Tuesday, November 21, 2006

How To Uninstall an Application Not in Add/Remove Programs

Many times over the years, I have seen where people were having a problem trying to uninstall an application on their system but it did not appear in Add/Remove Programs. I have seen this situation has twice just recently.

Fortunately, "
Digger" -- a most appropriate handle -- tracked down the solution at MSDN in Aaron Stebner's Weblog. The key documents are

Even though the UninstallString is just a command that you can paste into the run box or on the command line, this method is much safer than going in the registry to
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall
and finding the entry that corresponds to what you want to uninstall and then running the "UninstallString" string. The reason is that any time the uninitiated ventures into the registry, even for a search, if something could go wrong, it will go wrong.

Following is an outline of the procedure, consolidated from Aaron Stebner's two documents. For a complete understanding of the process, read the above-referenced documents.

  1. Download msiinv.zip
  2. Extract the contents of msiinv.zip to the folder c:\msiinv on your system
  3. Click on the Start menu, choose Run, type cmd and click OK
  4. Run c:\msiinv\msiinv.exe > c:\msiinv_output.txt
  5. Open the text file in Notepad or Word pad and search for the software to be uninstalled
  6. The key line is the Product code as shown in Aaron's illustration:
    Product code: {7A1ADD0C-17F3-47B8-B033-A06E189C835D}
  7. Click Start > Run > type cmd
  8. Run msiexec /x {Product_Code}. Using Aaron's example:
    msiexec /x {7A1ADD0C-17F3-47B8-B033-A06E189C835D}

In the event the uninstall is not successful, proceed as follows:
  1. Download the smartmsizap tool
  2. Extract it to c:\ on your computer
  3. Again, from the cmd prompt, run c:\smartmsizap.exe /p {product_code} using the Product Code value from the MsiInv output. In our example:
    Start > Run > c:\smartmsizap.exe /p {7A1ADD0C-17F3-47B8-B033-A06E189C835D}
There is one other situation that you could run up against and that is Windows Installer thinks that a product is installed but it really isn't. In such as situation, use the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility, revised November 13, 2006.

1 comment:

Stephan said...

Woohoo!!
Thanks for keeping a copy of the smartmsizap!
..have been looking everywhere and was losing hope

Many Thanks