I got a call late one night on the weekend. We were planning a rollout of a few software releases on the weekend. One of the system administration team found problems with our install. The install came up with an error stating Uninstallshield was already running. Nobody else could duplicate the problem, even when they tried to replicate the sys admin’s environment. The good thing was that the sys admin was using a virtual environment. He could restore back to the state where he could replicate the problem at will.

A second attempt at installation makes the problem go away for the sys admin. An uninstall prior to the first install also makes the problem go away. My recommendation was for them to just rollout an uninstall plus install. The sys admin team stated that they were not in a position to do that at this late stage in the game. Then there was a lot of discussion how similar problems happened in previous rollouts.

At this point the discussions went on tangents about whether the prior problems were the same as the current ones. I tried to get everyone to stick to verifiable facts. Theories would only put us in danger of talking a lot and accomplishing little. If sys admin could not do an uninstall first, I just recommended that they go through with the install. The worst that could happen was that some installs would not work.

The sys admin guy who found the problem thought the issue might be with the .NET framework. We do install version 2 of the .NET framework during our install. This was for legacy purposes and was not required by any of the apps installed. If we have time to work this issue, I would first have the install be modified to remove installation of .NET. I would also remove any piece that attempts to first automatically do an uninstall of the previous version during the install.