I just spent the afternoon helping my son recover from a nasty virus on his Asus Eee PC 1000HE netbook. We’re still not sure how exactly he got it, but he didn’t tell me about it right away, and his computer wound up completely disabled.
After getting him back up and running, I decided to change anti-virus software. Back in the day, we were running Avast, but switched over to Avira at some point. Well… Avira clearly didn’t protect him, so we’ve decided to try AVG instead.
Once I got his netbook configured, I turned me attention to son #2′s computer, which is the exact same hardware. He’s never had virus problems, but I decided to switch him over to AVG for consistency.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get AVG to install. It kept telling me that Avira was installed, and that I had to use the “Add/Remove Software” control panel to get rid of it. Trouble is, I had already done that.
Apparently some critical Avira fragment(s) had been left behind, making Windows think it was still installed. At the same time, the Add/Remove control panel thought it was gone, so it didn’t show up in the list of software that could be removed.
Frustrated, I did the only thing I could think of… I re-installed Avira so I could try removing it (again). Miracle of miracles, it worked, so I was able to get AVG up and running.
More generally… If you’re ever asked to remove software that you’ve already removed, you’ll know what to do: try re-installing and then re-uninstalling the software.