Microsoft SQL Server 2016 RC3 was installed on our server (not by me) Windows Web Server 2008 R2 64bit. Visual Studio 2015 Community was also installed. When I went to work on the server I could not connect to the MS SQL Server, so I went to see if the service was running and the only MS SQL service in the services manager was:

SQL Server VSS Writer Provides the interface to backup/restore Microsoft SQL server through the Windows VSS infrastructure.

None of the core services were installed. When I looked in the start menu all the Microsoft SQL Server 2016 RC3 programs were installed. When I ran the Installed SQL Features Discovery Report, it showed MS SQL 2016 installed, but no instances.

So I uninstalled VS, and attempted to uninstall MS SQL Server. I uninstalled the main program and all the components and then attempted to uninstall Microsoft SQL Server 2016 RC3 Setup, but it pops up the following message:

Warning 26003. Microsoft SOL Server 2016 Ro3 Setup Support Files cannot be uninstalled because the following products are installed: SOL Server 2016 Ro3 Batch Parser SOL Server 2016 Ro3 SOL Diagnostics SOL Server 2016 Ro3 XE vent SOL Server 2016 Ro3 Shared Management objects

Extensions SOL Server 2016 Ro3 SOL Diagnostics SOL Server 2016 Ro3 Batch Parser SOL Server 2016 Ro3 XE vent SOL Server 2016 Ro3 Shared Management objects

Yet none of these show in the Add/Remove Programs. (I refreshed it several times)

I then ran the Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Release Candidate 3 (RC3) Setup Discovery ReportMicrosoft SQL Server 2016 Release Candidate 3 (RC3) Setup Discovery Report, and it just has a single line with None in all the boxes.

I then attempted to reinstall Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Release Candidate 3, by running setup from the downloaded ISO, and Installation/New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation/

I am trying to install the evaluation version and that is what was previously installed, when I get to the Feature Selection of the wizard it shows the following:

Shared Features/Reporting Services - SharePoint Shared Features/Reporting Services Add-in for SharePoint Products

So none of the core services are available to install.

The ISO I am installing from is: SQLServer2016RC3-x64-ENU.iso, downloaded from Microsoft, and I have used the exact same ISO to install on a Windows 10 machine with VS 2015 installed with no problems and did not have this issue.

How can I resolve this and get Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Release Candidate 3 installed and running?

Thanks to Aaron Bertrand, I was able to resolve the issue following the manual steps outlined in his blog:

...in spite of the title, it's not just for 2008 R2 or Evaluation Edition.

In case the link ever stops working, the essential steps are:

  1. Locate SQL Server related GUIDs under:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\
    
  2. Also look for GUIDs in folders under Uninstall called e.g. "Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2"

  3. Run for each item:

    msiexec /x "{guid}"
    

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