Recently, we had a lot of problems with the SharePoint 2010 install executable failing. Â The exact error that we would get was “A system restart from a previous installation or update is pending. Â Restart your computer and run setup to continue.” Â We’d rebuild our virtual servers and test the installer and it would work, but then the next day it would fail. Â Or sometimes it would fail that first time. Â We were very confused.
The answer was hinted at here: SharePoint 2010 Installation. Â There was a registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\PendingFileRenameOperations
that had information in it. Â The solution above suggested that you change the key name from PendingFileRenameOperations to PendingFileRenameOperations2. Â That’s sloppy, in my not so humble opinion.
Now, the other folks had tried this solution in the past, with limited or no results. Â The trick here was to figure out WHY that key had data in it. Â Previously, they would do what the article suggested and the key would just be remade and refilled with information, stalling the installer again. Â Being a sysadmin, I wanted to know what and why that key existed to begin with. Â It was a short trip as it turns out.
The enterprise here installs a client on every machine to do data collection for inventory and software metrics. Â The client is the Scalable Software, Inc Survey client. Â That client locks a specific file and for whatever reason, throws it into that key. Â Once we’d put that together, it was a simple matter of stopping the SSI Survey Client service, setting the service start to manual, and then rebooting the server. Â After multiple servers, we confirmed that this was indeed the cause, and the solution.
So, the moral of the story is: Â Don’t just delete registry keys and hope for the best. Â Try and figure out what exactly is going on, because often times it’s easier to solve the why than the what.