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We are trying to uninstall and re-install a 2008R2 instance. We have uninstalled the database engine but when we tried to re-install it we got the error "Original instance id\name in use".

The instance is on a VM machine (no cluster). Unfortunately there is another (production) instance on the same machine.

The steps taken were as follows:

  1. Back up the databases
  2. Uninstall the instance
  3. Reboot
  4. Attempt re-install failed
  5. Review registry for any possible references to the database engine and that instance name and remove them.
  6. Attempt re-install - same error.

We did discover that there is a reporting server instance with the old instance name already installed but I wouldn't have thought that the instance name on a reporting server instance would affect the install of a database engine instance.

Any suggestions on what we are missing?

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I'm pretty sure the reporting server instance is going to be enough to block you. Probably any reference to that instance name will be enough. How much time will you lose by completely uninstalling SQL Server, along with reporting services? How much time would you lose if you instead chose a different instance name, and updating application connection strings / aliases / etc.? – Aaron Bertrand Feb 14 '14 at 15:12
Have you reviewed the SQL Server setup log? Perhaps it contains some hints. – Max Vernon Feb 14 '14 at 15:12
Turns out the uninstall of reporting services was enough. If you want to go ahead and put that as an answer @AaronBertrand I'll mark it as correct. Do you have any idea why though? I'm fairly sure you can add reporting services to a database engine install later so I would think it would work the other way around too. – Kenneth Fisher Feb 14 '14 at 15:35
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The cleanest solution IMHO will be to remove reporting services, too, as part of cleaning the old instance off the machine. Until you've cleaned off everything service-related, that instance name still "exists" - and it can be a really thorny and frustrating experience trying to remove all the registry entries, GUID by agonizing GUID.

I suspect that SQL Server must keep some things around e.g. for connectivity to SSRS from external sources via the instance name. This is why you can't just pave a new instance over top of it.

The other alternative would be to leave your SSRS instance intact, but install the new instance with a different name, and just update application connection strings, aliases, DNS etc. so that they will connect to the new instance name (hopefully this change will be as transparent as possible).

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