I was surprised to find out that Microsoft is no longer offering its Windows Installer Cleanup Utility. The tool is typically known for being able to remove .msi installs after they’ve been corrupted and the normal Add/Remove Programs won’t work. The odd thing about removing the tool is that I’ve been using it on an almost daily basis recently. We had some Java deployments that got hung up by the antivirus causing them to be uninstallable and unable to be reinstalled as well as McAfee agents that wouldn’t uninstall because there was a new version installed over top of them but didn’t work correctly.
The utility was available from a Microsoft Knowledge Base article that offered instructions on how to uninstall the Microsoft Office Suites (2003 – 2010) that wouldn’t uninstall through the Control Panel. Updated this past weekend, Microsoft has changed from providing the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility to using Microsoft FixIt solutions with this little warning:
This article previously contained a link to the Windows Installer Cleanup utility (MSICUU2.exe). If you were directed to this article to solve a problem installing a product other than Microsoft Office, please contact your software manufacturer for installation support on the product.
While the Windows Installer Cleanup utility resolved some installation problems, it sometimes damaged other components installed on the computer. Because of this, the tool has been removed from the Microsoft Download Center. The Fix it Solutions in this article provide the ability to fully remove Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 suites without damaging other Windows components.
Although they cite some problems with the tool, I have come to need it for system administration responsibilities and haven’t found an alternative yet. I agree that it should be used as a final attempt tool and is NOT a replacement for Add/Remove Programs. The tool simply updates the Windows Installer database and doesn’t remove files or Registry entries.
(via Jason Pearce)