Uninstall Hell


In the past 2 weeks, I’ve had to install quite a number of software tools and products ( namely MS CRM 4.0, TFS 2008, VS 2008 ) on servers and workstations for my project. On 2 ocassions due to minor glitches I had to uninstall a CRM tool (via an MSI File) as well as VS 2008 due to something weird happening with Team Explorer and VS 2008 SP1. I encountered the most annoying “Cannot uninstall application due to some error, setup will now end” type of errors. A possible cause may be some screw-up in the registry and the uninstaller is unable to proceed….so what do you do now??? Here are some tips.

Cannot uninstall MSI

There’s a really handy tool from Microsoft called the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility. Just install this tool, run it and select the installed product you want to remove! Now you can re-install if required.

WICU

Uninstalling Visual Studio 2008

I bumped into this strange problem with after install Team Explorer with VS 2008 with SP1, I could not create new Work Items. I got an error message complaining I’m missing some assembly. I did some googling, and found the remedy to be simply re-applying VS 2008 SP1, and it should patch the system up. So I went ahead but only to find out after that my Source Control plug-in got mesed up, it went missing from Team Explorer!! After trying many ways to fix this, all I ended up with was a lemon. In the end, I decided to uninstall VS 2008 altogether, only to once again see the “Cannot uninstall due to some error” message right smack in my face….

Fortunately, there’s an Uninstall Tool that removes ALL components of VS 2008. Thank goodness!

Missing Source Control Option from Team Explorer

After installing everything again, I still had the same problem! ARRGGHH!! Another good waste of time. Fortunately, I found a blog post that explained how to fix this. Thanks to Shai Raiten for providing steps on how to “reset” VS 2008 back to normal state again. It involves executing command line using denenv.exe in VS Command Prompt, and if you’re running a Windows OS with UAC turned on ( e.g. Vista, Windows 7 ), remember to launch your command prompt with “Run as Administrator”.

I’m glad that is all fixed now… :)

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