Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Uninstalling a Failed SQL Server 2008 Installation

frustrationLast night at a SQL Server User Group meeting, one of the attendees was describing the trouble he was having uninstalling a failed SQL Server installation. There was some kind of problem that caused it to fail on the database engine installation. That sounded exactly like a problem I had installing SQL Server 2008R2 as a named instance alongside SQL Server 2005 just a few weeks before.

My installation was failing because I was attempting to install SQL Server 2008 (not R2) from an actual Microsoft DVD (most of the time I am installing from an MSDN iso download). After much of the installation was complete, a dialog popped up prompted for media containing a path to a SQL Server 2008 R2 executable. I wasn’t trying to install R2, so I’m not sure why the prompt. I ignored the prompt and continued the installation which failed (no surprise there). After the error, I decided I would just uninstall the non-R2 instance and install SQL Server 2008 R2, but the uninstall wizard would not work.

For posterity sake, the blog post that I used to uninstall the failed installation was Fun with software : uninstalling SQL Server 2008 R2 Evaluation Edition by Aaron Bertrand. The article is about uninstalling an eval edition, but it worked for me on an RTM or SP1 copy.


photo credit: peterhess / CC BY 2.0