Recently I had some problems with Oracle reports working on my machine. So I decided to uninstall and reinstall Oracle Reports Server 6i. There is no option to remove the Reports Server from Windows Add/Remove Programs. So I ran the Oracle Installer that came with Oracle Forms and Reports. It is nice that Oracle provides an installer that can uninstall its software. However I found this program a bit confusing and ineffective. The installer lists all installed software (that the installer can remove). So I need select the software I want removed. I selected all the software, assuming that this would cover all of the Report Server. This is where my problems began.
The Oracle installer produced a number of error message on my machine. Some messages seemed clear enough. For example, a service was running that needed to be manually shut down before Oracle could proceed with the removal. Too bad the error message did not tell me how to shut down the service. I tried going to Windows Services. That did not seem to resolve the issue. Then there were other cryptic error messages. They seemed to imply that the selected software was either uninstalled of in a bad state. That does not help me much.
When I went as far as I could, I was hoping the Report Server was gone. No such luck. There was still a directory where the Report Server was installed. A lot of the files and subdirectories had been removed. But many more remained. I tried to delete the whole directory with Windows Explorer. This did not work. Some program or service was locking the executables in the bin directory. I resorted to Google for help. Turns out you can rename the binaries in the bin directory. But you just cannot delete them. I wanted to reboot Windows in safe mode, then delete the pesky files. However I was in a hurry so I skipped it.
Another place where I saw remnants of the Report Server after uninstalling was the Windows registry. The data is stored in HKLM\SOFTWARE\Oracle. I continued to see an Oracle home entry for the Report Server. Well at least I have full control over the registry with the Windows Regedit program. The only danger is that you need to know what you are doing or else you could make matter worse by hacking the registry. I just deleted the Oracle Home registry entry (mine was HOME1). I also decided to remove ORACLE_HOMES\ORACLE1. And I figured that I should decrement the HOME_COUNTER in ALL_HOMES. I really do not recommend this level of registry hacking. But I was desperate.
Finally I got to reinstalling the Reports Server. At first I brought the software up to patch 3b which mimics ours Production configuration. But I later found I needed patch 18 for everything to work correctly. What a nightmare. I sincerely hope the never version of Report Server work better during removal.
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