PC crashed during install - some components partially installed and cannot be uninstalled. Reinstall not possible due to "boot-loop" on WIN 10

Hi all,

I recently purchased new Hardware and after installing Windows 10 I was installing Sophos, unfortunately my PC then bluescreened.

Now I am stuck with a partially installed Sophos Software that I cannot deinstall.

  • Sophos Network Threat Protection and Sophos System Protection Show up as installed Windows applications, but when I want to uninstall them it cannot find the respective package (usually located under: C:\ProgramData\Sophos\AutoUpdate\Cache\decoded\ssp64\, I'm guessing.
  • I have some entries in the registry corresponding to the Windows app view.
  • Whenever I run the installer, the installer extracts and the moment I click on "Next" it will tell me that there are updates pending or soemthing and that I need to reboot. Restarting doesn't help though - regardless of whether I delete the temporary files or not.
  • There are no Windows updates pending and no other anti-virus software is installed.

How can I either re-install successfully or remove the faulty Installation first so I can install anew?

 

I really hope you can help me.

Regards

Zyl

  • Hello Zyl,

    how recent is recently? While you probably can work around the issue and eventually finish the install (which Sophos is this, BTW - Central?) it'll likely not be clean. I'd rather install Windows from scratch, then try with Sophos again.

    Christian

  • In reply to QC:

    Hiya,

    recently means it's a few days old. But of course I am just about done Setting everything up. Another reinstall would mean another evenings work and I don't have many of those lately so I am reluctant to jump on board with your suggestion. It's Sophos Endpoint Security that I was trying to install locally via the installer. 

    Would it be possible to edit the Windows install reg keys to a different value to make Windows think they are installed or not installed at all? Alternatively, would it be worth a shot to completely delete everything I can find that looks like it says Sophos (registry, temp, programdata, etc.)?

    Thanks and best regards

    Zyl

  • In reply to Zylinder hut:

    Hello Zyl,

    delete everything
    won't work, dunno why the notion that you can "remove" a product by deleting everything with the product's or vendor's name in the path still persists.

    Anyway, there's a tool - Fix problems that block programs from being installed or removed - that implements your first idea. Please note that it does not uninstall. While after its use the Installer, consulting its database, determines the product has never been installed and would follow the first-time workflow there's no guarantee that a) the package doesn't perform additional checks that fail (e.g. certain files/folders already present) and more important b) there are no conflicts with the already installed pieces.

    Christian

  • In reply to QC:

    Hi Christian,

    QC
    dunno why the notion that you can "remove" a product by deleting everything with the product's or vendor's name in the path still persists.

    I'm guessing that is because it works _well enough_ in most cases, obviously some software is more suited for this way of "uninstalling" than other. If you have a reading Suggestion for me on this Topic, I'd be glad to read through it to learn more about the pitfalls or unseen damage of this way.

    But I admit that it was a very lazy suggestion on my part, looking for the easy way out. I re-installed Windows just now and installed Sophos successfully a few minutes ago, as I trust you know a lot more about this than I do :)

    Thanks for helping me out and please post a link if you have one at hand regarding the deinstallation != deleting notion.

    Zyl

  • In reply to Zylinder hut:

    Hello Zyl,

    some software is more suited
    more or less correct, strictly speaking the software has to be designed and authored to support this kind of "uninstall". This is possible if the application sits "on top" of the OS and doesn't have any side effects. Now think of a software the pre-processes scripts (.cmd, .bat., vbs., and so on). If applicable it does its magic but eventually it calls one of the Windows scripting engines. If you simply remove it (whether together with its file extension association or not) you'd not be able to run scripts by double-clicking them, worse - computer startup scripts would fail to run. Installation can (or has to) be more than just the addition of objects, especially if the product integrates with the system.
    Thus if a product/vendor doesn't explicitly make mention of deleting being an alternative you shouldn't try it.

    If a product uses the Windows Installer a lot of information is recorded in the registry including the state of the installation. This information isn't tagged with the product's name, so it's left behind when you e.g. delete "everything Sophos" and subsequently the product might refuse to install. There's a Fix-It to remove this information but OTOH the utility does not perform an uninstall. Thus even a combination of the Fix-It and a "manual delete" doesn't necessarily result in a clean state of the system.

    Christian