Howto: Windows Desktop Search 3.01 removal methods

Many, many admins found Windows Desktop Search (WDS) 3.01 deployed throughout their networks via WSUS without their knowledge or approval (see Robert’s screenshots of his rules) in late October, 2007. The problem with WDS is that once installed, it begins indexing the contents of workstations and servers alike, causing machines to slow down under the load.

WDS, also known as KB 917013, was deployed according to these reasons posted on the WSUS Product Team Blog. Regardless of the justifications put forth by Microsoft, legions of network administrators are demanding Microsoft release an automated un-installation tool for WDS. While Microsoft has yet to give in to consumer demand, they were kind enough to post these three ways of removing WDS:

  1. Add/Remove Programs
  2. Using spuninsnts: %windir%\$NtUninstallKB917013$\spuninst\spuninst.exe /q /promptrestart
  3. Using System Restore on Windows XP (not available on Windows Server 2003).

Thanksfully some resourceful admins have posted the following methods for automated, remote removal:

Powershell script from PhishThis!

AD Computer Startup GPO script from Susan

Uninstall INF from Andrew

spuninst.exe with psexec from Michael, who also details WDS’s impact on Office programs

MsiExec.exe solution using GUID from anonymous

MsiExec.exe solution using KB917013.msi from Jie-Feng

VBscript from Rems

VBscript from econ

Logon Script from DenyAll

Also note that the WSUS Program Manager is calling this a “publishing process error” rather than taking responsibility for releasing shoddy software.

2 Responses to “Howto: Windows Desktop Search 3.01 removal methods”

  1. Roads Says:

    Google Desktop Search is pretty hard to eliminate completely from your system, as well.

    It just hangs on in there with its directory of your files, no matter how often you try to remove it. Kind of worrying if you’re trashing your PC.

  2. 21 November - First Look at the Web « oldephartteintraining Says:

    […] How to: Windows Desktop Search 3.01 removal methods […]

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