How Am I Supposed to Uninstall a Program in Safe Mode if the Windows Installer Service Isn’t Running?!?

IMG_20140612_092942149_HDRSo, a client’s server is giving me agita — bluescreening without useful error codes and all that — and I need to uninstall some programs.

We boot into safe mode and we get some things (based on the Nullsoft installer) uninstalled, but when it comes to uninstalling things that rely on the Windows Installer service, we’re told we’re out of luck since the Installer Service can’t run in safe mode.

Useless!

Happily, there is a quick way around that, depending on which version of safe mode you’re in — “normal” or “with networking”

Open a Command Prompt with Administrative Credentials, and if you’re in the basic safe mode, run the following command:

REG ADD “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Minimal\MSIServer” /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D “Service”

If you’re in “with networking” you’ll need to run this command instead:

REG ADD “HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Network\MSIServer” /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D “Service”

then, a quick

net start msiserver

and you can install and uninstall in safe mode.

Huzzah!

(Oh, and turning off verifer.exe seems to have calmed the blue-screens down.)