Problem: A generic error is returned when uninstalling ArcGIS for Desktop


When uninstalling ArcGIS for Desktop from the Control Panel, the following error is returned and the uninstallation process is aborted:

Error 1316. A network error occurred while attempting read from the file: c:\Windows\Installer\setup.msi


The error occurs when the ArcGIS for Desktop uninstall program cannot locate a temporary or product-specific uninstall package and replaces it with a generic 'setup.msi' installer. This is a generic error message that can be attributed to a number of causes, such as registry errors, excessive startup entries and installed programs that are redundant or corrupt.

Solution or Workaround

Manually uninstall the program.

Manually deleting files and registry keys while ArcGIS products are still installed is not recommended. Doing so can adversely impact the current installation as well as any future installations. The manual deletion of files and registry keys is very rarely needed. If the troubleshooting tips below do not resolve the issue, please contact Technical Support.
  1. Navigate to the Windows Control Panel > Programs and Features.
  2. Navigate to the following directories and rename all 'ESRI' and 'ArcGIS' related folders with either 'ESRI_OLD' or 'ArcGIS_OLD':
    Renaming the Folder as 'ESRI_OLD' blocks any associations of that folder with the software. When the software is being used, the folder is not found, because the naming search conducted is for 'Esri'.
    Use the following folder paths to make the changes:
    • C:\Program Files\ArcGIS
    • C:\Program Files\Esri
    • C:\Program Files\Common Files\ArcGIS
    If using a 64-bit version of Windows, the correct folder is 'Program Files (x86)'.
    • C:\Users\'named folder'\AppData\Roaming\Esri

    AppData is a hidden folder and is located under a named folder. This named folder has the user credentials or computer name of said machine as the folder name. To show hidden folders, Navigate to Start > Control Panel > Folder Options > View tab. In Advanced settings, select the option Show hidden files, folders and drives, and click Apply > OK.
  3. Open the Windows Registry Editor, click Start > Run, type regedit, and click OK.
    Use the 'Search programs and files' function to find programs installed on a machine. Click the Start > Search programs and files, type Run, and type regedit.
    The instructions below include making changes to essential parts of your operating system. It is recommended that you backup your operating system and files, including the registry, before proceeding. Consult with a qualified computer systems professional, if necessary.
    Esri cannot guarantee results from incorrect modifications while following these instructions; therefore, use caution and proceed at your own risk.
  4. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the specified path and rename the 'ESRI' folders to 'ESRI_OLD'.
  5. Once the changes have been made, reboot the computer.

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