13 Replies Latest reply on Mar 12, 2012 8:44 AM by radnor

    Uninstall for Windows 7 64-bit


      A couple of our techs deployed some Windows 7 machines before we had a chance to modfy GPO which deploys the LANDesk agent. The WinClientUninstall.exe doesn't properly uninstall on 64-bit Windows 7. Some files remain in %programfiles%\LANDesk\Shared and a service is not uninstalled.


      Is there a better uninstall available? We're still on 8.8 SP3. Is the uninstaller in 9.0 any better

        • 1. Re: Uninstall for Windows 7 64-bit
          phoffmann SupportEmployee

          This is not so much an "incomplete uninstall" as it is an "intentional set of files left behind".


          There's various reasons why we leave certain files and registry keys behind (the Device ID being one of them), as - for instant - it's this uninstall routine that gets used when you upgrade, and you wouldn't want devices to show up as new entries in the DB?


          As for the files in SHARED FILES that we leave behind - this is CBA stuff (Common Base Agent), which is also intentional. This is less for our own benefit, but more a nod towards other software vendors who OEM some of our code and didn't change names/locations.


          It would be - for instance - be rather unkind if you'd uninstall LANDesk and would start finding that this breaks one/several of your other applications. So we decided to go with the safer option of not doing this.


          So all is normal here. This is no different on 32-bit.


          - Paul Hoffmann

          LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead

          • 2. Re: Uninstall for Windows 7 64-bit

            Thanks LANDesk for caring so much for our good but if I want the product out I should have at least the option to remove it completely ideally through LANDesk product without fishing around

            • 3. Re: Uninstall for Windows 7 64-bit
              phoffmann SupportEmployee

              Can we keep the comments constructive please?


              I understand the idealistic sentiment that "an uninstall should be a true uninstall" - though the reality is that nearly all software out there leaves bits behind. Whether this is for good reasons or bad ones, is down to the individual bits of software, and I can only explain the reasons why WE do it.


              As explained above, there's VERY good reasons for leaving the things behind that we do. I've lived through the period where that was removed, and I can guarantee you that the "inconvenience" of breaking 3rd party software because of an uninstall/upgrade of LANDesk agentry was considerably greater than not doing it.


              This is not about us 'not caring enough' to write a proper uninstall routine. The things that get left do get left for good reasons indeed - it's far, far less of an impact on our customer base than the alternative.


              If you're sure you won't be affected, you can kill off the remaining items - we just prefer to err on the side of caution.


              For some, this comparably passive approach is simply not aggressive enough, but through various painful lessons, we've found that this is the one that works the best for us. After all, it's not just about uninstalling the software - upgrades use this routine as well - and I doubt there's going ot be a long list of people who'd be delighted at the prospect of breaking X, Y and Z pieces of software anytime they decide to upgrade their LANDesk agentry?


              I hope that this clarifies things somewhat.


              If you truly feel the need for us ot do this, then file it as an Enhancement Request. I may well be wrong, and there may well be many others who are out there and do desire this functionality (as I said, from an "ideal" point of view, I absolutely understand it). It'd have to be something that comes with a lot of "Are you sure? REALLY sure? Really, really, REALLY sure?" type confirmations but if indeed the functionality is something you crave - log it as an ER. The new section in the community is just for that after all .


              - Paul Hoffmann

              LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead

              • 4. Re: Uninstall for Windows 7 64-bit



                Thanks for taking the time to explain. This wasn't about taking cheap shot at LANDesk but rather expressing the frustration with the behavior that many developers have accustomed to. From the technical perspective you are absolutely correct and I actually believe it's an ok practice. Where we disagree is to have the built-in ability/option if I want to completely remove it. This is not a technical issue, rather perception managemement issue. If users say I want LANDesk out I want to have a simple method to get it completely out. It's not about me, not about LANDesk, it's about the user expectations. Majority of the environments won't matter, users won't notice, or IT has leverage. But occassionally there are those situations where it needs to get out and I have several examples of that.



                • 5. Re: Uninstall for Windows 7 64-bit

                  I think our issue is a little more than just bread crumbs left behind. On 32-bit systems, the Program Files/LANDesk directory is completely removed. On 64-bit systems, there is a service still running after the uninstall and so the files associated with that service are still in use and therefore do not get deleted as they should. So we end up with some items remaining in "Program Files\LANDesk\Shared". If I try to delete the files, I get an error that they are in use. If I stop the service, I can then delete those files manually but that still leaves a service hanging around.

                  • 6. Re: Uninstall for Windows 7 64-bit
                    phoffmann SupportEmployee

                    I'll respond in separate posts, just for clarification .




                    thanks for the explanation - things make a lot more sense now.


                    I would say that - if indeed you have multiple scenarios where this is a matter - then do log this with the ER portal.


                    I do agree that there are scenarios where you want to go for the "really clean" uninstall - and to provide that functionality. As I said, there's a good chance other customers are wanting this too, and as is so common, a 'silent muttering' isn't really something we can pick up on much as opposed to having a list of folks who are actually interested in the feature .


                    Thanks again for taking the time to explain, I do appreciate that a lot.


                    - Paul Hoffmann

                    LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead

                    • 7. Re: Uninstall for Windows 7 64-bit
                      phoffmann SupportEmployee



                      the bits you're describing should be the LANDesk Common Base Agent -- that's the biggest single part we leave behind (so as not to break anything), and most of it is in "LANDesk\Shared Files\" - so that's normal.


                      But the behaviour ought to be consistent - across 32-bit and 64-bit systems (I don't see why we ought to uninstall CBA on 64-bit systems at this point in time, but my clairvoyance-fu is sadly lacking as usual ).


                      I'd suggest opening this up as a case with support, providing infos on what you're seeing and what gets left behind on what system / what doesn't ... and ideally it's something that can be replicated reliably, and once we have that, we can see about figuring out why it's doing this (and whether it's supposed to be doing it)? .


                      - Paul Hoffmann

                      LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead

                      • 8. Re: Uninstall for Windows 7 64-bit

                        so if I have installed the Landesk Agent on a Win7x64 machine that is to be my model image source, I need to get it removed.  I'm concerned about all of the crap left behind after running the UninstallWinClient.exe.  Is there a published script that cleans all traces off the machine or perhaps a detailed step-by-step document that describes this process?


                        I'm with the other guy that customers should have the full-remove option already prepared and available to us; in particular I could use such an uninstaller in this case.  And while I can appreciate Landesk Software engineers' hopes of avoiding conflicts with 3rd party software, I will simply add that I have nothing else installed which uses the landesk shared files and I'd be willing to bet that I'm in a rather large group of simlar customers.


                        I'd gladly vote for the ER on this but I can't get into that part of the community.  So My vote is here instead.



                        I could still use additional details on how to do the full and 100% uninstall.



                        • 9. Re: Uninstall for Windows 7 64-bit
                          phoffmann SupportEmployee

                          You could use the "/FORCECLEAN" option for UNINSTALLWINCLIENT to force the uninstallation of the CBA side, as well as removing whatever remaining registry entries remain under (this is for 64-bit), in case there's anything left over for whatever reason:

                          - HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\LANDesk\

                          - HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Intel\LANDesk\


                          The "/FORCECLEAN" option is as complete an uninstall option as we provide (though, again, big warning flags that you test this CAREFULLY, since there's other software vendors out there who have OEM'ed our code and removing CBA8 can prove to be the downfall of 3rd party apps.


                          But the part that confuses me is why you installed a LANDesk agent on your base image, and now want to remove it ... surely if you don't want to have LANDesk on it, wouldn't it be better to not have it on in the first place? I'm just a bit unsure as to what exactly you're after here and why.


                          Ultimately, "does it really matter?" is what I wonder, since I'm assuming (and I may be wrong here?) that you'll install a new LDMS agent as part of your post-imaging installation steps somewhere? If so, you can really just get away with having deleted the "COMMON API\Unique ID" entries (those live in "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\LANDesk\Common Api\" and "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Intel\LANDesk\Common Api\", as you can also read here -- http://community.landesk.com/support/docs/DOC-22423 ).


                          Hope this helps you along some?


                          - Paul Hoffmann

                          LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead

                          • 10. Re: Uninstall for Windows 7 64-bit

                            This is helpful information Paul; thank you.


                            The agent was accidentally installed on my base image; I've put some work into it that I'd rather not lose and uninstalling the agent sounds like a better option for me than duplicating that work on an agent-free platform.

                            • 11. Re: Uninstall for Windows 7 64-bit
                              phoffmann SupportEmployee

                              Fair enough - I tend to be a bit more of a purist for thost sorts of things .


                              In any case, the above should help a bit, and the only "really crucial" bit that MUST be gone are the two COMMON API\Unique ID-keys in the respective registry paths. Everything else is ultimately harmless .


                              - Paul Hoffmann

                              LANDesk EMEA Technical Lead

                              • 12. Re: Uninstall for Windows 7 64-bit

                                I'm a purist as well; but as I've been flailing with this LDMS product for many months now I can't afford the time to follow my typical practices.




                                The two registry entries that you describe; are these removed with the /forceclean switch or do I need to manually remove these?

                                • 13. Re: Uninstall for Windows 7 64-bit

                                  I fully agree with this being really annoying "feature". Occasionally I have problems with Landesk agents on some PCs (like famous "cannot sync" portal issue discussed many times. /FORCECLEAN Switch does not remove service (which won't start as files are missing) or LANDESK folder in Program Files (x86), reinstalling agent on the top of what's already there doesn't solve the problem. I can't think of any benefit of leaving non-running service and those files behind and having to dig through registry etc manually is just waste of time.