What is DirectX?
DirectX is a set of APIs (Application Programming Interface) developed by Microsoft. The software basically helps in enhancing games, active web pages and other multimedia programs running on Windows operating systems. In layman terms, DirectX acts as a bridge between hardware and software components, allowing them to communicate with each other efficiently.
DirectX 8.1 is the default DirectX version that comes with Microsoft Windows XP. However, you may need to upgrade it to a newer version, such as DirectX 9 as the default version DirectX 8.1 may not be compatible with the latest applications.
Issues with DirectX 9
There is no official method available to uninstall DirectX 9 or other updated versions of DirectX from Windows. Also, if you are able to uninstall it, you may face problems when you try to use applications that require DirectX. For example, the following error message may display when you attempt to use Windows Live Messenger after you uninstall DirectX 9:
“This application has failed to start because DSOUND.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.”
This error occurs because the DSOUND.dll is a DirectX Sound file that gets removed when you uninstall DirectX.
Need to Uninstall DirectX
Just like any other software on your computer, even DirectX files may get corrupt and require you to first uninstall and then reinstall it to fix the problem.
However, you may end up facing an error message similar to the one given below when you attempt to reinstall DirectX 9 after uninstalling it from Windows:
“An internal system error occurred. Please refer to DXError.log and DirectX.log in your Windows folder to determine the problem.”
To prevent such error messages, you need to do the following:
- Uninstall the latest DirectX version from your computer.
- Restore the default DirectX from the Windows Operating System Setup CD.
- Download and install the latest version of DirectX on your computer.
Tools to Uninstall DirectX
Although official methods to uninstall DirectX are missing in Windows, here are some third-party tools that allow you to safely uninstall DirectX from your computer and restore the default version.
DirectX Eradicator works on most of the Windows operating systems including Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP and 2003. The tool does not support Windows Vista. You can use this tool to install and uninstall all DirectX versions from DirectX 2.0 to DirectX 9.0c.
DirectX Eradicator performs the following tasks to ensure complete removal of DirectX from your system:
- Removes all DirectX files and folders.
- Cleans up DirectX registry entries.
- Provides CD rollback option.
This tool does not have any interface. You just need to run the dxrad.exe command, click Yes when prompted and then restart your PC.
When your PC restarts, you will see the DirectX Rollback Wizard icon added to your Desktop. Double-click on this shortcut to rollback the current DirectX on your computer to the default DirectX version for your Windows operating system.
DirectX 9 Uninstaller
DirectX 9 Uninstaller is a command-based utility that works along with your Windows XP or .NET CD to uninstall DirectX 9 from your Windows XP computer and restore the default DirectX 8.1. Here are the steps:
- Extract original DirectX 8.1 files from the CD to the C:\DXTEMP folder.
- Restart your PC in Safe Mode.
- Run UnDx9.bat to uninstall DirectX 9.
You can use the DirectX Buster tool to remove DirectX from Windows 98, ME and 2000 computers. The tool does not provide support for Windows XP and Windows Vista. You can use this tool to uninstall DirectX from version 5 to 9.x. The tool may also allow you to uninstall DirectX 10 from your Windows computers.
DirectX Happy Uninstall
DirectX Happy Uninstall (DHU) is a robust DirectX management tool. The tool is compatible with several Windows versions including Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista and XP.
The following are some of the useful features of the DHU tool:
- Provides support for DirectX 10.0.
- Enables you to backup the current installation of DirectX so that you can easily restore it if required.
- Enables you to easily restore backed up version of DirectX.
- Provides DISK-ROLLBACK feature that enables you to roll back to the default DirectX version for your Windows operating system.
- Enables you to use the FULL INSTALL feature to update to the latest DirectX version supported by your operating system.
Perfect Uninstaller is an efficient uninstaller tool that you can use to remove not only DirectX but also all other software installed on your computer.
To use Perfect Uninstaller to remove DirectX, you need to perform the following steps:
- Download and install Perfect Uninstaller.
- Launch the utility.
- Click Special Uninstall from the top menu.
- Select DirectX from the displayed application list and then click Next.
- Click Next again to complete the uninstallation task.
Whichever method you use, it is recommended that after DirectX uninstallation, you use a reliable registry tool, such as RegGenie, to get rid of any orphaned entries and ensure complete removal of the software.