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    Uninstallers and desktop icons

    I'm about to issue a new software version while also switching to using a different type of installer for my clients. I'm assuming that I need to get them to uninstall the existing software, but I suspect that some may not bother (or perhaps understand how to uninstall something). The new installer will use a different folder under Program Files for the new version, so in theory they can uninstall later as long as this does not inadvertently remove any shortcuts created by the new installer. So I'm wondering how an uninstaller determines which icon to remove from the desktop (and program list). Is it purely the name of the .lnk file recorded during the original installation? Thanks for any input!

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    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Because any shortcut can be copied or moved by an end-user, any installation EXE can miss where the old shortcuts reside.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
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    Thanks! Are you confirming that the installer simply records the name and location of the .lnk file for later use by the uninstaller? My concern is that, by using a completely different installer, I need to use a different name for the Desktop shortcut, to prevent the original installer from deleting it if they uninstall the old version after installing the new one. The new version's executable is in a different subfolder of "program files."

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    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imjcarls
    Are you confirming that the installer simply records the name and location of the .lnk file for later use by the uninstaller? My concern is that, by using a completely different installer, I need to use a different name for the Desktop shortcut, to prevent the original installer from deleting it if they uninstall the old version after installing the new one. The new version's executable is in a different subfolder of "program files."
    If your new installer is MSI-based (i.e. uses Windows Installer - originally called 'Microsoft Installer' - hence the .MSI file extension) then, even if uninstallation of the 'old' installation did remove the 'new' desktop shortcut, all the user would have to do it launch a 'repair' of the new installation. This would see that the desktop shortcut was missing and re-create it.

    If you aren't using an MSI-based installation builder then consider adding a script/cmd (with a text file how to use it) to the installation that will re-create any missing desktop shortcut.

    Hope this helps...

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    Thanks! It is actually the opposite. The new installer is non-MSI, while the old installer was an old version of Installshield that I am retiring. I think the solution may be to rename the icon, let people install the new version and then have them use uninstall at their leisure to remove the old one. I'll have some instructions to help them understand that they have (this whole problem started because the InstallShield installer was failing more frequently on some systems, leading to my discovery of a much simpler and less expensive alternative).

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