I have a question on how to uninstall a SQL Server 2000 instance installation from a Windows 2000 cluster.


I have a question on how to uninstall a SQL Server 2000 instance installation from Windows 2000 cluster. I tried to use the setup program on the install CD, but I am not getting the option to uninstall when I run the setup program.

Let me give you brief scenario as what has happened:

  1. Windows 2000 cluster installed successfully.
  2. Installed SQL Server 2000 instance successfully.
  3. Created a new group and added all SQL-related resources to it.
  4. Decided to remove the Full Text Search resource from the new SQL group created above, as we are not using this service.
  5. I deleted the Full Text Search resource and said OK without realizing that this has dependency on the SQL server resource.
  6. This lead to deletion of SQL server, the SQL virtual IP, and SQL Virtual Name resources.
  7. I have tried to re-add each resource manually, but this doesn’t work. And now, I can’t even install SQL Server 2000.

Any suggestions to repair or uninstall SQL Server 2000 will be greatly appreciated.

Answer While I can’t say this with 100% confidence, I believe the registry on your server has become corrupted, and because of this, the uninstall option of the SQL Server Setup program believes that SQL Server is no longer installed, even though it is.

I had a similar problem once, where the registry got corrupted, and my “solution” was to completely reinstall Windows 2000, Windows clustering, and SQL Server clustering from scratch. This might seem a little radical, but it was the only option I felt comfortable with. While I have spent more than my share of time fiddling with the registry, I don’t like to on servers that are as mission critical as a SQL Server cluster.

Of course, if you have an image backup of your server before you installed SQL Server 2000, then you probably would be able to restore that backup and save you some time. But if you don’t have a backup, I would suggest you reload your software from the very beginning.

So how can you prevent this from happening again? As you may know, for some reason that only someone at Microsoft knows, when SQL Server 2000 instance is installed on a cluster, it automatically installs the SQL Server Fulltext resource. You don’t have a choice.

If you don’t plan to use this feature, don’t try to delete the resource, as you did, instead, do the following steps:

  • Start Cluster Administrator.
  • Display all of the SQL Server services on the right side of the screen.
  • Right-click on the “SQL Server Fulltext” resource, and choose “Properties.”
  • Select the “Advanced” tab from the SQL Server Fulltext Properties screen.
  • Deselect the checkbox next to “Affect the group.”
  • Click “OK.”
  • (Optional) Right-click on the “SQL Server Fulltext” resource, then choose “Take offline”.

By taking the above steps (except the last one), you have told the Cluster Service not to automatically failover all of the SQL Server resources should the Full-Text service fail for any reason. If it should fail, you will see a warning message in Cluster Administrator, but no other cluster resources will be affected. This is a very important step you should take, otherwise you might find your SQL Server services failing over for no apparent reason should the Full Text Service fail.

The last step, the one I call “optional,” can be done if you want to take this unused resource offline. Doing so will slightly reduce overhead on the SQL Server cluster. I describe this last step as optional because the amount of overhead it will save is minimal, and because it will cause the name of the group that includes this resource to to display a red “x” next to it, which may be disconcerting to some people, although it is no cause for worry.


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