SBS 2008: Manually Uninstall Microsoft Search Server Express 2008

IMPORTANT! This will delete all your SharePoint Content!

If you have had the misfortune to try and install Microsoft Search Server Express 2008 (MSSX) onto Small Business Server 2008 you may have some difficulty removing it again. The two packages certainly do not make happy bedfellows.

I found the following method works in (desperate) circumstances where the uninstall routine fails to complete successfully:

  • Fully Backup Your Server before continuing!
  • Manually remove all the SharePoint related web sites using ISS Manager. These are: [1] SBS SharePoint; [2] SharePoint Central Administration v3; [3] Office Server Web Services
  • Stop ALL SharePoint Related Services. These include: WSS Tracing; WSS Timer; WSS VSS Writer; WSS Search; WSS Administration
  • Stop the “Office SharePoint Server Search” Service
  • Stop the “World Wide Web Publishing” Service
  • Delete ALL SharePoint Related Databases from SQL Server (using “SQL Server Management Studio Express”). They can be found within the “Microsoft##SSEE” and “OFFICESERVERS” Instances as follows: SharePoint_Admin_Content_xxx; SharePoint_Config_xxx; ShareWebDB; WSS_Content; WSS_Search_<ServerName>; ShareServices_Db_xxx
  • Using Add / Remove Programs, attempt to uninstall “Windows Search Server Express 2008”
  • Stop any SQL Server Services when prompted


Following a Successful Uninstall

Run the “SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard” to re-create a fresh (empty) SharePoint Installation.

If you have backups of your SharePoint Content (prior to installing Search Server 2008), I would imagine it is perfectly possible to now use those to restore your system to how it was before you attempted to install Search Server Express.

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