Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How to tell what software is on my new Windows 8.1 laptop?

  1. #11


    Norton is a huge problem when you try to get rid of it. You have to manually dig into the registry to get rid of all traces.
    Use the Norton Removal Tool from the Norton web site. Does a good job of getting rid of all the bits and pieces.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    Not with Windows 8, because of the design. All it does is remove the operational part, not the bits and pieces that get left behind as ghosts in the registry.

    Revo is actually the more preferred software, since you can flush all traces from the Registry also.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


    St. Augustine
    Posts : 388
    windows 8.1 64, LT -Windows 10 Home 64


    Quote Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
    Use the Norton Removal Tool from the Norton web site. Does a good job of getting rid of all the bits and pieces.
    I agree.

    A while back I used the Norton Removal Tool to remove the current version of Norton Internet Security with Backup from my W-8.1 desktop just to test Windows Defender. After it ran, Defender activated immediately just as it should. It has always been my understanding that Defender will likely not activate with traces of any other AV present so the Removal Tool must do a pretty good job. I love Revo and have the paid version and swear by it but my experience with the Norton Removal Tool has been excellent. With REVO I shy away from the Advanced removal feature unless whatever I am removing was initially installed with the REVO Trace feature. I have not tried installing Norton with the REVO Trace Feature, that might be interesting.
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  4. #14


    N.Y.
    Posts : 2,214
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit


    Quote Originally Posted by gator2013 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
    Use the Norton Removal Tool from the Norton web site. Does a good job of getting rid of all the bits and pieces.
    I agree.

    A while back I used the Norton Removal Tool to remove the current version of Norton Internet Security with Backup from my W-8.1 desktop just to test Windows Defender. After it ran, Defender activated immediately just as it should. It has always been my understanding that Defender will likely not activate with traces of any other AV present so the Removal Tool must do a pretty good job. I love Revo and have the paid version and swear by it but my experience with the Norton Removal Tool has been excellent. With REVO I shy away from the Advanced removal feature unless whatever I am removing was initially installed with the REVO Trace feature. I have not tried installing Norton with the REVO Trace Feature, that might be interesting.
    Trace feature works pretty good, tried it before. Guess as you know when install software right click the setup.exe and select install with Revo.
    Norton Removal tool works with version below 2015 only. To me no uninstaller gets every trace, not even Revo as i been using it for few years myself. In past with Norton removal tool to me was good to use after a good uninstaller to look for traces.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


    Posts : 8
    Windows 8.1


    Thanks guys for the help. I was out on a trip for a few days and just now getting back to it.

    Let me answer some of the questions posted here then I have a few more of my own. This is a great forum!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    Posts : 8
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
    HP loads a lot of junkware and trial software since they get paid to do so.

    Since this is a new laptop. think about doing a Clean Install of Windows 8.1. You can download the iso here:
    https://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/18309-windows-8-windows-8-1-iso-download-create.html


    Then follow this tutorial" Clean Install - Windows 8

    It would be a good idea to create the recovery disc set before doing this so you can get back to where you are now if necessary, or do an image backup of the hard drive to an external USB hard drive before reinstalling.

    Doing this will give you a clean install with no junk or trial software.
    First of all, when I first unwrapped the laptop I did a bunch of new installs (I probably shouldn't have)...so now it may be too late to do a clean install, but I am also concerned about a clean install of Win8.1 I may not be able to find all the HP add on drivers that's on this laptop. I mean what I have is not a vanilla Win8.1 and I don't have a set of disks from HP like they used to do with previous laptops I bought.

    I do have a drive D named RECOVERY which I haven't touch yet.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


    Posts : 8
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by gator2013 View Post
    First project and a very important one.

    Make your initial system recovery disks. Locate the HP Recovery Manager either in the Apps Section or the HP Support Assistant. On a new PC you can only make this media once and it will allow you to return the PC to Out-of-the-box condition.

    Next I would make sure the Windows System Protection (Restore Points) is enabled. You can find this in Action Center (Control Panel) or white flag on bottom of screen. Recovery/Configure System Restore.

    Post a screen shot of Programs & Features screen and you will get recommendations on what to remove. HP does include a lot of junk but some of it can be useful but most of it is BS.

    Uninstall Apps that you don't want or need.

    I have been buying HP PC's for many years and currently have a desktop and laptop, both less than 2 years old. My laptop is only 5 months old so I have a pretty good idea what might be on yours.
    Thanks. I made a mistake and didn't make my initial system recovery disks out of the box. Is it too late to do it now that I have installed stuff on it or can it be made from the recovery drive?

    As far as what's been installed, I was looking at Windows 8.1 Start screen there was a down arrow on the lower left and when I clicked it I saw a list of installed apps. This screen, there is a lot of stuff here.



    I also ran the appwiz.cpl cipals15 suggested and here is a screen shot of that. What I circled in red are items I installed myself.

    Click image for larger version

    Any obvious junk?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


    Posts : 8
    Windows 8.1


    First thing I noticed is that the laptop is pre-installed with Microsoft Office 365 which I don't have a license for. But I have a license for Microsoft Office Professional 2010 so I installed that and it's been working. Should I uninstall the Office 365 which is really annoying if I ran it by mistake it asks me if I want to try it or buy it...

    Also, I tried running Skype that came installed and couldn't understand why it kept asking me to register a new MS account? Eventually I found out it was Skype for Modern Windows that I had so I had to download the Skype I knew and installed that. So now I have two Skypes, should I uninstall the Skype for Modern Windows? Is it an integral part of Win8.1?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #19


    Posts : 60
    Windows 8.1


    It's been a long time since I had an HP machine but you can go to their website and click on support / drivers & downloads and either enter your systems specs or install an app that will detect your system and a list of software and drivers will show up. You can also call or chat online with HP and request installation media and they will send it to you for a small fee or possibly free. As far as what is on your machine you can try the free Belarc Advisor Belarc Advisor - Free Personal PC Audit, for software, hardware and security configuration information on your computer. Software license management, IT asset management, cyber security audits, and more.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #20


    Posts : 8
    Windows 8.1


    I would also like some advice for antivirus, malware and trojan killers for Win8.1.

    It seems on this laptop I have the following software installed by the manufacturer:

    1. McAfee Central
    2. McAfee LiveSafe Internet Security
    3. Windows Defender
    4. Avast Secureline


    Most of those were installed but after a few days they started the "your trial period has expired and your computer is now completely unprotected please start a subscription..." alerts. So I need to figure out what I need.

    I don't need Avast Secureline, at least right now I don't need a VPN.

    I came straight from WinXP Pro, skipped Win7, Vista and Win8.0. In the past I have used AVG (FREE) for antivirus, Malwarebytes and RogueKiller. I am wondering if I should install those?

    I assume Windows Defender is like "MS Security Essentials" back in the days? Thoughts? Should I use it? Is it part of Windows or do I need to pay or subscribe to use it?

    Sorry for so many questions, this Win8.1 experience has me a bit overwhelmed.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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How to tell what software is on my new Windows 8.1 laptop?
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