When an uninstall or install process fails, often the application can neither be re-installed or uninstalled. It exists in limbo somewhere between the two states. To move past the issue, it can mean searching the registry and file structure for objects that might have been left behind, a very tedious process.
Last week, Adobe released to their enterprise IT lab collection the Adobe Reader and Acrobat Cleaner Tool. It removes a standalone installation of Reader or Acrobat including the user preferences. Being a “Lab” product, the tool is very much in beta but it can be tested and it is great to see Adobe providing the tools to make using their product much easier. (Yes, I can chastise Adobe one day and praise them the next.)
To utilize the tool, visit http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/acrobatcleaner.html
Even better, the tool includes command-line support. If a deployment went South on you, you might be able to utilize this tool in a script to clean up problematic computers, correct the problem, and deploy Adobe Reader or Acrobat again with better results.
AdbeArCleaner.exe /silent /product=<ProductId> /installpath=<InstallPath> /cleanlevel=<CleanLevel> /scanforothers=<ScanForOthers>
Visit the Labs page for the Adobe Reader and Acrobat Cleaner Tool to download it and find out more about its execution.