Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Removing Remote Desktop

Since the remote desktop client 6.0 release candidate timed out a couple of days, I have been unable to access my servers remotely. I was getting a message saying that I need to install the updated full release. Unfortunately because i am also running the XP service pack 3 release candidate, the installer for the update for Remote Desktop will not run on my PC.

Normally I would have use add and remove programmes facility to remove this version of Remote Desktop and revert to the original version, however as this is a release candidate there isn't an option to uninstall. I knew that the 2 files that make up remote desktop are mstsc.exe and mstscac.dll , so in theory if i replace them with a copy from a machine running the older version of remote desktop it should be OK, but when ever these files are replaced manually they revert to the newer files automatically, even if completely deleted in safe mode.

After searching the microsoft sites and not finding an answer i resorted to some trawling of the internet and discovered a site called where i found some instructions for removing the remote desktop.

Go to C:\WINDOWS\$NtUninstallKB925876$\spuninst and run spuninst.exe. Once the new version is remove the older version will automatically return unless you manually uninstalled it, in which case just download it again from the microsoft site and reinstall it.

This provided two very useful lessons, firstly don't install pre release candidate on machines that you actively use, or you might find yourself needing to flatten it and rebuild from scratch (and avoid installing multiple pre release candidates on the same machine unless you have lots of time on your hands) and secondly if you know the kb (knowledge base) number for microsoft updates then you can uninstall them using the spuninst.exe file located in the corresponding folder in the hidden NtUninstall directory.