After dabbling around with several music players on a new Windows 7 PC, I finally decided to stick with AIMP2. The uninstallation of Winamp turned out to be interesting.
The uninstaller noted that not all files in the Winamp folder were deleted during installation. A quick check revealed that the folder contained the files elevator.exe, elevatorps.dll and nscrt.dll after uninstallation.
A simple attempt to delete those files during the same Windows session turned out to be unsuccessful. This led to the initial thought that this could be some kind of successful malware attack on my system which turned out not to be the case after further investigation.
Having only worked with Winamp under Windows XP I was unaware that Winamp was installing the files elevator.exe and elveatorps.dll for elevation in Windows Vista and apparently Windows 7 as well as this thread on the Winamp forum suggests.
What these files do is elevate certain activities on the system so that they can be executed by Winamp. This includes changing file type associations or deleting skins. Without the elevator files no prompt is displayed to users of the system when these actions are performed. This in turn means that they fail and are not executed at all.
The easiest way to get rid of the files in the same session is with the help of the following Windows commands on the command line. Tap on the Windows-key, type cmd.exe, hold down the Shift and Ctrl keys, and hit enter. Navigate to the Winamp folder using the cd command, and run the following commands afterwards:
regsrv32 /U elevatorps.dll
regsrv32 /U nscrt.dll
You can add path information to the file name to run the command from another location.
It is likely that these files can also be deleted in Windows Explorer after a restart of the computer system. Users who have UAC disabled in Windows can also get rid of these files according to the forum post quoted above.
Update: Elevator.exe is still part of recent Winamp installations which means that you will find it in the program folder after you have installed the music player on your system.
The instructions may help Windows users who try to remove Winamp from their system only to find out that these files are not removed during uninstallation.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.