The MSI Failed VMware Uninstall – How to Fix in Windows OS

You may face this problem if you have the older version of the VMware Workstation. I faced the same issue when I tried to update the existing VMware workstation. “The MSI failed” error appeared while uninstalling the VMware.

Usually, when we update the VMware products to the latest version, it uninstalls the existing version and starts the upgrade process. Therefore, the uninstallation step should go smoothly to start the update.

The MSI failed VMware uninstall error is common due to the issue with the Windows OS. It is nothing to do with the VMware file or installation process. Here is the solution to fix the MSI failed on the VMware workstation while uninstalling, repairing, or updating on Windows client OS.

The MSI failed error VMware Uninstall

The Below Steps Did Not Help!

  1. I thought it was a problem with the installation .exe file, so I downloaded it and tried again.
  2. Uninstalling the existing version from the control panel returned the same error.
  3. Repairing the existing version from the control panel.
  4. Repairing the existing version by executing the same version of the installation .exe file (which will bring the same options to repair, modify and uninstall).
  5. Restart the computer several times between each above step.

So, What is Next?

I found a helpful article on VMware’s official site regarding this issue, making me think I’m not alone in this problem. According to the article, MSI failed while installing, updating, or uninstalling is a general issue with VMware products.

Windows OS temporary files in your local user profile are the reason for the error. Usually, any installation process in Windows OS extracts its files to a temporary location and runs the installation from there. Some programs leave these temp files and folders after the installation to use in the future.

VMware says, “This is not a VMware issue”

Steps to Fix The MSI Failed VMware Uninstall Error

1) Go to the ‘Temp’ directory, located under the user (profile folder) who does the installation/uninstallation.

Type %TEMP% in the Run or search field in Windows 7 or 10/11.

2) Ensure none of the VMware installation or uninstallation processes are running. Select and Delete all files and folders in this location.

Delete temp files in Windows

3) Restart the computer and try now. It should work, and you should be able to upgrade the VMware workstation now.

The original VMware KB article on The MSI failed issue is available here.

You can follow the other steps mentioned in the above VMware URL if deleting the Temp folder contents did not help.

Remember, it is just a Windows OS problem, so do not try anything else on VMware workstation settings. It is also best practice to perform full disk cleanup, scan the disks, and periodically delete unwanted temp folder content on your Windows computer.

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

16 thoughts on “The MSI Failed VMware Uninstall – How to Fix in Windows OS”

  1. I’m using windows 8 dev build and had a similar issue. Silverlight, VMware, and Virtual box were all failing to install. Same issue as in this article.

    I had to do a few things to make it work. I took ownership of the temp folder, and I went up to appdata and saw that it was set as read only (….well some kinks are expected in a dev build but…really?) I took off the read only and applied that to all the sub folders. Then I deleted all the temp data as stated above. And now all those programs install just fine.

    Now this was for windows 8, but perhaps someone is having a similar problem with 7.

    Reply
  2. Nothing here or anywhere else worked for me, until I tried Revo Uninstaller and chose the “deepest” uninstall option. Now my uninstall of 8.0.3 works and installation of 8.0.4 works!

    Reply
  3. Same here, nothing worked until I used MS Fixit to uninstall 8.0.3, downloaded the installer for 8.0.4 from the VMware site and ran that.

    Reply

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