Warning – .NET Framework 3.0 cleanup tool removes final release of SQL Express

When preparing to install the final version of the .NET Framework 3.0 on a system, it is necessary to uninstall any previous beta versions that are installed.  In order to make the beta uninstall process as painful as possible, we released a .NET Framework 3.0 pre-release version uninstall tool.

The information on the uninstall tool download page states that the tool will uninstall pre-release versions of the .NET Framework 3.0 as well as pre-release versions of Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 Express Edition and MSDN for Visual Studio 2005.

However, while I was investigating an issue on a colleague's machine over the weekend, I found out that this cleanup tool removes the final release of SQL Server 2005 Express Edition and SQL 2005 SP1 in addition to removing pre-release versions.  The uninstall tool uses Windows Installer product codes to figure out which products to remove, and the product codes for SQL Server 2005 did not change between the pre-release versions and the final release.

Until the uninstall tool is revised to correctly handle this scenario, I wanted to post a warning to anyone who uses it - if you run the .NET Framework 3.0 pre-repease version uninstall tool on a system that has the final release of SQL Server 2005 Express Edition installed, it will remove SQL Express and you will have to re-install SQL Express after running the uninstall tool.

<update date="11/21/2006"> A customer pointed out that the .NET Framework 3.0 uninstall tool also removes the final release of MSDN.  I have posted an updated warning in this new blog post </update>


Comments (5)
  1. mschoneman says:

    I’m not sure, but it may also uninstall the MSDN library.  I ran the tool and afterwards, no MSDN for me.  Easy enough to fix, but it’s something you might want look into as well.

  2. Hi Mschoneman – You are correct.  I looked at the MSI for MSDN and the product code for it is also listed in the uninstall list for the .NET Framework 3.0 cleanup tool.  I will post an updated warning for this as well.  I’m sorry for the hassle.

  3. Yesterday, I posted a warning that the .NET Framework 3.0 pre-release version uninstall tool will remove

  4. cosborn says:

    Unfortunately, it seems to be a lot worse than this.  Not only did it uninstall SQLExpress (which I didn’t care that much about, I don’t use it, I have 2005 Standard installed)  But… this tool is telling me that I have to uninstall the full versions of SQL 2005 Standard, Reporting services, and Analysis servies, else it’s going to break them by removing what it plans on removing.  I can’t afford to mess with a bunch of broken installations at this point, I have priority SRSS work to start first thing Monday.

  5. Hi Cosborn – Yes, this removal tool will remove some shared components that are used by SQL Express and by the higher level editions of SQL Server.  You do not need to use this tool to remove the .NET Framework 3.0 though – you can start out by trying to remove it using the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 entry in Add/Remove Programs.  If that doesn’t work, then you can try the tool described at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2006/05/30/611355.aspx.

    Hopefully this will help.

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