Windows: Uninstall all NI Products (when migrating to new hardware)
I want to share this information with you with the intention to help other users and I'm hoping that other users might improve this procedure to make it even more efficient. As you know, NI allows you to install your purchased products to two Computers and if you ever crashed a computer with NI products installed you've probably found out that they're quite generous and willing to grant you additional installations when you explain the situation.
However, when you want to migrate your products to a new hardware and you're trying to do it right, you'll find out that unlike other companies management tools, Native Access does not allow you to uninstall products. But this article https://support.native-instruments.com/hc/en-us/articles/209544789--Installing-Native-Instruments-Products-on-a-New-Computer- says: "If you have already installed your product on the permitted number of systems and you want to install it on another computer, you must uninstall the product on one of the previous computers. A product on a defective computer is considered uninstalled."
So there are two things you can do. You can deliberately break your computer, you can go to Windows system management and uninstall each single NI component (going through each dialog) or you can lie to NI and just claim that your old Computer is broken. Maybe you want to keep using your old audio workstation for other stuff though. I wanted to uninstall all NI products but as an owner of the ultimate collectors edition that would mean to trigger the uninstall dialog for about 230 components.
I usually work on linux which allows it's users to create scripts for nearly everything and when I was looking for a way to automate this process, I found the command line tool "winget".
First I ran the command
and got a result like this:
Name Id Version Available Source ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ... Native Instruments Absynth 5 Native Instruments Absynth 5 188.8.131.52 Native Instruments Action Strikes Native Instruments Action Strikes 184.108.40.206 Native Instruments Action Strings Native Instruments Action Strings 220.127.116.11 ...
I copied the result (piping it to a file doesn't work very well on Windows, lines are cut) and used a text editor with block selection to select the IDs of all NI products. With that I used multiline-editing to create a batch file like this:
winget uninstall --id "Native Instruments Absynth 5" -h winget uninstall --id "Native Instruments Action Strikes" -h winget uninstall --id "Native Instruments Action Strings" -h ...
That didn't work very well. First, winget uninstall takes forever to compute and second, the uninstallers that NI is using doesn't seem to allow silent uninstallation. So it's like waiting for two minutes, then click through the uninstaller and that procedure repeats for all components which would be OK if the uninstallers were silent, but with the interaction, it would add up to more than seven hours of attention (2 minutes * 230+ components).
I found a compromise by working around this with parallel execution. I changed the script to this:
start "" winget uninstall --id "Native Instruments Absynth 5" -h start "" winget uninstall --id "Native Instruments Action Strikes" -h start "" winget uninstall --id "Native Instruments Action Strings" -h ...
When you execute a script like this, a command window will open for each line of code, so don't be irritated. Sadly it seemed that my Windows installation did only allow the parallel execution of eight instances of winget at once. So there constantly were eight uninstallers open and I just had to hold my mouse pointer in the same position and click through them. With that I was able to uninstall the entire content of the ultimate collectors edition in less then 45 minutes.
This solution is still far from perfect but it still can save you a lot of time. If you find a way to improve this procedure, please share that information.
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