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Link to more information about the Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooting Tool

Link to more information about the Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooting Tool

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There is a new general-purpose installation troubleshooting tool called the Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooting Tool that has been available on the Microsoft support site for a little while, and I want to post some information about this tool to help make it easier for people to find it.

This tool is conceptually similar to the .NET Framework cleanup tool, but it is more generic and can be used to clean up any MSI-based installation on a computer.  It also performs more robust back-up steps prior to cleaning up in case you need to roll back to a previous state.

Where to download the Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooting Tool

You can find more information about the Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooting Tool and download it from the following locations:

Summary information about the tool

The Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooting Tool can be used to automatically diagnose problems that can prevent installing and uninstalling programs on your computer.  It can help resolve some errors that prevent programs from uninstalling, installing or updating correctly.  Here is a list of issues that this tool is currently able to fix:

  • Resolves some problems that can prevent programs from being successfully uninstalled (which can block re-installations and update installation).
  • Removes an incorrect registry key that can cause some installers to fail on 64-bit operating systems.
  • Fixes corrupted patch data in Windows Installer registry keys.

This tool is designed as a last resort for cases where install, uninstall, repair or patch installation did not succeed for unusual reasons. It is not a substitute for the standard uninstall procedure.  You should use only use this tool to uninstall a program if the program fails to uninstall using the entry in the Programs and Features control panel.

More details about how the tool works

The Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooting Tool does the following behind the scenes when you use it to uninstall a program:

  • Creates a system restore point prior to removing program files and registry entries.  This restore point can be used to return the computer to the state prior to any action taken by the tool.
  • Makes back-up copies of all files and registry entries that it will remove to a folder under c:\MATS\<ProductCode>.
  • Backs up files in sub-folders that correspond to the system drive letters.  For example: c:\MATS\<ProductCode>\FileBackup\c\...
  • Backs up registry information in an XML file. 
  • Creates a PowerShell script that can be used to automatically restore file and registry information deleted by the tool.  The PowerShell script will be located at C:\MATS\<ProductCode>\RestoreYourFilesAndRegistry.ps1, and you can double-click on it to run it if you have PowerShell installed.
  • Stores additional information in the registry about actions that it has taken.  This information can be found at the following location:


    The most useful piece of information stored at this location in the registry is the return value received when MATS attempted to run msiexec /x to uninstall the product.

The Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooting Tool requires Windows Installer product codes in order to know what file and registry information to remove from the computer.  For programs that are listed in the tool UI, the product code will appear as a tool tip when you mouse over the product name.  If you choose the Not Listed option in the tool UI, you can use a tool like MsiInv to determine the product code.

  • Hi Aaron,

    is this tool the successor of msicuu2.exe - does it provide the same functionality? Does it also resolve SXS problems seen in CBS.log (e.g. ERROR_SXS_COMPONENT_STORE_CORRUPT or others). We often have a lot of trouble with SXS issues when installing MS components at out customers.



  • Hi Chris - Yes, this tool is a replacement for msicuu2.exe.  There is a note in the knowledge base article at support.microsoft.com/.../2438651 that mentions that tool.

    This tool only resolves MSI installation issues.  For SXS issues, the best option I know of is the System Update Readiness Tool described at support.microsoft.com/.../947821.

  • I tried to run the tool on my Vista machine but get an error message stating that required Microsoft Fix-it components could not be installed. There is no error code shown.

    Does the tool require network access? I'm behind a corporate firewall so this might be the cause.

  • Hi Sascha - I talked to the team that created this tool, and they sent me the following information about this scenario:

    If you download the tool from a location that's not behind a firewall, you can click the Advanced option link, then click the Download button.  This will allow you to run the tool in an offline scenario.  The tool will download all the components that it needs and you can copy them to a USB stick or an internal network share.

  • i want a microsoftfixit product code ??? plz give me

  • Hi Moiz - I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what you're asking for.  I don't know what a fixit product code is.  Could you please provide more details about the exact problem you're seeing and I'll see if I can help?

  • Hi! I have the same problem as moiz. When it gets to the option to choose which program to uninstall, if you pick not listed, it asks for a product code of the program you wish to install? I myself am at a loss here, searching for an answer. Any help would be appreciated....

  • Hi Owen - You can use steps like the ones at blogs.msdn.com/.../487096.aspx to find the product code for the product you are trying to uninstall.

  • it looks like this tool disappeared! support2.microsoft.com/.../program_install_and_uninstall has nothing on the page! I received an error (code 1603) when Skype started and wanted to update. Followed the uninstall protocols (no longer appears in control panel) and tried again, with no luck. Anyone know where to find this tool? lynne m b at a o l dot com

  • Hi lynne - I'm seeing the same problem when I try to access that page.  I don't know of any other locations to download this tool.  I've sent email to the people I know who worked on that tool to see if they can help fix this link.

    In the meantime, you might want to check out the Skype support site at https://support.skype.com/en/ to see if there is any information there to help with this Skype installation problem.

  • Hi lynne - Sorry for the delay.  The problem with the link at support2.microsoft.com/.../program_install_and_uninstall has been fixed, and it is working for me now.  If you get a chance, can you please try again and confirm that it is working for you too?

  • A couple weeks went by, and skpe figured out how to install itself. now, it just won't connect! thankfully it's on another computer when i need it, and get around to following up on the new error. thanks for your reply.

  • THis fixit - is taking very long on my system - for some reason it uses all of my RAM most of the time - It has been going for a few hours (2.5) already.  -  How long should I persist before I abandon. -- : ) happy new year 2015

  • Hi Gavin - I talked to the developers of this tool, and they haven't heard any reports of this type of behavior yet.  Can you post a screenshot of the UI so we can see how far the tool got before it hung like this?  Also, can you export and upload the registry data from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MATS and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\MATS if either or both of those keys exist on your PC?

  • Thank you for your reply. I left the machine running over night. The Characteristics were very low ram avail and low processor usage. Under task manager processes the relevant processes were still active, and this is the reason why I left it run. My virtual memory settings were standard, that is system managed. The process was still running this morning. I left it run but fiddled as I tried to get a screen shot. The memory was so low that this was just not going to happen. The message in the task window was 'attempting to resolve problems with Itunes' with the progress indicator still active. I noticed under the active processes that one was using high Memory something in the order of 221568. Just much higher than anything else. This value did fluctuate as the process was working. Eventually after fiddling some time the laptop froze hard. I rebooted and discovered that Itunes had gone.  Below is a cut an paste of the first registry key requested. The second key requested does not exist.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00







    "msiexec -x"="1603"



    The laptop has an i5 Processor with 3 gb of Ram and a 64bit installation - Its a good couple of years old and well used, however the general operation seems unproblematic.

    I hope this helps - in any event problem solved.

    Thanks for your concern

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