Monday, October 4, 2010

MSI issues with SQL Server 2005 and Vista

Anyone who has worked in systems admin for more than a week would probably have run accross at LEAST one issue in the Microsoft world where a program would NOT uninstall correctly.
As a matter of fact, there are numerous KB's and newsgroups and web gripes about this issue, dating back to the pre-XP world. The "nice" thing, as with most things MS, is that not one of these fixes works for ALL issues of this type. My particular issue recently was the uninstallation of SQL Server 2005 (Standard and Express, 32-bit and 64-bit) from two Vista Pro 64-bit machines.

So, I first did what any self-educated genius would do.
From the command line I ran:
c:\windows\system32\msiexec.exe /unregister
c:\windows\system32\msiexec.exe /regserver
c:\windows\sysWOW64\msiexec.exe /unregister
c:\windows\sysWOW64\msiexec.exe /regserver

...thinking this would fix my issue. However those nagging errors kept popping up. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention the errors I was recieving? I recieved to MSI errors: 1719 and 1603. Looking this up will produce the numerous KBs, newsgroup postings, etc. that I alluded to above. Additionally, I recieved an error message indicating that the Windows Installer Service could not be initiated due to system permissions and to contact the system administrators and to...blah blah blah...

So what fixed it, some might be asking:
Downloading the MSI Clean up utility from MS (MSICUU2.exe) and running this on the boxes in question. However, for some unkown and yet distinctively MS-type behavior, running the MSICUU2.exe from the GUI (right-click->run as administrator) did not work.
What did work was using the command line to access the MSICUU2.exe application via the command line AND using the runas command.

So, Vista again dissappoints and makes me wish EVERYTHING was *nix. It is dissappointing that the GUI option to run as an administrator has seperate permissions than the command line option to run as an administrator. You just "have" to love Windows. :-(