Friday, July 17, 2009

Forcing IE 8 Uninstall

Need to uninstall Internet Explorer 8? The uninstall fails because files are missing that need to be copied to restore Internet Explorer 7? Here's a solution that I stumbled upon and that worked for me.

  1. Download and save the IE 7 installation file from Microsoft.
    • This is an .exe file. When you launch it, it expands the installation files in a temporary directory and then starts the install.
    • When the installation starts, you get an error message that there is already a later version of Internet Explorer installed on the system and that IE 7 cannot be installed.
    • If you click OK, the install stops and the temporary files disappear.
  2. Launch the IE 7 installation file.
  3. When the error message appears, leave it up and run the IE 8 uninstall routine.
  4. When the IE 8 uninstall routine does not find files it is looking for, select Browse and point it to the temporary folder created by the IE 7 install. That way the IE 8 uninstall routine will find most of the missing files.
  5. Several more missing files can be found by searching for them on the C: drive of the machine.
  6. In one case, I "found" a missing dll.000 file by copying a dll file on the C: with the same name and naming the copy dll.000.
  7. In this way I was able to successfully uninstall IE 8! Not unexpectedly, the resulting IE 7 was somewhat quirky, so I then launched the IE 7 installation file and had it do a "clean" or "complete" install which is without quirks.
Pretty cool!

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