Uninstall the VMM Agent from Server Core

I found myself with a weird problem this morning.

Most of the time I manage my virtualization environment with System Center Virtual Machine Manager.  However because of a client project I have re-implemented System Center Essentials 2010, which has most of the VMM components that I use integrated into it. 

In order to add virtualization hosts to SCE you have to ‘Designate a Host’.  I clicked on that and selected my HP ProLiant hosts.  Unfortunately it took a couple of seconds before reporting an error that said that an incompatible VMM Agent was already installed on the box.

With System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008R2, when adding hosts you have the ability to take over hosts that had previously been members of other VMM environments.  However I expect that also applies to compatible agents.  It didn’t take long to figure out I needed to uninstall the VMM Agent from my existing hosts manually.

My ProLiant ML-350 has a full install of Windows Server 2008 R2.  My ProLiant DL-585 has a Server Core install, which means uninstalling the agent has to be done manually.  It looks a lot harder than it has to be… on my server it is:

MsiExec.exe /I {049FF35D-4F8D-4DA0-A9EF-D7142186DBDF}

No problem, huh?  Of course that GUID is unique to each installation.  Fortunately there’s a great ‘cheat’ that is going to make your life easier.

1) Launch the Registry Editor, and navigate to HKLM-SOFTWARE-Microsoft-Windowsimage

2) Find the term System Center Virtual Machine Manager.  You will have to find the right one – there will be several instances of it.  One of them will have on the same key a String called Uninstall String.  Open that up, and select the entire string.

3) Paste the entire string into the command prompt and press Enter.

Wait a minute or two… but that’s it!  There’s nothing left to do.  It’s that simple.  Now I am able to Designate my Host without a problem, and System Center Essentials will install its own VMM agent.

Happy virtualizing, and have a great week-end! -M

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