How To - Uninstall Software Update Manager

Recently I have had several laptops deployed that have experienced severe lag and performance issues as well as application hangs/crashes.  Upon investigation, it seemed to consitantly relate to the following two executables:

  • agent.exe
  • ISUSPM.exe

Both files have info relating them to the "MacroVision Software Manager".  In the Start Menu, there was a shortcut to "Software Manager".  It periodically pops up the "water droplet" icon asking users to update some software.  On our DELL laptops in house, I believe this is tied into the Roxio software package that comes with the DVD burner on our standard laptops.  Annoyingly there is no Add/Remove Software option for this software via the Control Panel.

From doing a little research:

FLEXnet Connect is a solution that Acresso sells to software vendors that is designed to help you stay connected with your customers after they install your applications.  Keeping software updated is one of the many benefits of FLEXnet Connect, but Acresso also recommends that software vendors build in an option to disable automatic update checking. If you are using an application that uses FLEXnet Connect, your application may have a configuration option to disable update checking. Please check your application’s menu options.
If your application does not have this option, Acresso has created a tool called the Software Manager that can disable automatic update checking. The Software Manager utility lists all applications currently using FLEXnet Connect on your computer and the FLEXnet Connect's status with that application.

You can disable the service's autorun key:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Look for the ISUSPM.exe entry and simply rename/modify the key to ISUSPM.ex_ (I'm a fan of disabling / intentional breaking vs. deleting keys).  Alternatively export the key to make a backup.  Also remove the shortcut from the program menu as it will recreate the key if you launch the program.

Note that this could conceivably break certain software applications from updating.