Recently, I wanted to update my VMware Workstation version from 8.0.2 to version 8.0.4. In order to do this you must uninstall the older version of VMware workstation first. This is where the problems start to arise.
After a bit of prodding and preening, I found this VMware article:
Note the following:
This issue occurs when the Microsoft installer detects a problem with the installation process. This is not a VMware issue. (My emphasis)
There’s only one problem. I’m able to install and uninstall other programs with impunity. The ONLY one I can’t uninstall is VMware’s. More on this later.
So I end up following all of the instructions in the VMware article to NO AVAIL. Essentially a big waste of time.
Ultimately, I ended up performing the following to get back in business (note, changes to your registry can be detrimental…please backup your registry before performing and adds/deletes/changes):
- Found this VMware article (1308) and followed it. http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1308
- Following the article was NOT enough. Here’s the money fix:
- I,then, went into regedit and manually performed a search for “VMware Workstation”. Then I deleted any keys that referenced “VMware Workstation”. (You do have a backup of your registry before you try this, right?) That is, when you find the value of VMware workstation, delete the entire key above it.
- It’s imperative that you delete ALL of these registry keys you find as there is something that the VMware installer is querying and “thinks” is wrong. I suspect something to do with ProgramData as well as the Uninstaller paths, but have no proof.
- I HAD to reboot (I tried running the 8.0.4 installer and it didn’t work).
- Once rebooted, I ran the Workstation 8.0.4 installer (again) which proceeded to properly uninstall the 8.0.2 version.
- It worked!
- Upon the 8.0.4 installation I received some weird installer errors, clicked OK through them, and ultimately, the new version is running properly.
Now, back to Vmware’s comment that “This is not a VMware issue.”
This is poppycock in my estimation. There is clearly something in their programming of the MSI package that is screwy. There should be some better error handling as well as descriptives as to what is being interrogated at failure. I parsed through all the VMware logs i could think of and received NO direction as to the issue. I ran Process Monitor and Process Explorer as well to see if there was anything sneaky going on.
So if you find yourself in a bind, I hope these steps help you. They’ve worked on my workstation as well as another friend’s laptop. Please post here if you’ve had success or failure or have found the root cause of the issue.