Uninstalling a SQL Server Clustered Instance

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I have installed and uninstalled several instances of SQL Server in the past. Today, I need to uninstall a SQL Server 2008 R2 clustered instance. I have never uninstalled a clustered instance of SQL Server before. Can you provide a how-to guide to uninstall a clustered instance of SQL Server 2008 R2?


Uninstalling a clustered instance of SQL Server 2008 R2 is actually an easy thing to do. It might be intimidating for your first attempt so I would highly recommend doing this first on a non-production cluster.

Step 1: Remote into the non-active node for the SQL Server clustered instance that needs to be uninstalled. This instance might be an active node for another instance of SQL Server and this is fine.

Step 2: Start the SQL Server 2008 R2 installer and go to Maintenance section and select remove node from a SQL Server failover cluster

start the sql server 2008 installer

Step 3: Go through the setup support rules and click ok.

go through the setup support rules and click ok

Step 4: Go through next screen of setup support rules and click next. If you don't see "Passed" for all items address this issue before going forward.

address all items that didn't pass

Step 5: Select the clustered instance you want to uninstall. Notice that we will uninstall the SP2010 instance which has two clustered nodes cln01 and cln02. This is an active passive cluster and we will are starting with the passive (not active) node cln02.

uninstall the SP2010 instance which has two clustered nodes cln01 and cln02

Step 6: Verify that all components you want to remove are selected. Click on the remove button to start the process to remove the SQL Server clustered instance on this node.

remove the SQL Server clustered instance on this node

Step 7: Watch SQL Server uninstall the clustered node.

watch SQL Server uninstall the clustered node

Step 8: Uninstall is complete on this node. Congratulations you just uninstalled SQL Server node. Now it's time to uninstall the other nodes use by the SQL Server Clustered instance.

 you just uninstalled SQL Server node

Step 9: Repeat steps 1 through 8 on all nodes used for the SQL Server clustered instance. Make sure you uninstall the active node last.

Note: when you repeat step 5 you should notice that the previous uninstalled node is not listed under nodes. In this example you should only see cln01 as we already removed cln02.

uninstall the active node last
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About the author
MSSQLTips author John Sterrett John Sterrett is a DBA and Software Developer with expertise in data modeling, database design, administration and development.

This author pledges the content of this article is based on professional experience and not AI generated.

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Comments For This Article

Friday, February 22, 2019 - 3:34:30 PM - salih Back To Top (79098)


I'm using sql 2008 r2. So when i want to upgrade to sql 2012, the setup says "no connect to sql cluster node".  I did not install cluster. And when i run setup 2008 r2, i can not see remove node in maintence menu.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 2:50:30 PM - Melinda Back To Top (74249)

 Hi Is there a way to remove JUST the features from a clustered instance?


Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 9:48:17 AM - Dave Lush Back To Top (66682)

 Hi John,

this is ideal, I just have a quick question.

I have 2 instances on the same node dev and live and when I remove the node from the cluster will it have any affect on the other instance.







Friday, November 27, 2015 - 2:30:55 AM - manuj Back To Top (39146)

Hello John,

Very useful article. Thank you.

Monday, September 7, 2015 - 6:04:50 AM - LUK Back To Top (38605)


How about if the node I want to remove cannot boot? Can I remove it from the active node?


Friday, February 14, 2014 - 2:41:52 AM - sanjay Back To Top (29444)

How To Add Or Remove SQL Server 2008/2008 R2 Instances......http://mytecharticle.com/how-to-add-or-remove-sql-server-20082008-r2-instances/

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 1:41:28 PM - 4Heaven Back To Top (27676)

Hello John, 

Very useful article. Thanks for articulating this in a detailed manner.


Before uninstalling the SQL instance, I think, we should check for dependencies on SQL Server like SQL Network(IP addresses), LUNs, Mounting points etc. It would be great, if you can explain how to clear dependencies before we start of the SQL instance uninstallation. 

Thanks in advance.

Friday, September 6, 2013 - 12:40:10 AM - Sanjeev Baranwal Back To Top (26637)

How to uninstall the SQL server in Active-Active clustering environment? I have requirement of uninstalling the sql server and reinstall again the same version but from other package due to licensing issues.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 1:06:57 PM - Sunny Back To Top (19387)

Thank you verymuch John :)

Good learning for me.

Can you please suggest me the best way to Upgrade SQL Server cluster(Active - Pasive) from 2008 SP1 to 2008 R2. 






Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 4:12:37 PM - Marcelo Moraes Back To Top (18009)

John, does this procedure aplies to SQL Server 2005 clustered instances?





Tuesday, June 5, 2012 - 3:01:12 PM - John Sterrett Back To Top (17808)


This tip just removes the SQL Server Instance from the Windows cluster. It doesn't remove the the node from the cluster just the instance used during the uninstall process.



Tuesday, June 5, 2012 - 9:58:02 AM - Marcelo Moraes Back To Top (17801)

Hi John.

I have a doubt about the procedure above. Are you removing just the SQL Server Instance or you are removing the Node from Cluster? I couldn't understand very well.

I have a 2 node SQL 2005 cluster based on Windows Server 2008. There are 4 SQL Server instances into this cluster and I need to remove just one of them. Can I follow this procedure without worries?

Thanks in advance.


Friday, November 26, 2010 - 7:59:53 AM - JQ Back To Top (10398)

Nice article, I had to learn it the hard way with some googling. I have one question though, how do the remaining nodes handle it if you completly lose a node and have to do a re-build from scratch and do not have the chance to gracefully uninstall/evict from the SQL Cluster environment?

We are trying to find information on this as it is something we need to write up but do not have teh spare kit to try and simulate. If anyone has any advice it would be appreciated.


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