Monday, August 26, 2013

Manually Uninstall Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Server

I recently had a very weird experience installing Dynamics CRM 2011 server front end role. The front end server would start the install process and make the connection to the sql server. Midway through the install the sql connection was getting terminated, resulting in the following error:

Action Microsoft.Crm.Setup.Common.Update.DBUpdateAction failed.
A transport-level error has occurred when receiving results from the server. (provider: TCP Provider, error: 0 - The semaphore timeout period has expired.)


While the network team was troubleshooting this issue (it was a firewall/ port problem), I wanted to try the install one more time from the server. Unfortunately, the machine thought that Dynamics CRM 2011 was installed, even though the right folders and files have not been moved over. The config database also did not have an entry for the current server in its server list.

A bunch of registry entries got added, and trying to uninstall CRM by going to Add/ Remove Programs did not work. The only option I had was to try and remove Dynamics CRM 2011 server from that machine using a different approach.

From searching online, here are a couple of approaches that would have worked:

1. Using the FixIt tool from Microsoft Support (http://support.microsoft.com/mats/program_install_and_uninstall/)

2. Manually remove CRM by deleting files and registry entries- only applies to CRM 4.0. Following the steps in the KB article did get me to a place when I could try the install again. There were a few differences, primarily with the guid that was used in 4.0 vs the new one in CRM 2011, which is pretty easy to figure out. 

Note: KB article 946908 is specific to CRM 4.0, so there is no guarantee that the steps even if followed correctly will not cause issues later. 
My recommendation is to restore the server to an image before the CRM install, or rebuild the server, especially if you are using it for production.

Thanks for reading!

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