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The McPreinstall Tool is not compulsory but does clear temporary files and cookies so frees up space on the machine. If you have to uninstall McAfee it is best to try the normal method first so that the license is freed up at McAfee's end, then run the MCPR cleanup tool of necessary to clean up any remnants.
Usually it isn't necessary to do that though and the software should simply replace what is already there. But in the case where the software is a different package or from a different source it's wise to run the cleanup tool.
Thanks Ex_Brit, so in essence the McPreinstall tool deletes temp files and cookies similar to doing it in Internet properties. The MCPR deletes McAfee related files that the Add/remove programs / Programs and Features cannot/doesn't remove.
Yes. Good luck ;-)