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Dec 19

Windows Requires Restart: Keeps failing on install of SQL Server 2008 even after restart

For my first content related blog post I wanted to start with something simple and something that is encountered upon installation of SQL Server. I encountered this problem a number of times on desktop machines where a number of peripherals may already be installed.

The issue is that when SQL Server is going through its prerequisite checks, it says that Windows requires a restart.  So logically, you restart Windows and begin the process again only to find that the checks require a restart of Windows again!  If you are like me, yous restart Windows 1 more time and experience the same result (I believe that it was Einstein who said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results). So, how do we resolve this issue? It is simple really, but requires editing the registry using regedit. If you are new to editing registry entries, please backup the registry and make sure you know how to restore it before using the steps outlined below.

  1. Start regedit.exe by typing regedit into your Windows search, or navigate to c:\Windows and double-click on regedit.exe.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager and locate the PendingFileRenameOperations entry.
  3. Right-click on the PendingFileRenameOperations entry and click on Modify.
  4. Delete the data in the value box and click ok.
  5. Close regedit and restart the machine.
  6. Start installation of SQL Server again.

This should resolve your issue, but I have heard of instances where the value appears again after restart (this has not happened to me).  In this case, you may try deleting the data in the registry key and then starting the install process without restarting the machine or looking at the same FileRenameOperations entry in ControlSet001 or ControlSet002 instead of CurrentControlSet. NOTE: These last 2 methods are untested by me and I have not encountered them.

You can also install SQL Server from the command prompt with parameters, one of which will skip the prerequisite check.  I don’t advise this as there may be other prerequisites that are vital to the proper installation.

-SQL Know-It-All

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