SQL server Uninstall Fails

If the uninstallation fails, look for the root problem in the SQL Server SetupLog Files.

If the uninstallation fails, look for the root problem in the SQL Server SetupLog Files.
The log files are created by SQL Server Setup in a dated-time-stamped folder within %programfiles%\Microsoft SQL Server\Version number\Setup Bootstrap\Log
Version number is the SQL version number that is being installed by default. YYYYMMDD hhmmss is the format of the log folder name. The logs are created in the Temporary directory ‘ %temp%\sqlsetup*.log ‘, when Setup is run in unattended mode. All files in the log folder are archived into the Log.cab file in the log folder where they belong.

Summary.txt%programfiles%\Microsoft SQL Server\Version number\Setup Bootstrap\Log
Summary_<MachineName>_Date.txt%programfiles%\Microsoft SQL Server\Version number\Setup Bootstrap\Log\YYYYMMDD_hhmmss
Detail.txt%programfiles%\Microsoft SQL Server\Version number\Setup Bootstrap\Log\YYYYMMDD_hhmmss
Datastore%programfiles%\Microsoft SQL Server\Version number\Setup Bootstrap\Log\YYYYMMDD_hhmmss\Datastore
MSI Log Files%programfiles%\Microsoft SQL Server\Version number\Setup Bootstrap\Log\YYYYMMDD_hhmmss\<Name>.log
ConfigurationFile.ini%programfiles%\Microsoft SQL Server\Version number\Setup Bootstrap\Log\YYYYMMDD_hhmmss
SystemConfigurationCheck_Report.htm%programfiles%\Microsoft SQL Server\Version number\Setup Bootstrap\Log\YYYYMMDD_hhmmss
For unattended installations%temp%\sqlsetup*.log

The figures on the path The SQL version number that is being installed is the version number. As you can see in the above photo, we have a SQL 2017 setup installed, thus we proceeded to folder 140. If you’re using SQL 2016, go to folder 130, and if you’re using SQL 2014, go to folder 120.

Three basic phases are completed by SQL server setup :

  1. Verification of Global Rules: Ensures that the basic system requirements are met.
  2. Component update: Checks to determine if there are any updates available for the media being installed
  3. Action requested by the user: allows the user to choose and personalize features.

For a base SQL Server installation, this workflow produces a single summary log and either a single detail log or two detail logs when any upgrade, such as a service pack (SP), is installed alongside the base installation.

Aside from the above files, there are datastore files, which include a snapshot of the state for all of the configuration objects that the setup process is tracking, and are important for diagnosing configuration issues. For each execution phase, XML dump files were created and saved in the Datastore log subfolder of the time-stamped log folder.

The sections below discuss SQL Server Setup log files.

Summary.txt file


This summary file lists the SQL Server components discovered during Setup, as well as the operating system environment, command-line parameter settings, and the status of each MSI/MSP that was run.

The following sections make up the log:

  • a general overview of the execution
  • The properties and settings of the PC on which SQL Server Setup was executed
  • Features of SQL Server that were previously installed on the PC
  • Properties of the installation package and description of the installation version
  • During installation, runtime input parameters are presented.
  • The configuration file’s location
  • Results of the execution in detail
  • Global guidelines
  • The installation scenario has its own set of rules.
  • Rules that didn’t work
  • The file containing the rules report Location.


The summary.txt file can be found on location path %programfiles%\MicrosoftSQL Server\Version number\Setup Bootstrap\Log\.

You can search the summary text file for errors by using the terms “error” or “failed” in the search box.

Summary_<MachineName>_YYYYMMDD_HHMMss.txt file


The summary engine file looks like the summary file generated during the main workflow.


The Summary_<MachineName>_YYYYMMDD_HHMMss.txt file is found at location path %programfiles%\MicrosoftSQL Server\Version number\Setup Bootstrap\Log\<YYYYMMDD_HHMM>\.

Detail.txt file


Detail.txt is a text file that is created for the primary workflows, such as install/upgrade, and contains detailed information on the execution. The time when each step for the installation was initiated is used to construct the logs in the file. The text file explains the sequence in which the tasks were performed as well as their interdependencies.


The detail.txt file is found at location path %programfiles%\MicrosoftSQL Server\Version number\Setup Bootstrap\Log\<YYYYMMDD_HHMM>\Detail.txt.

The exception or error is recorded at the conclusion of this file if an error occurs during the Setup procedure. To locate the errors in this file, open it and look for the words “error” or “exception” at the conclusion of the file.

MSI log files


The MSI log files contain detailed information about the package installation process. They were formed during the installation of the specified package by MSIEXEC.

Types of format for MSI log files :

  • <Feature>_<Architecture>_<Interaction>.log
  • <Feature>_<Architecture>_<Language>_<Interaction>.log
  • <Feature>_<Architecture>_<Interaction>_<workflow>.log


The MSI log files are found at location path %programfiles%\MicrosoftSQL Server\Version number\Setup Bootstrap\Log\<YYYYMMDD_HHMM>\<Name>.log.

Finally, there is a summary of the execution at the conclusion of the file, which includes the success or failure status as well as properties. Search for “value 3” in the MSI file and compare the text before and after to discover the issue.

ConfigurationFile.ini file


The input settings specified during installation are stored in the configuration file. It allows you to restart the installation without having to manually enter the parameters. However, the configuration file does not save the account password, PID, or some settings. The required settings can be added to the file or provided via the Setup user interface or the command line. See Install SQL Server 2016 Using a Configuration File for further details.


The ConfigurationFile.ini is found at location path %programfiles%\MicrosoftSQL Server\Version number\Setup Bootstrap\Log\<YYYYMMDD_HHMM>\.

SystemConfigurationCheck_Report.htm file


The system configuration check report includes a brief summary of each rule that was executed as well as the status of the execution.


The SystemConfigurationCheck_Report.htm is found at location path %programfiles%\MicrosoftSQL Server\Version number\Setup Bootstrap\Log\<YYYYMMDD_HHMM>\.

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