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Microsoft KB Archive/170669

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Knowledge Base

Creating C:\Program Folder Causes Add/Remove Program to Fail

Article ID: 170669

Article Last Modified on 10/31/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q170669


After you create a folder called C:\Program, if you then go to Control Panel, double-click Add/Remove Programs, and select an installed program to remove or update, you get the following error message:

An error occurred while trying to remove "program_name"
Uninstallation has been cancelled

If you rename the folder called Program to, for example, Program2, you see the following message:

This change may impact one or more registered programs. Do you want to continue?


In the registry under


any programs whose uninstall string value starts with C:\Progra~1 or "C:\Program Files\..." will fail to be removed if a C:\Program folder exists.

These examples will fail:

   UninstallString:reg_sz:c:\Program Files\My_program\setup setup

   UninstallString:reg_sz:"c:\Program Files\My_program\setup" setup

   UninstallString:reg_sz:c:\Progra~1\My_program\setup setup


Perform the following steps to remove the desired application:

  1. Rename the C:\Program folder.
  2. Click the Start button, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add/Remove Programs.
  3. Click the application you want to remove, and then click Remove.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Rename the folder in step 1 back to its original name.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows NT version 4.0. We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.

Keywords: kbsetup KB170669