It's been a long while since I've deployed software via GPO, but I think you can set the GPO to remove the software if the user falls out of scope of the GPO (aka move outside of OU). May be a PITA to create a new OU with linked GPO's, minus the software policy, but might be the easiest option.
Unfortunatly, i dont know where the gpo's are or were? the software still exists. we have found over 30 diffenet gpo's that pushed different versions of this software at different times, pretty much all over the place. We have changed them all to uninstall, but these still persyst. I was looking for something that would work outside of building a new gpo.
Tricky one to say the least.
The problem you are likely having is that the install is actuallly installed to the installing user's profile (so HKCU) and not to all users (HKLM) and therefore the uninstalling user can't call the other user's profile to uninstall.
You could try to first perform:
msiexec.exe /i "file.msi" ALLUSERS=1
msiexec.exe /i "file.msi" REINSTALL=ALL ALLUSERS=1
This will force a full reinstall of the application to all users (HKLM). If this doesn't fix the problems you are having with the application in the first place, you should then be able to run your install again to uninstall.
No guarantees on this one. I'm not 100% sure that ALLUSERS=1 will work in this scenario.
well what we really want to do is just remove the application from the pc completely. a new version of the app has been created, and we want that one to be installed. but the users who have the old one installed as user, have weird issues, because it will pop up and try to install the old one, even tho the new one has been installed on top.. itn short its a mess.
You can't "rip" an MSI off a machine like you might be able to with an exe so don't bother trying.
You could try this. It says its for office but the utility will work with other msi apps as well. You will have to play around with it to get the results you want.
My suggestion for reinstalling first was to help provide a single means to uninstall. Basically, force an install or possible upgrade to a single version of an install that you know can be removed easier. Kind of like this:
You have in your environment office XP, office XP sp1, office XP sp1+patch##, etc...
Force and upgrade or reinstall to office xp sp3 and then uninstall office XP sp3.
Install your new app.
Depending on the app, some vendors supply a master uninstaller so I would have a look there. Eg: Adobe does this for many of thier apps because they have so many versions and different styles of installers.