JSI Tip 7074. How can I remove Windows 2000 SP4 if I cannot start Windows?

If you installed Windows 2000 SP4 with the Archive Files option, and subsequently need to remove, you would normally use the Control Panel / Add/Remove Programs tool. If, however, you cannot currently start Windows, you can remove it from the Recovery Console:

01. Start your computer with Setup floppy disks or the Windows CD-ROM.

02. At the Welcome to Setup screen, press R to repair a Windows installation.

03. Press C to start the Recovery Console.

04. Type the installation number of the instance that needs SP4 uninstalled and press Enter.

05. Type the Administrator password and press Enter.

06. Type chdir $ntservicepackuninstall$\spuninst to switch to the uninstall folder, or switch to the non-standard location where the service pack uninstall folder is located.

07. Type batch spuninst.bat and press Enter.

08. When spuninst.bat completes, type exit.

09. Log on with administrator credentials and use the Control Panel / Add/Remove Programs tool to Change/Remove the Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 item. This runs spuninst.exe to uninstall the SP4 registry entries and remove the SP4 item from the Add/Remove Programs list.

NOTE: The above procedure is for emergency uninstalls only. Use step 09 above to do a normal uninstall if Windows starts. Spuninst.exe will remove the archive (the \WINNT\$NtServicePackUninstall$ folder), restore the files to their pre-SP4 state, uninstall any SP4 registry entries, and remove the item from the Add/Remove Programs list.

NOTE: If you have the \WINNT\$NtServicePackUninstall$ folder and are not yet ready to remove it, you should open a CMD prompt and type rename \WINNT\$NtServicePackUninstall$\Spuninst\Spuninstall.bat Spuninst.txt and press Enter. This will prevent users from accidentally running the uninstall. If you need to run the emergency uninstall from the Recovery Console, the batch command will work perfectly well as batch spuninst.txt.

NOTE: If you never intend to uninstall SP4, delete the \WINNT\$NtServicePackUninstall$ folder, and use tip 34 to remove the Add/Remove Programs entry.

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