Thursday, August 18, 2011

Uninstall AutoCAD 2011 via Configuration Manager

Whilst trying to fix a problem with a System Center Configuration Manager (aka "ConfigMgr") deployment package for a customer, I ended up building a new machine.  The package now consists of two-scripts for removing AutoCAD 2011, one of which is the "unsupported" script from Autodesk.  Since their script works just fine, but isn't built to run "silent" or "unattended", I had to do some minor modifications, and rather than be greedy and horde it for myself, I decided to post it for anyone else that still reads my blog.

Some useful explanation:

  • I use two scripts: a .CMD and a .VBS. 
  • The .VBS is modified from the original provided by Autodesk (at the URL in the first paragraph above).
  • The changes to the .VBS are:
    • I cleaned up the code to use consistent Pascal-case formatting
    • I cleaned up the indention to be more consistent
    • I changed the "basic" UI level to "silent"
    • There is NO warranty or guarantee, etc. provided by myself - do not call me if you hit a problem unless you want to share a correction I can roll back into it for everyone to benefit from (I always give due credit to such changes)
  • The .CMD file calls the .VBS and then performs additional tasks not performed by the .VBS:
    • Removing Design Review 2011
    • Removing leftover material and image libraries, and FARO
    • Cleaning up leftover files and folders

A few thoughts on "backing up custom files":

  • I firmly believe that backing up user-custom files is not the responsibility of IT folks.  We have enough stupid crap to deal with (don't even get me started with "stupid user" stories).
  • If you have custom files on your desktop computer, and you are made aware of a forthcoming upgrade roll-out that will likely blow out those custom files: too bad.
  • I prefer uninstalls that clean all the shit out.  Period.  Leave nothing behind.  Kind of how the Romans dealt with cleaning up, during their good times.  After 15 years of dealing with issues arising from conflicts with leftover crap, I realized that I wasted more time trying to mend those conflicts than when I simply wiped it all and re-installed the new version from scratch.  The amount of time saved has, so far, been roughly 50 percent.
  • If users want to restore/retain their cute little ribbon buttons, toolbars, paletts and whatever, fine.  They can do it.

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