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March 7th, 2023 22:00

SupportAssist: Won't Run, Can't Uninstall or Reinstall It

I've been trying for the last several days to run Dell SupportAssist (version 3.13.2.14) on my Vostro 15-7500 laptop. All I ever get is the message, "This is taking longer than expected. We recommend restarting your PC and trying again later." This hasn't worked in the last several days.

If I run the installation file, SupportAssistLauncher.exe, I get the message that the latest version of SupportAssist is already installed. If I try to uninstall the program, I get a Windows Installer error, "The feature you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unavailable. Click OK to try again, or enter an alternate path to a folder containing the installation package 'SupportAssistx64-3.13.2.14.msi' in the box below." The path to this file is:

C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Temp\SupportAssistAgent\cd4af687-1452-4994-be2d-6421b9b830db\

but that directory doesn't exist. The path:

C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Temp\SupportAssistAgent\77d42f07-0023-416a-9efa-f8258bc3b4ae\

does exist, but it doesn't contain the .msi file.

There is no option in Control Panel to do a repair installation of SupportAssistAgent, IMO a lapse on Dell's part.

How can I get the actual installation program, not the SupportAssistLauncher, so I can get an actual working program?

Thank you.

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41 Posts

March 10th, 2023 00:00

"And then a miracle occurred . . . ." Well, not exactly. SupportAssist still doesn't work, so I've decided to wait for the next release and hope that will fix the reinstall problem. But that was only the tip of the iceberg of my Windows woes. So many other things had gone flakey (my backup program, Acronis Cyber Protect Home and Office, wasn't working properly; if I right-clicked on a drive in File Explorer, File Explorer closed; Windows detected two brand new SanDisk flash drives I recently purchased, but wouldn't display them in File Explorer; Windows said there were no restore points saved), I was all set to do a factory reset of Windows. I tried to download the Dell OS Recovery tool on my Dell laptop, and nothing appeared to be happening (via WiFi; the laptop doesn't have a port for a network cable (grrrr!)), so I downloaded it to an older Toshiba that does have a network port.

To cut this long story short, I installed the recovery tool and system image to the one flash drive I have that Windows would recognize on the Dell laptop, and ran it. I followed the recommended sequence of tasks, and it offered me a restore point that Windows claimed didn't exist. I took it, and most of the flakiness (except for SupportAssist not running properly) seems to be gone, without my having to do a complete reset. Scannow found and fixed a few issues that it failed to find previously. File Explorer even recognizes the SanDisk flash drives now!

I'm using Dell Update to check for system updates.

All hail the OS Recovery Tool! And thanks for your copious suggestions. They were very helpful.

Terry

P.S.

I'm marking this "Accept as Solution" because there are so many valuable points made, but it's really only a partial solution since the original problem with SupportAssist remains. Dell still needs to do better.

March 8th, 2023 01:00

Try Revo Uninstaller app. But, you should be very careful. This is a very anger app.

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1.2K Posts

March 8th, 2023 06:00

Hi Terry Morse:

You might want to try the Microsoft Install/Uninstall Troubleshooter to see if it can uninstall SupportAssist. See Method V of the Dell support article Windows 11, and Windows 10: Various Methods to Uninstall Problematic Programs and Apps for more information.

If that Microsoft troubleshooter doesn't help you might want to try a clean reinstall of SupportAssist using DELL-Chris M's instructions at SA Uninstall/Reinstall. Note that those instructions require the uninstall of all SupportAssist-related programs (including the Dell SupportAssist OS Recovery Plugin for Dell Update, Dell SupportAssist Remediation, etc, if installed) before SupportAssist is reinstalled.

I've used DELL-Chri M's instructions a few times, and I normally go one step further and use Revo Uninstaller Free in Aggressive mode to uninstall each SupportAssist-related program to remove stray files and registry entries left behind by the "regular" uninstaller at Control Panel | Programs | Programs and Features.  If you aren't familiar with Revo Uninstaller, the Dell Tech Support video at Dell SupportAssist Not Installing includes a list of folders, registry entries and Windows services that you can manually delete after your Control Panel uninstall of SupportAssist to get the cleanest possible reinstall. DELL-Chris M suggests using SupportAssistInstaller.exe (i.e., not SupportAssistLauncher.exe) to reinstall SupportAssist, and when I use DELL_Chris M's instructions I always save a fresh copy of SupportAssistInstaller.exe on my desktop, right-click the SupportAssistInstaller.exe file, and choose "Run as Administrator" - for some reason, choosing "Run as Administrator" is necessary on some systems (see Sidscrat's 04-Jan-2022 post <here> for one example).
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Note that SupportAssist v3.13.2.4 is currently installed on my Inspiron 5584 and seems to run correctly, but I find this utility is too buggy and uses too much RAM and CPU. I also find the "system optimization" scans (Clean Files / Tune Performance / Optimize Network - and possibly Remove Viruses & Malware if you have a Premium Support Plus warranty that hasn't expired) are too aggressive and have the potential to do more harm than good - for example, see my 12-Jul-2021 comment in ex-jedi's Prevent Automatic Recycle Bin Emptying about the registry cleaner used by the Tune Performance scan.

SupportAssist is currently disabled on my system and I use the optional Dell Update for Windows Universal v4.x (available on the support page <here> for your Vostro 7500) to check for updates for Dell software and drivers.

If you ever get SupportAssist v3.x re-installed on your system and want to continue using this utility I'd suggest you turn off all automatic background scans at Options (gear icon) | Settings | Set Your System to Automatically Run Scans and Performance Optimization (see my image below - be sure to click the blue Save button to save any settings you change) and just run the occasional "Get Drivers & Downloads" and/or "Scan Hardware" scans manually from the Home tab.

Dell SupportAssist v3_13_0  Settings Automatic Scans Disabled 09 Dec 2022.png

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64-bit Win 10 Pro v22H2 build 19045.2604 * Firefox v110.0.1 * Microsoft Defender v4.18.2301.6-1.1.200000.2 * Malwarebytes Premium v4.5.23.241-1.0.1927 * Macrium Reflect Free v8.0.7279 * SupportAssist v3.13.2.14 * Dell Update for Windows Universal v4.7.1 * Dell SupportAssist Remediation v5.5.5.16458 * Fusion Service v2.2.14.0 * Inspiron 5583/5584 BIOS v1.22.1
Dell Inspiron 15 5584, Intel i5-8265U CPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe SSD, Intel UHD Graphics 620

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41 Posts

March 8th, 2023 17:00

Thank you for the suggestions. Nothing worked, including running SupportAssistInstaller until I moved on to the Dell SupportAssist Not Installing video. But I had to take some additional steps: after deleting the folders and registry entries and rebooting, the SupportAssist services mentioned in the video were still running. I changed startup type on all four to disabled, rebooted, and ran SupportAssistInstaller again. This time, it downloaded all the installation files and installed successfully.

The only problem I'm having now is that I get unspecified errors when I try to run default and full hardware scans, and when I try to check specific pieces of hardware, "Refresh hardware list" fails with the message "We couldn't refresh your list of hardware right now." I also tried the Quick  and Full Tests from the Dell Support website and got the error, "We're sorry, an error occurred and we could not complete the scan. Please try again." I tried again and failed again. The most I can say right now is that the program installed correctly and runs, but may not be fully functional.

Terry

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1.2K Posts

March 9th, 2023 06:00


@Terry Morse wrote:

... Nothing worked, including running SupportAssistInstaller until I moved on to the Dell SupportAssist Not Installing video. But I had to take some additional steps: after deleting the folders and registry entries and rebooting,...The only problem I'm having now is that I get unspecified errors when I try to run default and full hardware scans, and when I try to check specific pieces of hardware, "Refresh hardware list" fails with the message "We couldn't refresh your list of hardware right now."..


Hi Terry Morse:

Glad to hear you're making a bit of progress, even if your diagnostic scans aren't working. I temporarily re-enabled my SupportAssist v3.13.2.4 today and ran basic CPU and Memory scans from Troubleshooting | I Want to Troubleshoot My PC | I Want to Check a Specific Piece of Hardware (which took about 10 sec to load) just to confirm those diagnostics are running correctly on my Inspiron 5584 / Win 10 Pro v22H2 laptop.

Dell SupportAssist v3_13_2_14 Troubleshooting Tab CPU and RAM Scans 09 Mar 2023.png

Dell SupportAssist v3_13_2_14 History Tab CPU and RAM Scans Pass 09 Mar 2023.png

What is your Windows OS [if Win 10 or Win 11 please include the edition (e.g., Pro, Enterprise, etc.), version (e.g., 22H1, 22H2, etc.) and OS build number shown at Settings | System | About | Windows Specifications] and current BIOS version? To find you BIOS version open a Run dialog box (Windows key + R) and enter msinfo32 to open the System Information panel and look for the field named "BIOS Date/Version".

There have been many users reporting problems with SupportAssist v3.13.2.4 and I know of one Alienware user who reported that Dell is trying (and failing) to push out a new SupportAssist v3.13.7.0 update to their machine - see alienware17r4's 14-Feb-2023 post in their thread 17 R4, firmwaretpm.exe stopped working - so perhaps Dell is aware that there's a bug in the current SupportAssist v3.13.2.14. At this point you might want to simply wait for the next update to be pushed out to your machine to see if this fixes your hardware scans.  SupportAssist should run a self-check for a program update at each launch, and you can also trigger a manual check for updates by going to Options (gear icon) | About.

I believe your SupportAssist has to be installed and working correctly in order for the online hardware scans on your Vostro 7500 support page <here> to run correctly, so it's no surprise your online diagnostics are failing as well. As I noted before, I normally use Dell Update for Windows Universal v4.x to check for available Dell software and driver updates and this app can't run hardware scans, but I can still run Dell's F12 ePSA (enhanced Pre-boot System Assessment) hardware diagnostics from my BIOS (see the instruction video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cfFECs5Qa0), and my Windows 10 OS also has its own built-in hardware diagnostics at Settings | Update & Security | Troubleshoot | Additional Troubleshooters.

If your Dell service warranty hasn't expired yet and you don't want to wait for Dell to push out the next SupportAssist update you might want to open a support ticket from the "Get Support" tab of SupportAssist or start a support request online at https://www.dell.com/support/incidents-online/contactus - see the support article How to Create a Support Request Online for Your Eligible, In-warranty Dell Product.

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In the mean time you might want to check the following:

1. Go to Start | Windows Administrative Tools | Services (or search for "services" from your Start button) and ensure the three services called Dell Client Management Service, Dell SupportAssist and Dell TechHub all have a Status of "Running".

Win 10 Pro v21H2 Three Services Dell SA Dell TechHub and Client Management Service 06 Sep 2022.png

2. Go to Control Panel | Programs | Programs and Features and ensure you have Microsoft .NET Runtime v6.0.9 or higher installed (see the SupportAssist v3.13.0 release notes <here> for the minimum system requirements). If your SupportAssist installer ran correctly it should have installed Microsoft .NET Runtime v6.x if it was missing from your system. From my Win 10 Pro v22H2 laptop:

Win 10 Pro v22H2 Control Panel MS NET Runtimes Installed 09 Mar 2023.png

3. Disable Fast Startup as instructed in Option # 2 in Brinks' ElevenForums tutorial Turn On or Off Fast Startup in Windows 11 and restart your system a few times. The Fast Startup power option (also known as hybrid boot-up / hybrid shutdown) is enabled by default in Win 10 and Win 11 but it can interfere with the loading of services and drivers of third-party software at boot-up and cause unexpected problems, and Microsoft has acknowledged that Fast Startup can even interfere with Windows Update - see the MS support article Updates May Not Be Installed With Fast Startup in Windows 10.

4. Run the DISM command Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth from an elevated command prompt as instructed in the ghacks.net article Use DISM to Fix Issues SFC Can't. If that DISM command doesn't any problems with your Windows component store then run the System File Checker command sfc /scannow to see if SFC can find and correct any issues with your Windows system files (see the image below from my Inspiron 5584), and post back and let us know if either of those commands finds a problem it can't repair.

Win 10 Pro v22H2 Command Prompt DISM CheckHealth SFC No Issues Found 09 Jan 2023.png

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64-bit Win 10 Pro v22H2 build 19045.2604 * Firefox v110.0.1 * Microsoft Defender v4.18.2301.6-1.1.200000.2 * Malwarebytes Premium v4.5.23.241-1.0.1927 * Macrium Reflect Free v8.0.7279 * SupportAssist v3.13.2.14 * Dell Update for Windows Universal v4.7.1 * Dell SupportAssist Remediation v5.5.5.16458 * Fusion Service v2.2.14.0 * Inspiron 5583/5584 BIOS v1.22.1
Dell Inspiron 15 5584, Intel i5-8265U CPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe SSD, Intel UHD Graphics 620

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1.2K Posts

March 10th, 2023 06:00


@Terry Morse wrote:

"And then a miracle occurred . . . ." Well, not exactly. SupportAssist still doesn't work, so I've decided to wait for the next release and hope that will fix the reinstall problem.....


Hi Terry Morse:

Based on your earlier 08-Mar-2023 post <here> it sounds like you managed to uninstall SupportAssist and then reinstall with a fresh copy of SupportAssistInstaller.exe, but in my experience a clean reinstall of SupportAssist using DELL-Chris M's instructions at SA Uninstall / Reinstall is usually required to fix stubborn problems.  You might want to unmark this thread as "Solved" if your current SupportAssist v3.13.2.14 isn't working properly so other users looking for a fix (and the Dell employees who monitor this forum) don't assume you've actually got SupportAssist working again.

However, if Dell Update for Windows Universal v4.8.0 is working correctly on your Vostro 7500 then I agree that you might as well wait to see what bug fixes are included in the next release of SupportAssist.


...So many other things had gone flakey (my backup program, Acronis Cyber Protect Home and Office, wasn't working properly; if I right-clicked on a drive in File Explorer, File Explorer closed; Windows detected two brand new SanDisk flash drives I recently purchased, but wouldn't display them in File Explorer; Windows said there were no restore points saved...To cut this long story short, I installed the recovery tool and system image to the one flash drive I have that Windows would recognize on the Dell laptop, and ran it. I followed the recommended sequence of tasks, and it offered me a restore point that Windows claimed didn't exist. I took it, and most of the flakiness (except for SupportAssist not running properly) seems to be gone, without my having to do a complete reset....

Since you mentioned the Dell OS Recovery Tool and Acronis Cyber Protect Home I'll just add a few additional comments for future reference.

Your description <above> sounds like you created a bootable USB flash drive using the 21 MB Dell OS Recovery Tool v2.3.x available for download at https://www.dell.com/support/home/en-ca/drivers/osiso/recoverytool/wt64a (currently Dell-USB-Recovery-Tool-Application_VYFNW_WIN_2.3.7012.0_A00). This is a small utility you can use to create a bootable USB thumb drive that can be used to remove all the data and software from your hard drive and reinstall the Windows operating system was installed on your computer when it shipped from the factory. See the support article How to Download and Use the Dell Operating System Recovery Image in Microsoft Windows for more information.

Please note that the full ~ 300 MB SupportAssist OS Recovery Tools v5.5.x (also called Dell SupportAssist Remediation and/or System Repair) is a separate program and is normally installed and updated by Dell SupportAssist or Dell Update. If System Repair is enabled in your SupportAssist settings then this software creates a system repair point (snapshot) about 30 min after your system is re-booted and saves that system repair point in a hidden folder at C:\ProgramData\Dell\SARemediation\SystemRepair\ folder that can be used to repair your computer if it fails to boot up correctly. See the Dell SupportAssist OS Recovery User’s Guide for more information.  The image below shows what you will see if the SupportAssist OS Recovery Tools v5.5.x are installed and running but System Repair is disabled.

SupportAssist v3_13_2 Settings System Repair Turned OFF 15 Feb 2023.png

If the full SupportAssist OS Recovery Tools v5.5.x is installed on your system you should also have a settings manager at Control Panel | System and Security | SupportAssist OS Recovery (if you can't find it just search Control Panel for "os recovery") ...

Win 10 v22H2 Control Panel System and Security SA OS Recovery Settings Manager 10 Mar 2023.png

SupportAssist OS Recovery Tools v5_5_5_16458 CP Settings System Repair Disabled 15 Feb 2023.png

.. and you should be able to find the current version of this software at Control Panel | Programs | Programs and Features, where it is listed as Dell SupportAssist Remediation. From my Inspiron 5584, which shows I currently have v5.5.5.16458:

Win 10 Pro v22H2 Control Panel Dell Remediation v5_5_5_16458 as of 10 Mar 2023.png

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See my 28-Jul-2021 post in Desmodus1984's Inspiron 5570 - SupportAssist OS Recovery Tools Downloads But Not Installing about a few serious bugs in Dell SupportAssist OS Recovery that have been reported in recent years. I don't trust this software so I normally disable my Dell SupportAssist Remediation service so it can't launch at Windows startup, and I now use Macrium Reflect Free imaging software in case I ever need to perform an emergency recovery. As an extra precaution I've also enabled Windows System Restore on my Inspiron 5584 (see instructions <here> for Win 10 or <here> for Win 11 on the Windows Central site) since Windows System Restore is disabled by default on both Win 10 and Win 11.

As I previous noted, I've also disabled Dell SupportAssist so it can't automatically launch at Windows startup (i.e., by disabling the Dell SupportAssist and and Dell TechHub services) and at some point I'll likely go ahead and uninstall both SupportAssist and SupportAssist Remediation (i.e., SupportAssist OS Recovery) from my Inspiron 5584.  This is what my Dell services normally look like:

Win 10 Pro v22H2 Services All Dell Services Three SA Services Disabled 22 Dec 2022.png

If you are already creating full disk images of your hard drive with Acronis Cyber Protect Home (formerly known as Acronis True Image) then I doubt that Dell SupportAssist OS Recovery would provide many additional benefits if you need to recover your system. One word of caution, though. I know of some Acronis Cyber Protect Home users who found that the real-time malware protection that now comes bundled with this backup software (a.k.a. Acronis Active Protection) created conflicts with their "regular" antivirus (e.g., the built-in Microsoft Defender or a third-party antivirus like Bitdefender, McAfee, Norton, etc.) and caused all sorts of glitches on their system until it was disabled.
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64-bit Win 10 Pro v22H2 build 19045.2604 * Firefox v110.0.1 * Microsoft Defender v4.18.2301.6-1.1.200000.2 * Malwarebytes Premium v4.5.23.241-1.0.1927 * Macrium Reflect Free v8.0.7279 * SupportAssist v3.13.2.14 * Dell Update for Windows Universal v4.7.1 * Dell SupportAssist Remediation v5.5.5.16458 * Fusion Service v2.2.14.0 * Inspiron 5583/5584 BIOS v1.22.1
Dell Inspiron 15 5584, Intel i5-8265U CPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe SSD, Intel UHD Graphics 620

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41 Posts

March 19th, 2023 14:00

Just a brief follow-up. I finally got SupportAssist to install, but none of the modules would run. I was unable to reinstall Dell Updater. Given all the other problems I was having: with my backup software (Acronis Cyber Protect); unable to type in Windows search boxes; one of two identical Western Digital external hard drives invisible in Windows Explorer; and the March 2023 Windows 10 update failing to install, I was on the verge of resetting the laptop when, somehow, I was finally able to create a recover medium in Acronis Cyber Protect, and restored everything from a month-old backup. Now, everything appears to be working, at least until the next time Windows goes rogue on me. Let this be a lesson to everyone: backup your system and data frequently.

Terry

June 1st, 2023 14:00

I installed supportassist but when I tried to open it I got the message that it was incompatible with mt operating system. Then the assist "help now" bot wont let me type that.  The battery test thing wants me to do a reset that involves using the F12 button but I either don't have one or it's not labelled as such. Any suggestions? I'm a neophyte with a laptop; had one but it's been years since I've used anything but my smartphone, which isn't anything like it.  Thanks

June 1st, 2023 14:00

Okay; I ckecked this site,  Dell support and resources. clicked to diagnostics and tools. Fist thing I see says "This is not compatible with your operating system.  ??? What am I supposed to use? This is a Dell Chromebook 11 3180, so supposedly will work with something, smh

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1.2K Posts

June 1st, 2023 17:00


@Mamavik 669 wrote:

I installed supportassist but when I tried to open it I got the message that it was incompatible with mt operating system...The battery test thing wants me to do a reset that involves using the F12 button but I either don't have one or it's not labelled as such....

... What am I supposed to use? This is a Dell Chromebook 11 3180, so supposedly will work with something


Hi Mamavick 669:

What is your operating system and OS version / build number? I've never used a Chromebook but the support page at https://www.dell.com/support/home/en-ca/product-support/product/chromebook-11-3180-laptop/docs suggests your Dell Chromebook 11 3180 shipped with a Google Chrome OS. The release notes <here> for the current SupportAssist for Home PCs v3.14.x (rel. Apr 2023) state this software requires Win 10 (Version 1809) or Win 11, and Chromebooks are not in the list of compatible Dell computer models.

If you have a Chrome OS and are having a battery issue you might find some helpful information in the Dell Chromebook Computer Guide as well as the support articles Using the CROSH Diagnostics on your Dell Chromebook and Chromebook 11 3180 / 3189: Systems May Not Be Able to Charge the Battery or the Battery Charge Level May Get Stuck at 1%.

There is also a separate board in this forum for Dell Chromebook users at https://www.dell.com/community/Chromebook/bd-p/Chromebook. If you search that board and/or post your question in that board one of the Chromebook users might be able to provide assistance.
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64-bit Win 10 Pro v22H2 build 19045.2965 * Firefox v113.0.2 * Microsoft Defender v4.18.23050.3-1.1.23050.3 * Malwarebytes Premium v4.5.29.268-1.0.2022 * Macrium Reflect Free v8.0.7279 * Dell Update for Windows Universal v4.9.0 * My Dell v2.2.4.0 * Dell Inspiron 5583/5584 BIOS v1.22.1
Dell Inspiron 15 5584, Intel i5-8265U CPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe SSD, Intel UHD Graphics 620

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