Uninstalling SQL Server 2008/2008R2 Service Pack(s)

Uninstalling Just the Service Pack/CU without uninstalling the entire SQL Server Instance….!! Yes, A definite improvement, Starting SQL Server 2008. In SQL Server 2005 days  if you want to Uninstall a Service Pack, basically you’ve to uninstall the entire SQL Server Instance. In other words…we didn’t had Roll Back Capability on any Updates we install over our SQL Instance.  Let me explain with a simple Scenario…

You are running on SQL Server 2005 SP3 and because of “End of Support” announced by Microsoft, you decided to apply SP4 over it.  You were able to successfully patch the prod Instance with SP4, but all of a sudden your application breaks and users are screaming and you identified the reason – “patching”. Well,  you decided to fail over to your DR(BCP) site and meanwhile your plan is “rolling back your production Instance to SP3”  so that users and you as a DBA can take a peaceful nap! How do you achieve that??? Unfortunately you’ve to Uninstall your SQL Server and Install your SQL Server 2005 RTM and apply SP3 and restore all of your Databases…and all that hectic work, which really is a very painful process.

Fortunately, starting SQL Server 2008 MSFT offered us a great enhancement – we can Just Uninstall whatever Update we’ve Installed:) Yeyyyyy. So let’s see how to UnInstall Just your Service Pack without loosing your SQL Server Instance!

In this Post, I’m going to show you Uninstalling SQL Server 2008R2 SP1 and basically rolling back my Instance to RTM. As of now I’m running SQL Server 2008R2 SP1 as you can see in the below screenshot.

FYI…I’m on Win7 X64 machine. To Uninstall we’ve to go to “Control Panel” and “Programs and Features”  and you Will be seeing SQL Server 2008R2 SP1 as any other typical Program which you can Uninstall from Control Panel.

Note: We’ve to select View Installed Updates in order to see this item under your Installed Programs(You can see that highlighted in the below Screenshot.)

As you can see in the above screenshot, there is no SP1 listed.  See the below Screenshot once I clicked on View Installed Updates.

All we need to do is just Select that and Click on Uninstall Button or Just Right Click on it and Choose Uninstall. You’ll be automatically welcomed with SQL Server Installation Center as shown below.

Click Next and As you can see below, I’ve two Instances of SQL server 2008R2 SP1(PROD and DR) on this Machine. I’ll Choose only Prod Instance( you can see below)

Once you click on Next..It’ll do a file check for any outstanding issues which might prevent un installation, Once you passed the test, It’s matter of Just clicking “NEXT” and “REMOVE”….That’s it guys:).  After 4 minutes or so, I got a message “Uninstalled Succesfully” as shown below.

See the below Screenshot, my PROD Instance is back to RTM where as my DR Instance is still on SP1

Prestooooooooooo! Pretty Simple huh??

Hope this is Useful information!


13 thoughts on “Uninstalling SQL Server 2008/2008R2 Service Pack(s)”

    1. You should be able to. Look at your installation logs for clues on why your installation is failing.

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