Matt Roberts

Rails and .NET

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Tried to install SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005...thought it would be 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: 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.

posted on Sunday, November 6, 2005 2:26 PM


# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 11/30/2005 5:15 PM Patrick Richards
Thank you! I have been Googling on and off for days trying to figure this out. I finally got a clue when I was using Add/Remove to uninstall MSMXL 6.0. It warned there was a dependency on it from SQL Server 2005 Notification Services. However, this was not in the Add/Remove list. I downloaded and ran the Install Cleanup tool and I am finally able to install SQL Server 2005. Thanks!


# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 12/4/2005 9:03 AM Jorgen Thyme
Thanks - Dave Davis - go for the White House :-)

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 12/26/2005 1:27 AM Pierre Donyegro
I have used several tools without sucess: vs_uninst_betas.exe, sqlbuw.exe, etc...
The sure thing which worked for me is Windows Cleanup Utility. Great posting Matt.

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 12/31/2005 10:06 AM Arne Lagrange
Thanks for the hint. It saves my complete christmas holidays :-)

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 1/5/2006 3:52 AM Bet
I installed the windows Install clean up and removed sql server 2005 CTP.But it still exist on start menu.Any idea how to remove all sql components completely after these steps?Thanks

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 1/6/2006 12:49 PM Vijaya S
Hi All, I tried using the Windows Cleanup luck! :( I selected all the SQL Server 2005 CTP products to be removed as well as .NET framework & Visual Studio CTP, then hit Remove. It processed for a long time & completed. Now, these products are no more listed by the Utility, but they still exist!!! What do I do now?? Plz help!

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 1/18/2006 5:21 PM LG
OMFG! Thank you! I spent 1/2 day looking fro this!!!

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 2/15/2006 9:44 PM Vicki

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 2/16/2006 3:05 PM Matt Roberts
Glad to be of assistance :)

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 2/17/2006 3:28 AM Neeraj Gupta
Sorry it doesn't work ................still exists

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 3/2/2006 1:00 AM Simon
It didn't work for me!!!! SQL Server 2005 CTP is still in the start menu, although it's not gone from the Uninstall Programs control panel! ARRGGHHH - I will have to Reinstall Windows!!!! :-(

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 3/2/2006 4:51 AM Matt Roberts

Are you sure you have the right permissions? Try removing all of the associated programs from add/remove programs first, and then the cleanup utility...

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 3/30/2006 2:13 PM Dana
OMG I thought I was going to have to wipe this server and start over... Thanks a lot for this information :-D

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 7/10/2006 3:56 PM Orrin
Thank you. Microsoft doesn't mention this tool (Windows Install Cleanup Wizard) anywhere and it is exactly what I needed.

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 7/30/2006 8:00 PM that was perfect
great job mr. roberts :-)

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 12/2/2006 5:50 AM Peter Con Techaholic
Well it worked for me, that was super... I couldn't get SQL 2005 to install it's tools because it ketp complaining that SQL Express was installed...Ran the Windows cleanup and it installed...

Thank you, your de man...

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 1/21/2007 5:47 AM Conch
Thank you so much! It woked for me before I formatted my disk.

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 1/26/2007 11:07 PM Angelo
Perfect! Thank you!

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 6/12/2007 6:54 PM Mehdi
It did not worked for SQL Server 2005 installed on Advaned Sever 2000 platform. Cleaning the componet in Add/Remove and Cleaning it by this cleaner, the track of previous intance still exist. May be I should use another "Instance Name" for SQL server?

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 7/17/2007 1:10 PM Prakash
How can Microsoft push/throw people where they can not bring/rescue from ...........damn MS

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 8/26/2007 12:26 AM Tarek ElAyat
Thank you very much.

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 1/24/2008 9:33 PM Xavier
Thank you! This was a life saver. I was starting to pull my hair out!

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 7/17/2008 12:40 AM Nauman
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! This article was of great help.

# Thanks Pal 10/4/2008 6:42 AM Sumedha
Thanks a lot man.. this worked for me saved my day.


# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 12/23/2008 2:41 PM Keomony
thank you so much! You save my day! :)

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 1/8/2009 2:25 PM Jakob
The Install Cleanup tool was the right way! Thax for the hint! ;)

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 5/14/2009 4:36 PM Chris
Nice find. Definately a must-have for your digital toolbox.

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 6/28/2009 1:54 PM Johnson
Nice, thank you. I was having problems removing SQL 2005.

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 8/5/2009 2:03 AM Smith
When you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas. Microsoft, aka Mickey Mouse, is a dog.

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 1/11/2010 3:39 AM Moinur
Thanks a lot. This is awesome. You just save my time. Thanks again. God bless you.

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 2/6/2010 6:32 PM Ben
Thank you for the great information, but every time I try to remove components I'm getting a runtime error. Microsoft is disappointing as always.

# re: Uninstalling SQL Server 2005! 7/14/2010 3:00 AM mani
If you tried Installing SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2005 with System which have already installed SQL Server then It will be difficult to Install new Sql Server.This problem caused by you are Overriding Sql Instance,

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