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Proper way to uninstall a program


© St. Petersburg Times, published October 9, 2000

Q: I attempted to uninstall America Online and, when I turn on my computer, the following error message appears: "The service profile is damaged. Reinstall the service profile." The message disappears when I press OK.

A: This happens when you don't use the Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel to uninstall AOL. Try uninstalling AOL using Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs. Re-install AOL. If it was your intention to remove AOL, uninstall it through Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs. Never try to uninstall software by just deleting the files through Explorer, always check Add/Remove Programs first. If it's not listed there, look for and run the Uninstall.EXE file in the directory where the application was installed.

Shutdown vs. leave running

Q: I have been told that rather than shut down my computer after every use, I should log off the Net and turn off my monitor. Is this better than turning everything off?

A: Yes, it is better to leave your PC on, especially if you use it every day. Powering on and spinning up of the components is more stressful than just leaving them on. Incorporating the power management features that may be available on your PC can help conserve some power.

A virus attacks

Q: A box appeared on my Windows 98 screen with the heading "HTML Application," followed by "Kagou-Anti-Kro$oft says not today!" There is an OK box and a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark. I click OK and the computer turns off. I turn the computer back on and it's still there. The following day it's gone and the computer operates normally. How do I stop it from happening again?

A: What you are experiencing is the Wscript KAK Worm, a worm/virus that attacks systems using Outlook Express. It uses a security vulnerability to attach itself to every e-mail sent from an infected system. It is written with JavaScript . This worm can infect a system if someone simply reads or previews an e-mail message. The worm hides in the HTML of the e-mail. When the message is previewed or opened by the recipient, the worm takes control and infects the computer. The worm has another potential side effect. On the first day of any month and at 5 p.m., the message you saw is displayed and Windows is sent a command to shut down. You also may see a Driver Memory Error occur when starting Windows.

Users should go to the Windows update site ( and install any of the security/critical updates. This has been written about previously in this column and should be done on a regular basis (as well as getting the latest anti-virus updates from your anti-virus vendor).

Microsoft recommends the following procedure to rid your PC of this virus (of course, always make sure you back up up your registry before making any changes to it):

1. Click Start, point to Find and click Files or Folders.

2. In the Named box, type kak.hta and then click the drive letter for your hard disk in the Look in box.

3. Click to select the Include Subfolders check box, and click Find Now.

4. When you see the kak.hta file in the Search Results box, right-click the file, click Delete and close the Search Results dialog box.

5. Click Start, click Run, type RegEdit in the Open box, and click OK.

6. Locate the following registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\


7. Right-click the registry key, click Delete and close Registry Editor.

For more information and to download the security patch, see this Microsoft Web site:

There also is an automated cleanser for this virus that you can download from After downloading, double-click on it to clean the KAK worm from your system.

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