Tried to install SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005...thought it would be easy....it wasn't!
I had previously installed the CTP release of VS and SQL Server, so I went down the route of using the un-installer tool thats floating around to remove this lot. That's where it all started going bad... First of all, the uninstall tool looked like it was doing a good job, then it stopped responding. After a few hours I killed it and it looked like all had actually gone OK - in my add/remove programs there were only a couple of things left, so I removed those and thought all was well...
But, it turns out that SQL Server 2005 CTP was still installed, it was just hiding!!! Although it has gone from the add/remove programs its still there! A google search reveals I'm not the only one to have this problem - and led me to this blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2005/06/14/429194.aspx.
This blog post led me to a tool called msiinv.exe that checks to see what really is installed - and SQL Server 2005 was all over the place! This blog goes on to explain how to remove the installed programs that are hiding using msiexec.exe. Great! So I gave that a go - oh dear, it failed. This time, I got errors when I tried to un-install using msiexec with the product code.... *
So, just before I have up and formatted my hard disk, I spoke to my colleague Dave Davis (I told him I'd mention him :) ). He pointed me to a VERY USEFUL TOOL: Windows Cleanup Utility. This tool is similar to msiinv.exe - it basically presents you with a list of everything that is actually in some state of installed-ness on your PC, and allows you to remove it :) Works very well, and saved the day for me :)
Hopefully this will be of assistance to someone battling to install the latest Microsoft dev tools, without reverting to a full on format!!
* - It turns out that these uninstall errors were all related to the order that you install/uninstall previous betas of sql server 2005 and visual studio 2005. Aaron Stebner kindly pointed me to another blog posting he made here, that explains an alternative process to remove SQL server 2005.