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I have installed Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express on my system at work, and I have run into a problem with the installer for the software we develop. Prior to installing VS2010 (which installs Windows Installer 4.5) it worked fine. I cannot reproduce the issue on any machines in the office that do not have VS 2010 installed. How can I uninstall the Windows Installer update? I have already uninstalled all components of Visual Studio 2010, but the 4.5 update still remains on my XP system. Any ideas?

Add/Remove Programs does not list KB942288 (Windows Installer 4.5) as a component installed on my system, this leads me to believe that the package installed by VS2010 has a different KB ID.

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I need to absolutely confirm that it is a compatibility issue with 4.5 by running the installer on a system running 3.1. And we have a customer that needs a quick workaround. The installer uses WiX 3.0 (supposed to be compatible with Windows Installer 4.5), and the issue is not present in Windows 7 machines, so more testing is required before attempting to implement a fix. – Alexander Miles Aug 22 '11 at 15:06
Currently I'm on XP so can't give you screen shot but I think you can go through Control Panel>Program and Feature and then you will see the list of your program installed and at the right side pane see the `Windows Update' and see when you installed it and then select and uninstall it. If the update is not showing there then you have to restore the system. – avirk Aug 22 '11 at 15:11
I'd be surprised if you didn't already have Windows Installer 4.5 on your system. Isn't it pushed as a critical update through Windows Update? – afrazier Nov 30 '11 at 21:53

I believe that the installation of VS2010 uses the administrative install method so that an application can install without the 4.5 version already there - it does not install a 'full' version.

Administrative installation

An administrative installation creates an uncompressed source image for a product, typically to be used for installing or running an application from a network location. An administrative installation is not a typical installation, in that it does not create any shortcuts, register COM servers, create an Add or Remove Programs entry, and so on. Often an administrative installation enables a user to install the product in such a way that its features run from the uncompressed installation source."

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

As it turns out, it ended up being an issue with a third party licensing utility that is installed during our installation process. The issue indeed was only present on machines with Windows Installer 4.5, but upgrading the third party software to the latest version "fixed" the issue.

Not really sure how WI 4.5 could have caused this since the third party installer does not use the Windows Installer, but I guess that's what you get when you use 4 year old software because the company doesn't want to pay for an upgrade, haha.

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