Windows Explored

Everyday Windows Desktop Support, Advanced Troubleshooting & Other OS Tidbits

Failed Java Uninstalls

Posted by William Diaz on October 23, 2013

After moving to Java 7 several months ago, this issue started plaguing us. During normal troubleshooting of Java applet-website issues techs would try to uninstall our custom Java 7 package, only to encounter: “There was a problem starting C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre7\bin\\installer.dll. The specified module could not be found.”


Up until recently, the fix was to run the Microsoft FixIt Utility to Fix problems with Programs that can’t be installed or uninstalled. Afterwards, we would then need to remove the stubborn registry entries that left the Program and Features application list populated with the now removed application by running the uninstall again. With the recent expiration of Java 7 update 25 and confusion from tier 1 support, there were several updates being done to the new JRE. In order to maintain a consistent software environment, I asked to have those updated JREs put back to 7.25. This also required uninstalling 7.25 on so many workstations that my head was left spinning because the process had to be done manually and I was the “go-to” person for the Java crisis. More importantly, at some point we would need to eventually update to a new JRE and likely want to remove the old one but not have a way to automatically uninstall the previous client with the uninstall broken.

After some web research, I found that the issue was with one of the custom actions in the Java msi, UninstallJRE:


This should be changed to:


Thanks to Keith Jones. Found this gem here:


3 Responses to “Failed Java Uninstalls”

  1. Michael Bailey said

    The problem continues with JRE 7 update 51 (64-bit). If you examine the msi with ORCA you will see under REGISTRY–>Registry9 contains the value… [INSTALLDIR]\bin\javaws.exe. Note that there is a unnecessary backslash after [INSTALLDIR]. This will cause errors.

  2. Daniel Sorlin said

    I usually just create a .mst and change in the table “RemoveFile” and change the Install Mode from 3 to 2 under Installer.dll. Then you can just apply the MSI and you will be able to install/uninstall normally.

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