When ConfigFramework goes bad …

I came across a problem using ConfigFramework today.
This is a configuration tool which ships with BizTalk
and performs all the customisation that is required to get BizTalk running.
It’s executes quite a complex process as it needs to create and configure SQL
databases and OLAP repositories,
make registry changes, configure SharePoint,
set up default hosts and a whole host of other things you wouldn’t want to be doing

Anyway, I was called in because when a colleague of mine was configuring a BizTalk machine,
he got told “This server has already joined a group“. Apparently
he had been trying to configure the box for some time, had been getting settings wrong
and the configuration utility had rolled back his configurations time and time again.
Now he was stuck because it was refusing to continue, claiming that the box was already

In normal circumstances, running “ConfigFramework /u” would clear any configuration
options stored on the BizTalk box.
However this time round he was having no luck. ConfigFramework just
refused to clear out its settings. Assuming the problem was being caused by configuration
settings in the registry I pulled out RegMon and RegEdit to
have a poke under the covers. Turns out that ConfigFramework was
picking out the settings from HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\BizTalk Server\3.0\Administration. As
expected, ConfigFramework wasn’t
cleaning up the settings in the registry as it was supposed to. A clean configuration
should look like this:

instead, after running “ConfigFramework /u“, the affected machine’s
registry still looked like this:

I deleted the extra settings manually and voilà, we could configure the box without
any problem.

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