To keep you safe, the fine folks at Tableau automatically backup your Tableau Server during an uninstall and save the resulting uninstall-<version>.tsbak file in ProgramDataTableauTableau Server.
If something goes dreadfully wrong and YOU haven’t been making your own backups like you’re SUPPOSED TO, having uninstall-8.3.tsbak handy is a beautiful thing.
However, backing up Tableau Server can take a little while if you have tons of extract files….and if you’re an anal-retentive admin like me, you’re making nightly backups anyway (…and also TESTING those backups regularly, right?!).
If you’ve already paid the “wait for the backup to finish tax” once, you can prevent paying it a second time by manually killing the backup when uninstall begins to do the work.
This is completely unsupported. Don’t do this in production. This is an amaze-and-impress-your-friends trick to be performed on throw-away servers only. You could make the sun explode into a million pieces if you try this.
Killing “Uninstall’s backup” is as easy as watching for the tabadmin.exe process in Task Manager to start working while the uninstall progress screen says that it is doing a backup for you. When you see tabadmin.exe starting to use some CPU, kill it with Task Manager.
Setup will throw up at that point with error messages but you can dismiss them and continue the uninstall….There, you just saved yourself 3 whole minutes. Go watch a YouTube video or something.
(Thank Craig Bloodworth for this nugget – he asked for a way to save a few minutes and I just had to figure out a way to oblige)