How to Uninstall Dell System Detect

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Dell System Detect is a program you can launch as an owner of a Dell computer. Its purpose is to detect your computer’s service tag code and send it to dell.com. Then Dell’s website, in turn, recommends any critical or optional updates to your computer’s hardware.

It sounds like a great scheme. However, there are two problems with it: security vulnerabilities and no updates available for older hardware.

Dell System Detect Vulnerabilities

As always, corporate proprietary software is riddled with security vulnerabilities. There’s neither time, nor any real effort in making products such as Dell System Detect (DSD) truly secure for the end-user.

And, to be fair, why should there be any motivation on Dell’s end to make sure user data are safe. It’s the users responsibility to care of his or her own digital security.

Several serious vulnerabilities were identified in DSD. Dell acknowledged these and confirmed in a knowledge base article that the vulnerabilities:

could allow an attacker to trigger the program to download and execute an arbitrary file without any user interaction.

The only solution to such a problem is to get rid of the hazardous software.

Uninstalling Dell System Detect

I had to try several methods to succeed in the removal of DSD.

Control Panel Removal

First, I obviously went to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features, selected Dell System Detect, and clicked on the Uninstall button.

dsd-programs-and-features

Uninstall a program ‐ Dell System Detect

The uninstall process wasn’t able to remove DSD and simply threw an error saying that I should contact the package vendor.

Microsoft Fixit

Next, I downloaded Microsoft’s Fixit. It is a free program that is supposed to identify leftover parts of applications and try to remove them from Windows.

The problem was, that although DSD was listed among my installed Programs and Features, Fixit couldn’t find it. So it asked me to provide the 38-character product code for Dell System Detect.

fixit-provide-product-code

Microsoft Fixit

Since I didn’t know this code, Fixit couldn’t help me any further.

Manual Removal

Anyway, I tried to locate the code among the Windows Registry keys.

Programs installed in Windows usually place their uninstall information in the following Registry locations:

But DSD was nowhere to be found.

Then, I located DSD’s leftover data on my primary drive in the following folders:

Note

8.3 is a shorthand for folders with 8 characters in their name and 3 characters for their extensions. The folder names and extensions are random and will be different on each Dell computer.

I removed all files and folders starting with dell.

But even this action did nothing to the Dell System Detect icon listed in Programs and Features.

Revo Uninstaller Portable

Finally, I had to turn to Revo Uninstaller in its free portable version.

To use Revo Uninstaller, download its portable edition and unzip it into your specialized portable folder. I created a folder at C:\Portable where I add all my portable software. This way I have much better control over these programs.

Revo Uninstaller is an amazing tool that completely removes all leftover data that remains after an app is partially removed.

Revo Uninstaller — Dell System Detect

Revo Uninstaller — Dell System Detect

I selected Dell System Detect and clicked on the Uninstall button in Revo Uninstaller.

Then I selected the Advanced uninstall option.

advanced-uninstall

Revo Uninstaller — Advanced uninstall

After analyzing the Windows Registry and my primary drive, Revo Uninstaller found still a lot of registry entries and leftover files.

Once I confirmed that I wanted to remove all these orphaned links and leftover data, Dell System Detect was finally removed completely from my laptop.

uninstall-completed

Revo Uninstaller — Uninstall finished

The New Dell System Detect

After the successful uninstall of the old and vulnerable DSD, I installed the new version.

As I already mentioned at the beginning of this post, DSD didn’t find any new updates to my hardware.

The last time any new updates were available was in mid-December 2013. So I guess that older hardware (i.e. made in mid-2011) is simply not supported by updates anymore.

After this realization, I promptly removed the new version of Dell System Detect, too, using Revo Uninstaller.

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