Fix Uninstall Issues with Visual Studio Versions

Have you ever installed a BETA or CTP or an RC build of some Microsoft product such as Visual Studio, and then been faced with the unhappy situation that it could not find the installation sources when you attempted to uninstall the product, or it just didn’t uninstall “cleanly” – leaving traces of Registry entries that prevented you from installing a later version?

It’s certainly happened to me several times. But today I ran into a program called Perfect Uninstaller that, for $35, turned out to be one heck of a bargain. Perfect Uninstaller has three modes to completely and totally uninstall any program.

It starts out using the regular Windows Installer, but it doesn’t stop there – even if the installer says “I can’t find the MSI source for this”, it doesn't give up like the Windows MSIEXEC installer would do -- it picks up all the Registry Entries by scanning the Registry, and then it picks up all file traces by scanning the filesystem.

The result is a 100% complete and total uninstall of the most difficult programs – programs for which the sources may be long gone and extremely difficult to find. I don't usually make it a practice to "promote" some piece of software, but in this case I'm going to make an exception. This thing works, and it works well!

Today I used Perfect Uninstaller to remove at least 10 different components of a previous Visual Studio BETA build that up to now absolutely refused to go away, and it worked flawlessly on every single one.

If you like to live on the edge and install beta software on your primary development machine, or you just have errant software that you cannot seem to get rid of, then this little proggie is for you!

I’m now a happy camper! Go try Perfect Uninstaller yourself. Dr. Dotnetsky sez, “This one really works!”. You'll thank me later.

A final note: On Monday, April 12, Visual Studio 2010 RTM will be launched at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. My MVP Lead P.J. Forgione has a post describing what some MVPs are doing at the launch event and around the world. MVPs who will be speaking at the event include Billy Hollis, Brian Noyes, Brian Randell, Carl Franklin, Christian Wenz, Dan Wahlin, Hadi Hariri, Joel Semeniuk, Jon Flanders, Juval Lowy, Scott Allen, Kathleen Dollard,Mark Miller, Markus Egger, Michele Bustamante, Paul Litwin, Richard Campbell, Richard Hundhausen,
Rockford Lhotka, Shawn Wildermuth, Steven Borg, Steven Smith, Tim Huckaby, Todd Anglin and Bob Beauchemin. I don’t know how many of these folks will need this Perfect Uninstaller thing like I did, but they all deserve a round of applause, because Visual Studio 2010 really rocks!