Odd entry in add / remove programs

A client asked me to look at a performance / stability issue on a windows xp machine. On opening control panel and add remove programs I noted the length of time that it took to display the list of installed apps and also that when scrolling down the list – a very large blank entry appeared between two applications with the same first letter (A). The client had identified that there was an application missing from the list that would have been in this location in the list.

Now I have seen situations where removing apps from control panel can corrupt the details in the registry for apps but in this case I thought that the solution lay in removing the specific “blank” entry. Using regedit  locate the follwing key

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Uninstall

back it up to a file using the export option.

Then scroll through the individual keys – looking for the entry Display Name that matches the name of the application you know is causing the blank entry and once located – delete it.

Reopen add remove programs in control panel – and note your “restored” contiguous list of apps.