Yes, I am like all of the Geeks out there. I eagerly downloaded the Google Chrome Beta the day it hit the Internet. I’ll admit it, I live on the Bleeding Edge of technology! I’m an Early Adopter! I love being one!
It was great to see something new in the browser world, especially with all of the neat features for Google Apps.
But I soon tired of it, mainly because it didn’t work well from behind a corporate firewall. So, I uninstalled Chrome and thinking the developers at Google were responsible developers, like those at other large companies, I thought nothing more about it.
But a couple of weeks ago, my laptop started to slow down, memory was getting sparse, even though I had 2 GB installed. How could this be? I don’t run that many programs at once. I don’t even run virtual machines on my laptop any more since I built the Lavin Tera-Server. How could all of my resources be disappearing?
This plagued me over and over. It got so bad, I had to cancel a client presentation in midstream because my laptop took 15 minutes to launch a simple webpage! I thought it was a corrupt page file, a rootkit or even a trojan app running amok on my laptop. I did everything to get my laptop cleaned, short of reformatting the hard drive and staring over.
Then, I sat down at my laptop one night and noticed the hard drive light pounding away even though I had no apps running. What could be going on? Why is my drive light on constantly?
I brought up Task Manager and clicked on the CPU column twice to see what was eating up all of the CPU. There it was, six instances of GoogleUpdate.exe running on my laptop consuming all of my memory! Why is this happening? I thought I had uninstalled Chrome and I don’t use Google Gears or even the Google Toolbar. Is this really GoogleUpdate or a cleverly disguised trojan?
I pulled up windows explorer and quickly searched for GoogleUpdate.exe from the root of my hard drive. It was nowhere to be found! Next, I tried searching for Google, this time I got nothing but trash. Where could this file be? Has a hacker hidden it from me in a hidden partition! My paranoia was running wild!
Then I pulled up Fire Fox and searched the web for “GoogleUpdate.exe” and “Multiple Instances”. Up popped several posts in the Chrome Help and Troubleshooting Forum.
It seems that several people were having problems with GoogleUpdate.exe failing and spawning additional instances of itself over and over. But I thought to myself, I’ve uninstalled Chrome why is this happening? When you uninstall something it should clean up everything it installed and only leave the files it created on your behalf. The install utility should not be leaving portions of the application on your machine!
So, I did some more searching and found out that GoogleUpdate.exe was located deep in the bowels of my hidden AppData folder, which is why Windows Explorer could never find it, by default files in hidden directories are not shown to you, no matter what!
So I made some quick changes to my settings and spelunked down into my AppData folder and found several directories that Google Chrome did not clean up during the uninstall. I deleted them.
Then I got to thinking, something had to launch GoogleUpdate.exe, I checked for Start menu items, nothing! So I checked the registry and searched for GoogleUpdate.exe, I came across at least 6 locations where the program had inserted itself and was never cleaned up, including a line in the RUN Entry which caused GoogleUpdate.exe to launch every time someone logged on to my laptop. I diligently deleted all of the registry entries and then my problem cleared up. Memory usage back to normal, hard drive only lighting up when I was actually doing something. The response time was great, once again! Wonderful!
Now here is my question for Google, WTF Dudes! Why don’t you clean up after yourself? I know if I published software, be it Beta or not, I’d damn make sure that when I uninstalled the application I left no trace. And if something was running when I did the uninstall, I’d kill the process so I could delete the files. Its not hard!
Why are developers so lazy! Why do we as consumers accept this? Its not right! If my refrigerator stopped working every time I opened the door, you know damn well, I’d take it back and ask for one that works. Why do developers think they are above simple tasks like cleaning up after themselves?
And Google, what kind of development shop are you running? I thought you were a multi-billion dollar software empire. How could you release such sloppy software? Is it because no one tested an uninstall of the software? That can’t be! Is it because you were cheap and outsourced the work to someone else? What is your excuse? And the fact that Chrome is in Beta is not an excuse! You’ve been running on that excuse for years and I haven’t bought it, not even for one second.
So Google, next time you come to my house (laptop), pickup after yourself when you leave, it’s the polite thing to do.