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Solutions: PC optimizer programs are often a scam, difficult to remove

I have a PC running Windows Home Version 7 (64-bit version). I downloaded trial software and now I cannot uninstall it. The software is ARO 2011, and its purpose is checking for registry errors and fixing any errors found. A screen now pops up advertising the product and suggests that I subscribe now to have all the problems it found corrected. When I go to Control Panel and try to uninstall the ARO 2011, Windows says, "C:\Program files\ARO 2011\unins000.dat does not exist." How do I get rid of this pest?

Let me take this opportunity to once again say that so-called PC registry optimizers are either scams or not worthwhile in any way to put on your system.

One such product seems to be running TV commercials constantly, promising to rid your PC of all problems. These hucksters most likely change their name every so often once word gets out and start the cycle all over again. Don't waste your money. Microsoft Security Essentials, which is free, is all you need for an antivirus program.

The optimizers also claim to "boost your Internet speed." This is just a matter of changing some default TCP-IP settings to better fit your particular connection. Chances are your ISP has a download that will do this for free. Call them and ask. And if you want your PC to run faster, add RAM and/or a faster CPU, or give it less to do by removing unnecessary startup programs.

No program is going to make your PC run noticeably faster. There is no free lunch.

Now, all I could find on uninstalling ARO 2011 besides many other similar complaints was to right click on the small ARO icon and choose the delete option. If this doesn't work, they have a support number listed as 1-866-761-7638 where they say they will assist you in removing the software. If you call them, under no circumstances should you do anything else other than have the product removed.

I just bought another PC and I had my icons on my desktop. I don't know what I did, but the icons are no longer there on my desktop. Can you help me?

Try this: Right-click anywhere on your desktop and choose personalize. On the left, click the link for "change desktop icons." From there you will be able to click on the default desktop icons.

Send questions to or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: PC optimizer programs are often a scam, difficult to remove 05/29/11 [Last modified: Sunday, May 29, 2011 4:30am]
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