How can I uninstall (remove) a service pack uninstall entry in Control Panel,
If you think the duplicated "uninstall" in the title is a typo, think again. We are talking about uninstalling an uninstaller.
If you have a Service Pack installed and used for a while and are absolutely sure you never want to uninstall it again, you can free some disk space by removing the uninstall information for other hotfixes that still resides in subfolders of your main Windows folder. They are named something like %windir%\$NTUninstall...$, where %windir% stands for the name of your main Windows folder and the ... stands for some other text and possibly a number.
Older %windir%\$NTUninstall...$ folders can be deleted. The reason why a Service Pack installation doesn't remove them is that you may want to uninstall the service pack and then uninstall the earlier hotfixes, one by one.
The following folders can be deleted if they predate the Service Pack, i.e. if they carry older dates (or were belatedly installed before installing the service pack):
Finally, if you are sure you never want to uninstall the service pack, you can delete: %windir%\$NtServicePackUninstall$\
Please see the chapters below for details.
This tool has been tested after the installation of Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) and has so far worked well. If you have done it too, please add a comment below and report your experience.
To remove all hotfix uninstallers before and after any service pack, you can use this tool, which is more convenient, because it removes the uninstall folders and also the corresponding entries from the Add/Remove Programs list. If you have had the hotfixes installed for a while and are sure you never want to uninstall any of them again, you can use this tool, particularly just after you've installed a new service pack and found that it works perfectly well.
Attention: This tool removes all hotfix uninstall functions indiscriminately. It is best used after a new service pack has been installed, thoroughly tested, and is ready to be kept for good.
Like some other tools mentioned on this web site, this one was programmed by my fellow MVP Torgeir Bakken from Norway. Here it is: UninstallRemover.vbs
When you click on the link above, then approve and run this program, it will present yet another messagebox to allow you to abort the program before it begins to remove your uninstall folders.
If you want to remove the uninstall folder for the service pack itself, you still have to do that by hand, then remove it from the Add/Remove Programs list by attempting to uninstall, then allowing to remove the entry from the list, as follows.
Step 1 Delete the $NtServicePackUninstall$ (or similar) folder
Because these files are in a hidden folder, you may have to go into My Computer or Windows Explorer and select Tools, Folder Options. Select the View tab and change the Hidden Files and Folders setting to Show Hidden Files and Folders.
You can now see the $NtServicePackUninstall$ folder in the Windows (or WINNT) folder. Delete the folder. You will receive a warning that you're about to delete a hidden folder. Choose Yes.
Because the total file size can be over 100MB, you may receive a message that the files are too large for the Recycle Bin. Choose Yes and delete them anyway.
If you like, you can go back to My Computer or Windows Explorer, Tools and Folder Options, and select the Restore Defaults button to set the option to show hidden files and folders back to the default.
Step 2 Try to uninstall the service pack or patch in Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs
To remove the uninstall information in Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, click on each and choose to uninstall the patch. It will then tell you that the uninstall folder could not be found and offer to remove the patch from the list as well. Do this only for those patches where you have actually deleted the folder and do not accidentally remove any new patches that were installed after the service pack.
You will notice that, obviously, uninstalling is no longer possible. But you will be given the option to remove the service pack from the list anyway. Accept that option, say Yes, and the service pack removal entry will be removed.
A similar information can be found in:
Q290402 - How to Remove Service Pack Restore Files and Folders in Windows