Problem: After uninstalling a product using Microsoft's Windows installer (by running the *.msi file), it is discovered that all of the product's files are still present when they should have been deleted.
Cause: Hidden registry entries make the installer think another product is still installed and using these files. (This other "product" is probably an earlier version of your product which was uninstalled incorrectly.)
The really aggravating thing about this problem is those registry entries actually are there, you just can't see them with REGEDIT, or any other typical registry editor.
I finally did find a registry editor that can see these hidden registry entries, and it allowed me to delete them. Once the offending registry entries were removed, the uninstaller started working correctly again.
Solution: Using the free RegSeeker program, I was able to see the hidden registry keys an delete them. (I then gave him a nice monetary donation since this program saved me from a huge problem.)
Background: I was working on developing an installer for our company product. The install/uninstall worked OK on another computer, but whenever I tried to uninstall the product on my computer, I discovered all the product files were still there after the uninstall when they should have been deleted.
If you found this web page then you probably already know how to run Microsoft's Windows Installer (*.msi file) and create a log file of the uninstallation:
Within this log file I found the following lines:
I investigated further by running Process Monitor simultaneously with the uninstaller, creating a log file of the uninstall, and creating a file of all the activity the uninstaller process was doing during the uninstall. I then examined the time stamp of the "Disallowing uninstallation of component" message, and examined the file created by Process Monitor to see exactly what the process was doing at that exact time. It appeared the uninstall process was accessing a registry key, finding it, and deciding that because this registry key existed, it should disallow uninstall of that particular file.
The only problem was, using REGEDIT, and several other registry editor programs, every time I looked for those particular registry keys, they weren't there!
But the registry keys actually are there, you just need a registry editor that's capable of seeing them.
The hidden keys were under:
To find these entries I searched for the file name. In the image below I searched for "ExtendedControl.dll"
Click "Select" to select the entries to delete:
Then click "Action" and select "Delete selected items":
Repeat for all affected files the uninstaller disallowed removeal of.
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