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Problem: Getting errors when uninstalling ArcGIS software

Description

While uninstalling ESRI software, such as ArcView, ArcInfo, ArcIMS, ArcGIS Server or other Microsoft Installer-based software on Windows, errors may be experienced.

The information in this article pertains to the manual uninstall of ESRI Software and specifically about finding a safe solution to remove the software without causing other problems to the system.

Cause

There can be multiple causes for not being able to uninstall the software. Before manually removing files or registry keys, it is very important to know the reason uninstalling the software fails. Finding the specific cause is directly related to the correct solution.

An ESRI Support analyst can recognize problems that can be fixed in a service pack, hotfix, or future release; they can even recognize those caused by a third-party product. Details provided are properly documented by ESRI and analysts help to assist with finding a specific solution or workaround.

Solution or Workaround

Do not manually remove any files, folders or registry keys without reviewing the following steps. They help to analyze the uninstall problem on the machine where the uninstallation is failing.

An ESRI Support analyst may assist in finding a solution. Details on how to contact ESRI Support can be found through the link in Related Information below.

Perform the following diagnostic steps. If it is necessary to contact ESRI Support, please be able to provide the information that is requested in the final step.

  1. Uninstall the software
    A. Go to Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel.
    B. Highlight ArcGIS Desktop (or the ESRI software product to be uninstalled).
    C. Select 'Remove'.
    D. Write down the exact error message and/or create a screen shot of the error received.
  2. Repair the software
    A. Go to Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel.
    B. Highlight ArcGIS Desktop (or the ESRI software product to be uninstalled).
    C. Select Change.
    D. Select 'Repair'.
    E. If the repair is successful, repeat step 1.

    If the repair option returns an error, write down the exact error message and/or create a screen shot of the error received.
  3. Create a log file
    To run the Uninstall from the command line with the log option to create a log file, follow these steps:

    A. Put the Software Media (CD or DVD) of the product to be uninstalled in the according CD/DVD drive.
    B. Disregard the pop-up screen.
    C. Browse to <CD drive>:\<product> and note the exact path of the location of the setup.msi file.
    D. Go to Start > Run and type CMD.
    E. Click OK.
    F. In the command window, type the following:
    MSIEXEC /x <path to setup.msi on CD> /qn /L*v C:\ArcGISUninstall.log

    For example, type:
    MSIEXEC /x E:\Desktop\setup.msi /qn /L*v C:\ArcGISUninstall.log

    For more information about silent installs/uninstalls, see "Silently uninstall ArcGIS products", in Related Information.
  4. Contact ESRI Support
    Contact ESRI Support and provide the analyst with the following information:

    A. All the steps performed.
    B. The ArcGISUninstall.log file.
    C. Information about other software installed or uninstalled on the system before the issue occurred.
    D. Other information about the system that may further narrow down the problem, such as:
    - Are third-party extensions installed for ESRI products?
    - What ESRI software is installed on the same machine?
    - Is there other GIS related software that may be causing a conflict?

Related Information