I'm running SQL Server 2014 and have 50 separate instances running. This is the max limit of number of instances for this version and I obviously need to uninstall some instances and clean up.
However upon research it looks like there's a bug which won't allow you to uninstall instances through the Programs and Features installer or command line when you have 50 instances installed. The installer freezes or hangs when querying the list of instances and never moves forward to uninstall. I checked the bootstrap log files and the exported errors state that it can't perform the operation because there are too many instances which is the whole problem in the first place!
The only solution I've found is to uninstall the instance through the registry. I was able to remove the instance from HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall using msiexec but when I did that the SQL Browser service crashed, the other sql instances lost connection and the services for the old instance would reappear. I ended up restoring the registry from the backup I made. Is there a way to remove an instance from the registry properly and re-situate the browser service? Maybe some registry items I'm missing?