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Opera 12.16 won't run & can't uninstall

  • Hi,
    Im on an old (not powerful) laptop XPSP3 w/ Opera 12.16.
    I had a saved session window open (about 12 sessions) when the laptop locked up w/ HD light on solid. unable to bring up taskmanager. had to force a poweroff. when I rebooted I deleted my operaprefs in %appdata\opera\opera, whn starting opera again it still hung same symptoms as before. Next I tried to uninstall from control panel-add/remove progs, this too caused machine to hang solid..lastly I d/l the 12.16 installer & re-installed over the top...still hangs.
    I tried running ccleaner & when it's analyzing Opera files this also causes the machine to lockup.
    Any ideas? Should I try a dirty 'delete files/folders' uninstall & do a reg clean? Opera 12 is still my goto browser for non e-commerce internets & I'd like to get it functioning again.

  • Judging from the symptoms you've described, you may have some file fragmentation due to the shutdown. Have you ran chkdsk?
    If not, you should do that the next time you boot up. Then run disk defragmenter and let it find/fix any fragments. After these
    utilities have been run, reboot and try running the uninstaller, then reinstall Opera. The other potential problem that comes to
    mind is a possibly failing hard drive, so maybe using chkdsk will uncover any problems. You could also run your systems SMART
    diagnostics if equipped with such a drive.

  • It sounds as if there is some major file corruption in at least one Opera file (primarily because of CCleaner hanging the system during its analysis attempts... it opens files to examine what they call out to in order to compile CCleaner's deletion list). There are multiple possible root causes of such things, including (but not limited to) a dying hard drive, so a chkdsk run on the drive is certainly merited. However, there are a number of "internal" software hiccups that can mess up an Opera file as well.

    When Opera is reinstalled using default file locations, it attempts to make use of a number of your left-behind personal Opera files in %appdata\opera\opera, and this can sometimes lead to re-incorporating file corruption into a new installation. Especially problematic in this arena are the operaprefs.ini file (which you've apparently eliminated), vlink4.dat, and the various session data files in the *\sessions folder. As well, there is also the possibility that something related to Opera has been corrupted in the Windows registry.

    Perhaps the simplest way to "cut to the chase" would be to try an Opera reinstall to a new-named folder (not the default-prompted
    *\opera one, but instead something like *\opera1216). Don't allow the new Opera install to auto-import any discovered Opera files, if it asks. Be sure to correctly identify any new Opera shortcuts the new installation creates so that you can avoid accidentally trying to start the old installation (perhaps renaming the old ones to something distinctive like OperaBad). If the new reinstall of Opera installs and runs correctly, you can turn it off and copy just the bookmarks.ini, notes, and/or any eMail files from the old installation over to the new installation, the restart and retest Opera to make sure it's working OK.

    Once you're satisfied with the new installation, you can simply delete the old Opera installation folders and files (since uninstalling doesn't work) in both the Programs and AppsData folders. Whether to remove any dead registry entries depends on your comfort level with using cleanup tools like CCleaner - you will need to be careful not to remove the new Opera registry references and files instead of or along with the old Opera ones. (If a path vector shown is to the old folder name, then it's safe to dump; otherwise leave it alone.)

  • Thank you Wizard & Blackbird!.

    Curiously & perhaps related, 2 days prior to this, something else caused a lockup & chkdsk ran on reboot..on that occasion it found zero issues.
    I shall work my way through both your suggestions & see what happens..I was already considering doing a standalone/portable installation.
    Thanks again & I will post again if things are still borked.


  • Also, have you tried looking into Windows' "Event Viewer" to see what might have been occurring at or around the crashes? From an admin-level account: Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Event Viewer > explore the System, Security, and Applications categories. You'll be looking for red-icon errors that might have been registered around the time/date of both crashes (and perhaps even before, but which didn't necessarily cause an outright crash) to see what might have been involved. Often there will be a "smoking-gun" trail that points to some kind of involvement of other things besides what seems to have been running at the time of the crash.

    Opera is such that its open files can be corrupted if it's simply open during crashes caused by other sources.