How do I remove previous versions of SQL Server 2005 / Whidbey?
Updated: 6/20/2008 12:25:00 AM
Requests: 22508

When trying to run setup for the December CTP, you might have seen this:

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Beta 3 Setup

SQL Server 2005 Beta 3 Setup has detected incompatible beta components from Visual Studio or SQL Server. To proceed, use Windows Add or Remove Programs to remove the following: previous SQL Server Yukon components, SQL Server Support Files, .NET Framwork 1.2 and 2.0. Then run SQL Server 2005 Beta 3 Setup again. For detailed instructions on uninstalling SQL Server builds, see the SQL Server 2005 Beta 3 readme file.


Well, going to Add/Remove Programs and removing each element in the way the readme files suggest doesn't always work.

The following link helped me remove earlier versions of SQL Server 2005 and the Visual Studio "Whidbey" previews:

Basically, you use this MSIINV.exe tool to output to a text file (here's one place to download), all the GUIDs for products that are installed. Then you can manually uninstall the offending programs, one by one, using MSIEXEC /X. When I ran it, I had the following programs still installed, even though I had removed them using Add/Remove Programs:

Microsoft SQL Server "Yukon" Beta 2 (IDW4)
Product Code: {<...big long GUID here...>}

So I ran this from the command line:

MSIEXEC /X <...big long GUID here...>

(On one machine, this wasn't able to uninstall the previous version, because I didn't have the install files anymore. What worked was to search the registry for <...big long GUID here...> and delete any keys/folders that contained this GUID. This isn't the recommended approach, and since this is beta software and you should be prepared from wiping your machine clean between interim releases, I don't even know why I'm posting it here. I guess because I'm lazy and didn't want to start over, and I know there are others like me out there.)

Now I could continue with the December CTP install. I sure hope the next CTP (or Beta 3) has a far tidier purge process!

© 2004-2015 Aaron Bertrand, All Rights Reserved. SQL Server 2005, of course, belongs to Microsoft.