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Apparently failed uninstall; cannot completely uninstall or reinstall

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Hello Friends,

I was unable to upgrade my old Windows 7 PC (which was running the latest ESET Smart Security Premium) to Windows 10. So, I tried uninstalling ESET to see if that would help. The uninstall ran for like 30 minutes and never quite finished. I did a reboot and was able to upgrade to Windows 10. OK. Attempt to reinstall ESET Smart Security Premium. Downloaded the online installer (eset_smart_security_premium_live_installer.exe). When I run it, as soon as it starts up, it displays an error box:

Application failed
There is no internet connection to validate the installer.

That's odd. I just downloaded it from the Internet (but the Edge browser doesn't believe I have an Internet connection either--so something is misconfigured).

I saw a reference to an off-line installer and downloaded what appeared to be the right file (essp_nt64.exe). When I run it, I get an unhelpful message:

The latest version is already installed on your computer.

Well, that may be true, but it is not running. ekrn.exe does not appear in the running processes; there's no icon for it the options it the entries you can pop up from the lower-right area in the "tray". So, it has the files, but doesn't seem to be set up as a service, or it won't start, or I don't know what.

The C:\Program Files\ESET folder is still there, but I cannot delete it or run any of the exe files in it other than SysInspector.exe (for others I get Access denied even though I'm an Administrator or nothing happens--presumably because they're background programs). ESET does not show up in the Add or Remove Programs option and I cannot find an uninstaller anywhere.

The Registry still has undeletable ESET-related keys and values. SysInspector shows all the ESET Registry entries as Green.

So, clearly I messed ESET up in trying to remove it from Windows 7. Now if I could just get it to work again....

Any suggestions gratefully accepted.


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