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


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.