Quick Windows Uninstallations

by Paul Bates (modified: 2008 Oct 07)

This blog entry is only for those Windows user out there. It's concerning tips and tricks for the EiffelStudio Windows Installers.

Uninstalling faster is something we've got tagged for the future (likely in the form of a workaround against MSI) but as it stands we have nothing in place to circumvent the procedures MSI takes to perform and uninstallation. MSI, although somewhat antiquated and horrible to work with - everything is a database table entry, even live UI manipulation - it works and does some things really well. One of the install procedures is to check every file installed for removal applicability. This comes in the form of checking post-installation modifications as well as write access. It's this process that makes the EiffelStudio installer drag when it comes to uninstallation. Our $ISE_EIFFEL/library folder contains a scant 10,000 items, all of which have to be checked and recorded by the installer. After this process this files are moved before removal, this process to ensure a user-cancel uninstall will rollback and leave the installation as was prior to uninstallation. Both of these mechanism provide a vital role in the uninstallation process but leaves us waiting, and waiting to install the next build of EiffelStudio.

Forget the MSI uninstallation procedure, make DELETE your friend. It's a simple as that, press SHIFT+DELETE on the installed root folder to purge the files instead of having the installer do it for you. Granted, any of your modifications will be lost, but 6.2 introduced measures to ensure you shouldn't be modifying the installation anyway. Now run the uninstaller from the Windows Control Panel's Add and Remove Programs - Or, hit WIN+R and type appwiz.cpl to shortcut that navigation procedure, alternatively just Launchy). In about 10-20 second EiffelStudio will be gone from the programs list.

Now go out and install the lastest build. There's a bunch of new features and bug fixes.

Hold up, just wait... We've actually decided to deprecate a number of Visual C/C++ compilers to make life easier building EiffelStudio as well as fixing a number of issues surrounding the support for older MS Visual C/C++ compilers. From now on only Visual Studio 2005 and better or any version of the Windows SDK (not to be confused with the older and never supported Platform SDK) is supported. If you happen to have one of the deprecated compilers, we'll let you know when you go to install.

On of the goals of the 6.3 release was to ensure a pleasant, trouble free install experience. If this is not the case for you then please speak up. We are on the fast track to pushing 6.3 into the final release stages for our scheduled November (Fall) release.

  • Peter Gummer (15 years ago 28/4/2009)

    It's not so fast in EiffelStudio 6.4

    Things seem to have changed a bit in the six months since you posted the above tip, Paul. I installed EiffelStudio 6.4.78090 a while ago, and today I'm upgrading to 6.4.78382. It won't let me reinstall over the top, as usual, so I uninstalled 6.4.78090 using the above procedure. It worked, but not quickly. Running the installer from Control Panel still took more than three minutes. It seems that Shift+Deleting the EiffelStudio directory didn't speed it up much.

    - Peter