Despite all of Microsoft Office 2000's improvements, one of the major flaws of its predecessors remains in the new version: During the uninstallation process, the application doesn't completely remove itself from my system. To thoroughly remove Office 97 from my system, I had a list of registry entries and files that I needed to manually delete. Do you have a similar list for Office 2000?

I have something even better: a utility that performs a post-uninstallation cleanup of Office 2000. Microsoft produces this utility, which is called the Office 2000 File and Registry Eraser (aka Eraser2K). Although I'd certainly prefer that Microsoft simply fix the uninstallation procedure so that it performs a more thorough cleanup, Eraser2K is the next best thing.

You can download the utility from Microsoft at http://download.microsoft.com/download/office2000/utility/2.1/win98/en-us/eraser2k.exe. After you run the self-extracting executable and extract its six files to a directory, run eraser2000.exe to launch the Microsoft Office Removal Wizard. The wizard asks you for confirmation before proceeding with the cleanup process, as Figure 2 shows.

Unfortunately, even Eraser2K won't remove every last vestige of Office 2000 from your system; a few Office 2000 registry entries will remain. However, Microsoft claims that these settings are innocuous and don't interfere with regular system operation. The company justifies this shortcoming by claiming that the tool essentially prepares a system for an Office 2000 reinstallation, particularly for situations in which an Office 2000 uninstallation or reinstallation fails to run properly.

Like your registry editor, Eraser2K is a tool you'll use at your own risk. Don't plan to call Microsoft for support. Also, be sure you have a solid system backup before you use this tool. For more information about the Eraser2K utility and about Office 2000 uninstallation, check out the Microsoft articles "OFF2000: How to Completely Remove Microsoft Office CD1" (http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q219/4/23.asp) and "OFF2000: How to Completely Remove Office CD1 on Windows 2000" (http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q252/5/66.asp).