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On a Windows 7 64-bit desktop, there is a program on the Programs and Features list (Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Programs and Features) that refused to uninstall. The error obtained is:

 Error 1723. There is a problem with this Installer package.
 A DLL required for this install to complete could not be run

I suspect filer were deleted or corrupted. The big problem is that the program refused to install itself over the broken version.

So how to I manually clean up the list of installed program?

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7 Answers 7

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It depends on how the program is detecting that it is already installed.

The programs showing in the Programs and Features list are generated from the registry keys under: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

The program may be looking elsewhere in the registry, or looking for a file on disk, in order to determine if it is already installed.

You can use Process Monitor (ProcMon) from Sysinternals to see which files and reg keys it is poking at when it refuses to cooperate with you.

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Microsoft makes a tool available for fixing program installation and uninstallation issues. It's available from here:

http://support.microsoft.com/mats/program_install_and_uninstall

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That page is dead now. Basically the body of the page is blank. –  Heptite Oct 3 at 0:18
1  
@Heptite: It looks fine to me. Perhaps the site was having issues when you visited? –  Tweek Oct 4 at 6:03

Here are two cases with a little different solution each:

  1. The program (in the form of file or folder) you are trying to uninstall came with your computer upon purchase.

  2. The program (file or folder) you are trying to uninstall was either you installed , installed without you knowledge by someone else.

Your strategy in both cases is:

  • Reinstall the same software to make it in complete shape (a missing or corrupt file in the program won't let you uninstall).
  • Reboot your computer.
  • Uninstall the program.
  • Reboot again.

Solution to case 1:

  1. Open StartHelp & Support.
  2. Type software and hardware reinstallation and select software program re-installation".
  3. Follow the wizard's instructions.
  4. Reboot your computer.
  5. Open StartControl PanelPrograms & Features
  6. Locate the program you want to uninstall and right-click it with your mouse.
  7. Select Uninstall.
  8. Reboot your computer again.

Solution to case 2:

  1. Visit a search engine (e.g., Google).
  2. Locate the company's website where you can download exactly the same software.
  3. Download and reinstall the software.
  4. Reboot your computer.
  5. Open StartControl PanelPrograms & Features
  6. Locate the program you want to uninstall and right-click it with your mouse.
  7. Select Uninstall.
  8. Reboot your computer again.
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I think just cleaning up will not really change the problem with the program. You can try ccleaner http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/features and let it remove the list entry, but you would still want to try and clean the registry by hand. Go and look for the keys of the program in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\YourProgram or if you run a 32bit app on 64bit OS in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432Node\YourProgram You may try reinstall it afterwards and then cleanly uninstall. I would suggest you let ccleaner perform a registry cleanup afterwards.

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That's a neat program and I let clean out lots of things but unfortunately it failed to remove the offending program with the same error as Windows. –  Itai Mar 16 '12 at 17:43

The Installer gives you a Path for the File... just pick one part of the Temp folder with the random numbers and letters and search for it in the regeditor... delete all entrys (the whole folder) that you find. I had to do it for the looks and colorista.msi so it took a few minutes

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Hello and welcome to SuperUser. Do you have any source from where you can give credit to your answer? –  Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Mar 1 '13 at 18:45

Had a program where none of the above options would work.

Ended up dumping the whole registry, looking for its name in it and found it here: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\

To make my life easier, just ended up using Revo Uninstaller to remove it.

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Navigate through the registry searching for "AppName". It will take a while, but you'll find mostly all the entries related to the program.

After that, use CCleaner to perform a registry clean. And then reinstall / uninstall (again) the app using the MSI installer file.

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