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Obliteration of OpenEMR

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A user will find himself at some point needing to delete OpenEMR because of difficulties with installation, upgrade, transfer to a new device or inability to remedy corrupt files. OpenEMR must be removed in order for the user to move forward and begin anew. Some installations lend themselves more readily to deletion than others depending on the operating software, bundling and hosting.


Because the command line is unavailable, the user is at a great disadvantage. The workaround would be to save the web directory and then export the database via phpMyAdmin to another site. A new copy of OpenEMR can be installed with the deletion of the old database and the creation of a new database. The four default folders, documents, era, edi and letter_templates are copied and pasted into the new copy of OpenEMR while the old database is imported back with phpMyAdmin.



If the Ubuntu-Debian Package had been installed, deletion is straightforward with this command in the Terminal:

sudo apt-get remove openemr

If unsuccessful, refer to the next section below for more options.


If the user had installed a copy that had not been bundled together, the process will require deletions of the following folders:





Nuclear Option

If failure persists, the user must resort to the "nuclear option" of reinstalling the operating system to obliterate all traces of OpenEMR.

The user must be certain that he had properly saved the web directory and the dumpfile of the database to another drive.

Because it is time consuming to reinstall the operating system, the user is advised to select an application of creating a system image minus OpenEMR. Should the "nuclear option" be exercised more than once, the system image will facilitate repetition.

System Image

Two applications for creating a system image are Clonezilla and Macrium Reflect. There is no reason to clone the hard drive because it is an inefficient use of backup media and it takes an unwarranted expenditure of time.


Clonezilla is available as a free download with a tutorial.

Macrium Reflect

Macrium Reflect is available only as a trial now. It had been freeware in the past. The application is not needed for the creation of the system image because the Windows PE Rescue Disk can be deployed in place of the application.

Because there is no Linux version of Macrium Reflect, it must be installed in a Windows device or a Windows partition. The download is one single package with the application, the .iso and burning software. The user should be careful to match the .iso to the architecture of the device where it will be deployed. A 32 bit .iso will not work on a 64 bit device and vice versa.

Despite the fact that Macrium Reflect does not have a Linux version, the Windows PE Rescue Disk runs independently and ab externo to the operating system; therefore the operating system matters little. This has the additional advantage of quicker execution time.

The tutorial for backup and recovery with the Windows PE Rescue Disk can be found here.


If OpenEMR had been installed with XAMPP, after stopping Apache and MySQL; the entire XAMPP folder can be rapidly disposed of with AppCleaner.


Removal of OpenEMR Package in Windows is equally simple as described here.

The user should note that the built-in utility for system image creation in Windows 7 is unreliable. If recovery is not possible, the backup is essentially useless. Backing up requires multiple DVD's. It is impossible to use an external hard drive as a destination. Run time is lengthy.

System image creation and recovery have been hidden in Windows 8 and 10, forcing users to hunt for them; but there exists a superlative alternative.

This task is ably handled with the Windows PE Rescue Disk mentioned above. Periodical and consistent creation of system images provides an extra layer of backup redundancy.

OpenEMR has been obliterated. Onward to its revival.
Yes, it is a peacock. Just pretend it is a phoenix.