cannot uninstall


New Member
Have XP. Cannot uninstall 6.0.8 2273 from Control Panel or anywhere else. Told need a file - source - msi. Have searched PC, don't have this file. Want to upgrade to 6.0.9. 6.0.8 very slow. Hope 6.0.9, which told is stable, will be better.

Have used Eraser free for years without a hitch. Suddenly 6.0.8 queers it all.

Please advise what I can do to uninstall
I think that you may have had a damaged 6.0.8 installation, and this could also have explained the slowness. Did you by any chance try to install Eraser 6 without uninstalling Eraser 5?

From my and other testing, 6.0.8 was not inherently slower than previous versions. But the upgrade to 6.0.9 is recommended, as it includes bug fixes.

There are two approaches to fixing a damaged installation. The first is just to try installing either 6.0.9 or 6.0.8 (if you still have the install file) over the existing installation. Right click on the Eraser tray icon in the taskbar and select 'Exit Eraser' before you do this. Chances are that this will not produce a properly working installation, but it may well provide you with a working uninstaller. Try uninstalling again.

If uninstall still will not work, do the following:
  • manually delete the Eraser folder in C:\Program Files;
  • use the Registry editor to delete the key HKCU\Software\Eraser;
  • delete the Task List file, the path to which in XP is %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Eraser6\Task List.ersx.
If any of this does not make sense to you, please ask again.

In both methods, then reboot before installing Eraser 6.0.9. For XP, you do (according to the guidance on the Eraser home page) need SP3 to install Eraser 6.

I hope this helps


Many thanks for your prompt, courteous and very clear reply, which I understand.

My only question is where do I find %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Eraser6\Task List.ersx? - Local settings, etc., I know about, but not the first % bit, or the last Task List.ersx.

I don't know now whether I uninstalled the previous version first. With Eraser, should an upgrade just install over the previous version? When I try to install version 9, it gives the same message about the missing resource file for version 8 as when I try to uninstall that version.

Thank you again

I thought that might be an issue. %USERPROFILE% is an environment variable, signifying a known but variable name Windows location, that points to your User folder. It is typically C:\Documents and Settings\{your user name}\ in XP.

For reasons I will not trouble you with, Eraser 6 does not install well if Eraser 5 is present on the machine. I prefer to uninstall even between different builds of Eraser 6.1. If there is any hint of a problem, it is better to do a full uninstall and reboot before starting again. Joel may need to consider how matters can be improved when he produces the release build of 6.2, but that is a long way off.

It sounds like the Windows Installer cache was purged (by a registry cleaner or the such). As David posted in the other thread, you can extract the MSI from the installer using 7-zip or WinRar.
Have uninstalled 6.0.8 and installed 6.0.9. No idea how I did it. Extracting the msi double dutch, I'm afraid. Ran 7-zip and with that no idea how to extract anything. Ran a 7zFM file and go lucky with that.

I am most grateful to you guys, but with respect, you really should spell things out, as I requested, step by step, instead of a throwaway line, extract msi, which you understand, but untutored people like me don't.
That's an opinion of Joel I don't really share, for much the reasons you mentioned, so I didn't actually refer to the .msi file.

The Windows Installer uses .msi files as the source for an installation. The Eraser installation file (which is a normal .exe file) basically contains two .msi files (one for 32 and one for 64 bit systems) and the code to work out which one your system needs, unpack it and send it to the Windows Installer. Compression and packaging programs like 7Zip can unpack the .msi files from the executable (just as if it were a zip or 7z file), and the user can then run them separately (just by double-clicking on them).

This is a perfectly straightforward procedure, but it is outside many users' sphere of knowledge (people need to have 7Zip or whatever installed, know how to use it, and know which .msi file they need) and also outside their comfort zone. I prefer to suggest that the .exe file is run instead. The .msi file that is then unpacked includes the uninstaller, and, even if the installation doesn't work, a subsequent uninstall and reinstall should fix things. At the end of the day, as you discovered, it should amount to the same thing.

Which is strange - the bootstrapper will clean up after itself before it exits. Hence I prescribed extracting the archive, since running it alone would not have been sufficient to get the MSI out.

But anyway, glad it works.