Windows utility helps admins remove Pinball, other games

System administrators are often asked to remove games such as FreeCell or Pinball from Windows machines. Sometimes deleting the executables and their shortcuts is not as easy as you might think; Windows will restrict you from deleting them.

To remove these components you will need to use the sysocmgr.exe utility (available at C:\WINDOWS\system32), which is used to add or remove Windows components. This utility uses a txt file that can be scripted.

Here is an example of how you can use this utility to remove the Pinball game from a Windows XP machine:


  2. Create a text file to say "remove.txt" with the following things written in it:

    Pinball = off


  3. Now save this file, for instance, on your C drive.


  4. Go to command line and enter following command:
    sysocmgr /i:C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\i386\sysoc.inf /u:C:\remove.txt /q

The following is the description of the switches which can be been used with the above command:

/i The location of the .inf file for sysocmgr.exe. This is normally in the System32 directory or at "C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\i386"

/r Suppresses a reboot (in case if a reboot is needed on removal of specific components).

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/q Runs the utility in quiet mode to suppress prompts.

/u Specifies the location of the .txt file.

/w Prompts the user to reboot instead of rebooting automatically (in case if a reboot is needed on removal of specific components).

Users may use any of the switches based on their requirement. After the execution of this command you will find that the Pinball game from your system has been removed.

About the author:Rahul Shah currently works at a software firm in India, where he is a systems administrator maintaining Windows servers. He has also worked for various software firms in testing and analytics, and also has experience deploying client/server applications in different Windows configurations.

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This was first published in July 2006

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