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How can SQL Server 2005 Instances be manually removed (if uninstall does not clean them up)?

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I believe this may happened due to installation I received of VS2005 which includes MSSQLEXPRESS 2005 without compatibility fixes for Vista (or Windows 7 in my case). –  Danny Mar 15 '11 at 17:40
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

After long searches and trying to delete things from registry I found the following solution:

Delete SQLEXPRESS from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\Instance Names

Delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1

Delete entire branch HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\90

To remove actual databases, delete folder: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1

Disclaimer: Use at your own risk.

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(Asked question and answered to document answer for future troubleshooters.) –  Danny Mar 15 '11 at 15:28
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Microsoft lists other cleanup steps to also consider on MSDN, besides those few registry keys to fully cleanup an instance of SQL Server 2005 manually - This may also help from a SQL Server 2005 Express standpoint -http://support.microsoft.com/kb/909967

This blog post has an alternate approach that I have not tried

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/astebner/archive/2005/09/13/465401.aspx And this

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Tried those both before deleting those keys - neither worked for me. –  Danny Mar 15 '11 at 17:39
    
Interesting, just deleting the registry keys only that you mention and not doing everything won't be as clean as following the KB article though, just FYI for anyone reading this thread. –  Mike Walsh Mar 15 '11 at 18:31
    
Yeh, it is best to try the KB first. Then delete registry keys if that doesn't work. –  Danny Mar 17 '11 at 11:29
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