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Vista SP2 - unable to uninstall any software RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have an HP laptop running vista SP2 and I am unable to uninstall ANY software.  Attempting to do so results in a windows installer prompt: "preparing to remove" and it hangs there for literally about an hour, eventually it comes back with "install server not responding".

    I can however install programs fine, and I installed and ran complete malware scans with spybot, malwarebytes and AVG none of which found any malicious software. 

    I tried to look at my event logs - but I can't open my event viewer either, it just hangs (similar to the way uninstalling hangs, but prompts or error messages).  Same thing when I try to open services to see if the installer service is running, it just hangs and never opens the services snap-in.

    Suggestions?

    • Moved by Carey FrischMVP, Moderator Sunday, October 17, 2010 4:50 PM Moved to appropriate forum category (From:Windows Vista Announcements)
    Saturday, October 16, 2010 3:47 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    Thanks for posting in Microsoft TechNet forums.

     

    1. When did this issue begin to occur? If recently, system restore can be under consideration.

    2. Can you associate with any software\hardware change?

    To troubleshoot, certain things you can try are to find out the root cause of the problem are given below.

     

    1.  Have a look whether you can reproduce the problem in safe mode.

     

    Start your computer in safe mode

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Start-your-computer-in-safe-mode

     

    If behavior doesn’t persist in safe mode, it indicates that a third party program or service is preventing you from performing the action as supposed to.

     

    To validate or determine which service/startup item could be causing this, restart the computer and boot to desktop normally. Once done, perform clean boot.

     

    2.  Clean Boot prevents software conflicts by preventing the startup items and non Microsoft services from loading. This way you can safely follow the process of elimination to check which application is causing this behavior.

     

    Refer:

    How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista or in Windows 7

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

    Note: Ensure that you put your computer back to normal startup mode after completing the troubleshooting steps. Steps are available in the article given above.

     

    Best Regards

    Magon Liu

    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum. If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com

     


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”
    Before going further, I would appreciate if you can clarify the following question:
    Monday, October 18, 2010 8:12 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,

    Thanks for posting in Microsoft TechNet forums.

     

    1. When did this issue begin to occur? If recently, system restore can be under consideration.

    2. Can you associate with any software\hardware change?

    To troubleshoot, certain things you can try are to find out the root cause of the problem are given below.

     

    1.  Have a look whether you can reproduce the problem in safe mode.

     

    Start your computer in safe mode

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Start-your-computer-in-safe-mode

     

    If behavior doesn’t persist in safe mode, it indicates that a third party program or service is preventing you from performing the action as supposed to.

     

    To validate or determine which service/startup item could be causing this, restart the computer and boot to desktop normally. Once done, perform clean boot.

     

    2.  Clean Boot prevents software conflicts by preventing the startup items and non Microsoft services from loading. This way you can safely follow the process of elimination to check which application is causing this behavior.

     

    Refer:

    How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista or in Windows 7

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

    Note: Ensure that you put your computer back to normal startup mode after completing the troubleshooting steps. Steps are available in the article given above.

     

    Best Regards

    Magon Liu

    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum. If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com

     


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”
    Before going further, I would appreciate if you can clarify the following question:
    Monday, October 18, 2010 8:12 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi,

     

    Thanks for posting in Microsoft TechNet forums.

    As this thread has been quiet for a while, we assume that the issue has been resolved. At this time, we will mark it as ‘Answered’ as the previous steps should be helpful for many similar scenarios. If the issue still persists, please feel free to  reply this post directly so we will be notified to follow it up. You can also choose to unmark the answer as you wish.

    BTW,  we’d love to hear your feedback about the solution. By sharing your experience you can help other community members facing similar problems. Thanks for your understanding and efforts.

     

    Best Regards

    Magon Liu

    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum. If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”
    Monday, October 25, 2010 6:55 AM
    Moderator
  • I'm having a similar problem in Vista.  Unfortunately, it's difficult to ascertain exactly when the problem arose.  Just that now, I can't uninstall anything.  Doing arbitrary system restores would seem hazardous to recent work.

    Your suggestion of attempting to reproduce the problem in "Safe Mode" isn't helpful - I tried it.  The Windows Installer Service (required by Windows Installer) refuses to run in "Safe Mode" making the attempt pointless.

    I'll try the "Clean Boot" idea.  The "divide and conquer" method is cumbersome when you have hundreds of services to deal and you have to reboot and retest after each attempt.  Still, it's worth trying.

    Regards

    Wednesday, January 26, 2011 11:28 PM
  • No joy.  I went into Clean Boot and disabled every non-Microsoft service but after a reboot, Windows Installer still hangs up.  What else might be causing this to lock up (registry errors, corrupt system files, etc) and what can be done to fix them?  

    I tried to reinstall Windows Installer from the Microsoft site but there's nothing I can download for Vista SP2.  I tried the download for Vista but it complains it's not appropriate for my system.

    Suggestions?

    Thursday, January 27, 2011 12:01 AM