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I'm getting a new laptop soon (Dell XPS) and was wondering if there was an efficient method for removing all the pre-installed crap that is so common on new prebuilt machines.

Looking for answers that do not recommend reinstallation of Windows. I am aware of this option but don't have the inclination nor the time to do it.

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certainly not a matter of time, depending on the 'bloat level' de-crapifying takes much longer than 20 minutes (that's roughly how long it takes to install Windows 7 :) and you will still have a lot of garbage files and orphaned registry entries left over. add to that the 10 or 15 minutes it takes to sit through Dell's 'questionaire'. nope, boot from the DVD, wipe it, install Windows 7 clean and be done with it. – Molly7244 Jan 20 '10 at 21:06
I did a bad and didnt check if I was getting the win7 dvd with the laptop - so i dont even know if i can reinstall. Not too keen on buying windows again in the case that Dell does not provide it... – Darko Z Jan 20 '10 at 21:10
Dell is shipping the OS DVD and resource (driver) discs. in addition, there's a recovery partition which i would nuke (who wants a 'factory default' anyway if the whole idea is to get rid of the bloat. :) – Molly7244 Jan 20 '10 at 21:17
In that case i might consider it just to nuke the useless partition. I'll have a try with Rich's suggestion first though – Darko Z Jan 20 '10 at 21:26
In the past, you could request a free set of OS discs for Dell computer which do not ship with them. I did this for my daughter's laptop once. – horatio Jul 27 '11 at 19:30
up vote 14 down vote accepted

The PC Decrapifier seems to fit your needs:

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Ah, beaten to it :) – Phoshi Jan 20 '10 at 21:01
Hey beat me to Decrapifier too! :) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jan 20 '10 at 21:03
D'oh! Beat me too :) LOL – Glen Y. Jan 20 '10 at 21:05
looks good and its regularly updated :) i'll give it a go, cheers – Darko Z Jan 20 '10 at 21:13
No good for me. – Mehper C. Palavuzlar Jul 27 '11 at 20:05

Things to check when doing it manually:

Add/Remove Programs, or now known as Programs and Features

Startup menu under Programs

Startup tab in msconfig

Services tab in msconfig, check the box to hide all Microsoft services

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No reinstalling Windows from a crap-free disk eh? OK, how about Add/Remove Programs? :) I think you'll be hard-pressed to find something that knows about every possible utility from every possible OEM, PC decrapifer maybe?

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I had lots of bloatware programs on my Sony Vaio laptop. PC Decrapifier was insufficient and a disappointment for me. It did not remove (detect) ~90% of the bloatware. So I had to do manual uninstallation of each program.

First I checked each program before uninstallation. I also found a list of bloatware programs that Sony pre-loads to its laptops. For uninstallations, I used Revo Uninstaller (Free) and it took some time. Finally, bloatware programs are gone for good and I'm relieved.

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LOL I just read about this a while back on LifeHacker --> Dell De-Crapifier

There's a newer one that's more generic decrapifier here --> PC Decrapifier

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unfortunately that dell decrapifier script is from 2006... – Darko Z Jan 20 '10 at 21:12
yeah, the Dell De-crapifier is discontinued, it has long since evolved into the PC De-crapifier. – Molly7244 Jan 20 '10 at 21:19
Which is why I offered the 2nd link as I wasn't sure whether the Dell one was going to work – Glen Y. Jan 20 '10 at 21:20

I like to simply re-install Windows fresh and clean - it is much faster and more sure than any other method. With Dell machines the crapware is usually on a separate disk that you don't need to install. Drivers can be a problem with Dell, though generally I download the latest network driver onto a USB stick prior to installing, and thus skip the need to ever even insert a Dell-specific driver CD.

While it is not fully on topic to your concern, I really like "crap cleaner", which like Kentucky Fried Chicken, is known by the initials CC. See . CC is great for cleaning up dangling registry entries and useless files.

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protected by Mehper C. Palavuzlar Jul 27 '11 at 19:35

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