upon clicking an e-mail link by mistake, I am treated to - horror of horrors - Outlook, rising from the grave to attempt to compose an e-mail!! (The other problem is that I've set Hotmail as my default handler for e-mails, but I shan't go into that here). So I look back into the Windows Components area, and sure enough, Outlook Express is unchecked. My God, I scream silently, It's not even supposed to be here! It is a vengeful spirit from beyond the digital grave!!
After I have composed myself, I begin to scour the intarweb in an attempt at finding exorcism instructions. I finally find them on the Microsoft website (actually for Windows 2000, but the same procedure works in XP), and OH MY GOD. There is registry hacking, there are system files that must be renamed and moved - in general, they DO NOT want you removing this piece of software from your system!
Undaunted by the huge task ahead of me, I set to work clearing my registry of OE references - so far, so good. Then it comes time for the file deleting. I am instructed that the files I need to delete (there are 15 or so) are found in two locations on the hard drive, and the files must be reneamed from *****.dll/exe to *****.old and I must answer "Yes" to a Windows dialog that will appear asking me if I want to change these file versions. Only then are they safe for disposal in the Great Recycle Bin.
So, I begin locating my first pair of files, but to my growing horror, no sooner do I change their extension from .dll to .old - WHEN THE ORIGINAL FILES MIRACULOUSLY REAPPEAR IN THE FOLDER!! :no A trip to the Search window confirms this - unlike the description given by Microsoft, there are no less than SIX copies of each file at various locations on my hard drive - including one that is not found by the search command! PLus, they must be renamed in a certain order, or the renamed files will just be replaced with shiney new versions!! :smt1069
Thirty minutes later, I am done. I have won. Outlook Express no longer resides on my system, and it's vile chicanery shall haunt my internet browsings no longer. But damn was it a bitch to 'uninstall'. I'd almost - almost - recommend just leaving it on your drive and ignoring it, it's that bad. :smt067