I installed a new xp, and many apps. then I swapped out a few drives - adding a hd, a couple memory sticks and permanent usb devices that appear as drive. Then ran a repair of windows xp pro.

The MAJOR problem is now I cannot uninstall or install many applications since many of these installers are saying "what the hell? where is drive e:\?" Seems to be bug in some major installer used by quicktime and wm9encoder et. al. Combing through registry for last few hours.

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Tried three regcleaners, but none fixed the 3000 entries of e: in registry.

Is there a replace all in registry?

You should have uninstalled the apps before you changed the configuration, and then reinstalled them into the new configuration.

What was drive e? Was it your old hard disk, temporarily installed to move files?

Can you put it back the way it was, uninstall the apps, and then set things up again?

Another last ditch possibility is to copy off all data files you need to keep, format the disk, and then install everything from scratch.

Most uninstall routines reference the "installed from" directory for the needed instructions, failing that they ask you. When those dialogs pop up you need to navigate to disk or directory, (folder), you installed the program from originally. If you can't locate that you're stuck with simply deleting all references to it, which, by the way, is a really bad idea. Best idea, start over fresh, chalk it up as a learning experience.

I am not sure yet how to avoid this. You got an emergency windows repair and drives get alphabetized differently - bad registry entries = unable to uninstall or repair brain dead programs that rely on abosolute drive referencing (windows media encoder and quicktime).

I guess next time unplug all usb devices during a windows repair. Okay I learned that. Now only fix is http://www.freedownloadscenter.com/Utilities/Access_Control_Utilities/Registry_Replacer_Download.html , now a new essential software tool for me.

But this fails to fix e:\windows references in the registry in some keys since they are locked by windows! Thus windows media encoder (which I feel blows divx away for quality and size) won't repair or uninstall. I don't now know how to fix this.

The lesson is this:

Only ever change one thing at a time, and test thoroughly between changes, be that a change to hardware or software.

That way you will always a] be able to track and detect the effects and b] roll backwards if required.

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