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Troubleshoot an MSI uninstall

When trying to uninstall ElasticSearch through Add/Remove Programs in Windows, the uninstall silently failed. No error messages, no information in the Event Viewer, nothing...

Let’s see how we can investigate what is going wrong. Therefore we’ll try to do the uninstall through the commandline instead of using the Add/Remove Programs feature in Windows.

Uninstall an MSI from the commandline

The command we need to use is msiexec. This can be used to install an MSI program. Of course we want to do an uninstall so we need to include the /x or /uninstall parameter.

If you have the MSI file available you can use the following command:

msiexec.exe /x “c:\elasticsearch.msi”

If you don’t have the MSI file anymore you can do an uninstall using the Product GUID (I’ll show you how to get the product GUID below):

msiexec.exe /x {11111111-1111-1111-1111-11111111111}

Find the Product GUID of an installed Program

There are multiple ways to get the Product GUID of the product you want to uninstall.

I have used the following Powershell “one-liner”:


The output will look like this:

Troubleshoot a failing uninstall

Of course in our case we want to troubleshoot the uninstall process. Therefore we can include extra parameters to write the output of the uninstall process to a log file:

msiexec.exe /x {11111111-1111-1111-1111-11111111111} /L*V! "C:\elasticsearchuninstall.log"

This allowed me to investigate why the uninstall failed. I’ll share my findings tomorrow…

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