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How to make a clean start with a computer?

I ran into some problems letting Oracle 8 and Oracle 9 run alongside each other. I decided a reinstall after a removal of all old components was required, as the PC I was working on is a hand-down from another developer, and there was a load of stuff that I am not familiar with on it. However, I didn't know the username and password required to deinstall the products properly using the manager. So, (in hindsight rather foolishly) I removed most of the components by dereferencing them in the registry after shutting down the services. Then I reinstalled only version 9. However, although by and large the install worked, the listener services will not run at all. A status check maintains that there is no listener running, and it fails to start when asked to. Plus I have a load of services that don't match anything in the registry! Any idea how to get rid of all this rubbish and make a nice clean start? Yeah - I know - operator error!

I don't run Windows personally, but I know that I've seen articles on Metalink describing how to deinstall products on Windows by hacking the registry.

Given the uncertain history of your workstation, it may be faster for you to reinstall Windows and then install the software you need to do your job. You won't learn any useful skills by hacking the registry to remove Oracle software, and installing the software on a "clean" system may be more beneficial in both the short and long runs.

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