Can’t remove System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection client (it just keeps reinstalling)

Even after removing all traces of System Center 2012 from our AD network, when I uninstalled the client software from each user system, within a few hours (or post a reboot) the software would mysterious regenerate and come back. Simply uninstalling the client is not enough. Here’s what you need to do.

Working on the assumption you are using Windows 7, go in to control panel and select Programs and Features. Uninstall:

System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection Client.
Windows Firewall Configuration Provider

Having done this, load up the command line (cmd) with administrative priviledges (search for and right click to get this option). Then type in the following commands at the prompt:

cd c:\windows\ccmsetup
ccmsetup /uninstall

The cursor will just return without any confirmation of completion. I found it took up to 10 minutes for the uninstall to release a lock on the setup files (and presumably possibly this long to actually carry out the uninstall). So after 10 mins, close the command line window, and do a search for %windir%. In that very folder, you should find two folders CCM and ccmsetup. Highlight and delete them. You should be prompted for admin authorisation, and then (if the uninstall is truly complete) you should see them delete. Otherwise, try to repeat deletion after a few more mins. If you see a folder called ccmcache the uninstallation is definitely still running.

After this, reboot your PC, and you should finally be free of the System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection client (assuming you haven’t set it up to reinstall by Group Policy or an Active System Center server).