Uninstalled Microsoft SQL Server but components have been left behind?

Article by Joe Medeiros, CSWE updated August 24, 2017


In some cases, when you uninstall Microsoft SQL Server, some components may be left behind. This could prevent the proper re-installation of Microsoft SQL Server, or interfere with its normal operation. As an example, a SOLIDWORKS PDM Administrator may encounter connection issues, when attempting to access the SQL Server. After running a ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) to determine the cause of these connection issues, the Admin notices multiple instances of the same SQL instance.

To remedy this issue, these orphaned components can be manually removed, as follows.

  1. First, if you have already added documents to your vault, make sure you back-up your SQL database, through SQL Management Studio. Also back-up the Archive, as well as the Archive Settings.
  2. If SQL is installed, uninstall it. If you are unsure on how to do this, first see if you can recruit the services of someone who is familiar with managing SQL. If this is not possible, there are a number of articles in the Microsoft Forums to guide you through this process. The following link is an example, of one of these articles. Uninstall an Existing Instance of SQL Server (Setup)
  3. Delete the directory, C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server.
  4. Run regedit from Windows search or a CMD prompt.
  5. Rename or remove the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>Software>Microsoft>Microsoft SQL Server. For 64 bit operating systems, also remove the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>Software>Wow6432Node>Microsoft SQL Server.
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Joe Medeiros, CSWE

Joe Medeiros is a SOLIDWORKS and PDM Certified Expert. He has been helping SOLIDWORKS users with training, mentoring and implementations since 1998. He combines industry experience with a thorough understanding of SOLIDWORKS products to assist customers in being successful. He shares his experience and expertise through blogs; one of which has been incorporated into the SOLIDWORKS Essentials training manual.