Why can I see programs from an old OS?


I have a 5-year-old Dell Laptop that had Windows ME. I just recently installed XP on it. I did a new installation (not the quick upgrade) because I wanted to clean up the computer and start fresh. I thought it would format & remove all the old programs. It didn’t – some games and utilities that I had installed are still there (I had manually gotten rid of my personal files). If I go to Control Panel, Add-Remove programs - there is nothing there. If I go to C: Program Files – it looks like nothing was removed. Some programs I can still use. Others go nowhere or give me an error message saying that there is a program error or a .dll is missing. I went through this installation process twice. Same thing both times. The second time I went ahead and installed all new programs (not on there previously) and set it up just the way I want it. This computer isn’t for a heavy workload – it’s more for fun with just the basics.

Two questions - Can I get rid of all that clutter in the Program Files folder? If so – how?

I also wonder about Internet Explorer – I go online using IE 6.0 but I am wondering if the folder in Program Files is for an older version. How do I find out and what do I do if it is an oldie?

Thanks for any help.


This question was answered on November 21, 2005. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

By doing a clean installation, you created a new partition with it own OS Simply put, you now have a computer that can boot to XP or ME by your choosing (called a duel-boot) Windows XP is able to see your ME partition and use some of it programs because XP is backwards compatible If you boot to ME you should be able to see the XP half of your hard drive but may not be able to use any programs You can't remove the ME programs from XP because the two OSs are independent of each other You have to boot to ME to remove ME programs To remove all your old programs is simply uninstalling ME You can upgrade ME to XP during installing process, but your old programs will still be there, but you should be able to remove them As for IE, your XP half could use the ME version (but not vice versa) but I'm sure the default is the XP version because the two are independent Even if you upgraded your OS your IE would upgrade as well.

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Posted by Nathan of Chandler-Gilbert Community College on November 21, 2005