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MSIEXEC\windows Installer and Server 2008 R2, problem uninstalling

Posted on 2012-09-17
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Last Modified: 2012-09-23
I have a BASIC MSI (IS 2010 Pro).  It does an upgrade of a product and the removal of a previous version.  Problem is that (before my time), there are two installed products that have the same upgrade code, so, the upgrade table cannot be used as it will uninstall both products.  So I am executing a 'VBscript (msiexec /x [guid} /qn' (tried createprocess and execute shell, but get the message about another installer already running).  This works fine on windows 7, but not on Server 2008 R2.  On the R2 system, the log shows the Vbscript is executed with a Return value of 1), and the uninstall does not happen.  If executed from the command line (with the '/qn'), this works ok, double clicking on the MSI, it does not uninstall the previous version.  If I remove the '/qn', and respond to the user prompts when it executes the vbscript (executing by double clicking the msi file), the previous product is uninstalled when done.  What is gong on on the R2 server?
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Question by:eelou
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Assisted Solution

by:Vadim Rapp
Vadim Rapp earned 1000 total points
ID: 38405982
Is this the same installation as in Q_27859872 , or different?

> there are two installed products that have the same upgrade code, so, the upgrade table cannot be used as it will uninstall both products.

Do they also have the same versions? if not, you probably can specify the specific version of the one you want to upgrade. It would be much easier.

Otherwise, the same hints as in Q_27859872: need to look at the log file and possibly process monitor, which would tell the credentials it runs under.

If behavior with /qn is different, it means that the difference is in the user interface sequence. With /qn that sequence does not run at all, so whatever prevents uninstallation without /qn, must be in UI sequence.
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by:CSI-Windows_com
CSI-Windows_com earned 1000 total points
ID: 38406199
Why isn't the upgrade table working for you - can't you simply put in two identical upgrade code entries but with different version number ranges that match each product?

When you say "Answer all the user prompts" - does this include the UAC prompt?

Perhaps when you are running the vbscript in the failed scenrio you are running it with a regular user account which would pop a UAC prompt?

To test this,
*) elevate a command prompt (obviously have to be logged in with an admin account)
*) run the silent command

If the above is successful, then you need to ensure your vbscript is run under the SYSTEM account or an ELEVATED admin account.  ANY admin account that is running a service is ELEVATED - there is no UAC prompt presented.  If, however, you are using some other tricky method to execute the MSI, then the process may not be elevated before it starts MSI and MSI kicks a UAC prompt.
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Author Comment

by:eelou
ID: 38407246
More research, and as as of yet an unexplained problem.  On systems that I tested that did  not have Macafee installed, there was no problem.  On systems that have Macafee 8.7, or 8.8, the problem happens (the previous installer is not uninstalled)
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Author Comment

by:eelou
ID: 38407329
Is is because the parent MSI is using a VBScript\MSIEXEC to do the uninstall of the previous product?
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Expert Comment

by:CSI-Windows_com
ID: 38407446
Most virus software implementations do not block VBscript custom actions - but your suspicion could be correct in this case - some virus software sandboxes vbscript at a very low level.

If you could create a verbose log of the failing uninstall, zip it and upload it to this thread I can take a look for you.

Instructions for verbose logging are here: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Programming/Installation/A_5177-Installation-Logging-How-To-Create-a-Verbose-Windows-Installer-Log-and-Submit-it-With-Your-Question-Including-MSIs-That-are-INSIDE-Setup-exes.html

Please follow the instructions rather than use the /L command line as the registry file in the article ensures the maximum log content is captured.
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by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 38407647
eelou, if these two questions are parts of the same project, maybe it would be more effective if you tell us the big picture, what is the whole thing, and then maybe we would come up with coherent solution from start to finish, rather than addressing small pieces.

For example, if the objective is to remove specific installations of McAfee and then install another product, maybe it's easier to uninstall McAfee from logon or machine start script, and then install product #2 clean, perhaps with condition based on system search ensuring that McAfee is gone - rather than mess with these ten different ways to run vbscripts from ten different places.
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Accepted Solution

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eelou earned 0 total points
ID: 38409453
If I do a Google search "McAfee blocking installer vbscript", you come across a number of articles talking about this.  We cannot ask customers to downgrade or remove their Virus protection, so this is something that will have to be lived with...for this upgrade version (because of the previous duplicate Upgrade Code having been used).  Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:Vadim Rapp
ID: 38409605
> We cannot ask customers to downgrade or remove their Virus protection

I think, if you re installing another antivirus product, then it's absolutely OK to do. Many antivirus products block the attempt to disable or remove them in general, not only by installation script, but by any means other than their own interface, especially programmatic means - and for a good reason, because it's very likely that malware would try to uninstall the antivirus. For the user who has such a product with this protection activated, it's expected that your installation will definitely fail as soon as it tries to remove that product; it's by design (of that product).
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Author Closing Comment

by:eelou
ID: 38426003
I was the one that found that the problem was being caused by McAfee.
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