Uninstalling beta VS 2005 Express Editions will hang if they were not registered

As Quan briefly mentioned in this blog post, there is an issue with uninstalling the beta versions of the VS 2005 Express Editions if you did not register your copy of the beta Express Edition prior to trying to uninstall it.  If you are uninstalling an Express Edition using the Add/Remove Programs entry, you will see setup hang on the progress page, so it is easy enough to see if you ended up in this state.  However, if you use the automatic uninstall tool to remove VS 2005 beta products, you will not see any progress UI because the uninstall tool runs Express Edition uninstall in silent mode.  In this case, it will appear as though the uninstall tool is running and not doing anything.

In order to work around this issue, you use the following steps while Express Edition uninstall is in progress:

  1. Click on the Start menu, choose Run and type taskmgr
  2. Go to the Processes tab
  3. Search for the executable name for the Express Edition you have installed that is currently being uninstalled (see list of executable names below)
  4. Highlight the executable name, click End Process and click Yes to confirm that you want to kill the process

These steps will cause the Express Edition uninstall to become unstuck and skip past the custom action that hangs if the product was not registered.  This will result in some files being orphaned after uninstall completes, but they will not harm anything once you install the final release of VS 2005.

When looking in Task Manager, the executable names will be the following depending on what Express Edition(s) you have installed:

Also, if you ran uninstall from Add/Remove Programs, you can use the following steps instead of killing the executable in Task Manager:

  1. Cancel the uninstall process
  2. Launch the Express Edition and choose to Register it from the Help menu
  3. Re-run uninstall and it should no longer hang


Comments (2)
  1. I’m not sure if I have VB.NET Express registered or not as its been quite a while since I downloaded it. It is activated – is that the same as being registered? There is no option on the Help menu to do a registration.

  2. Where to get Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0 Where to download the .NET Framework 2.0 redistributable

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