Single post

SQL Server Pending File Operations Bug

When re-installing SQL Server 2000 today I came across this weird error message, saying:

A previous program installation created pending file operations on the installation machine. You must restart the computer before running setup.

I restarted twice but the message just kept on coming. After a little snooping, I found there was (luckily) a simple fix for the problem.

  • Run the Windows Registry Editor
  • Surf to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager
  • Delete the pendingfilerenameoperations key

Then re-start the SQL Server installation and it should work. As always, keep a backup of your registry before you touch it.

November 9th, 2004 at 7:04 pm

That dows not work in Windows XP, the Registry has
a File Rename Operations but no “Pending”, besides it is
empty and the error persists.

November 23rd, 2004 at 12:07 am

Thanks for that info, It would have taken me some time or worse a reinstall. Got to love the net….

March 2nd, 2005 at 3:30 pm

This solution worked for me on XP

Ray Nichols
March 24th, 2005 at 12:07 am

Worked like a charm… (on XP WALTER)

Thank you Mikhail Esteves!

April 1st, 2005 at 7:30 pm

This Solution Also Worked Perfectly for me
Thanks a Lot

April 19th, 2005 at 1:21 am

Like Walter, I do not have the pendingfilerenameoperations
key and the error does persist. This fix will not work for everyone.

May 3rd, 2005 at 10:00 pm

This worked for me, thanks Mikhail Esteves.

Anoop Chand
May 4th, 2005 at 6:10 pm

Thanks buddy. It helped a lot..

May 16th, 2005 at 4:42 pm

Thanks a lot man…this is gr8 idea..helped me a lot in critical situation.

May 20th, 2005 at 9:19 pm

Thanks a lot. You save my life

May 22nd, 2005 at 2:35 am

Work for me on Windows 2003 Server with Microsoft SQL Server 2000.

Cheers :)

Luc B.
May 23rd, 2005 at 8:45 pm

Same problem with my new HP NC8230 laptop. Thx for the tip :)

May 24th, 2005 at 3:51 pm

Worked great on XP Media edition also.

June 24th, 2005 at 6:50 pm

thx. this is called last minutes help ;-)

July 15th, 2005 at 9:11 am

Worked great! no clue otherwise. Thanks.

July 18th, 2005 at 1:42 pm

worked for me on xp as well..thx heaps

July 18th, 2005 at 5:08 pm

It works. Thanks for the information.

Frank D
July 30th, 2005 at 2:12 pm

Like Mikhail was describing: Its not a subfolder underneath SessionManager but a key (in the same ‘directory’). Deleted it and was back in business (XP). Thanks Mikhail.

August 18th, 2005 at 11:39 pm

Worked for me in XP — although there was a space between the words “Session” and “Manager” at the end of the key name. I also have the HP NC8230 – that seems strange that another user above also had the same problem on the same laptop model. Thanks for the solution!

August 31st, 2005 at 6:25 pm

Hi Mikhael,

Thanks to you very much for the post above. It helped me a lot and had saved my mind.

August 31st, 2005 at 9:04 pm

Some HP tools might also leave their mark, thus stopping SQL from installing. In this case will find that the key in the registry is pointing to a file (i.e. “\C:\”).

In this case: delete the file (and the key)and SQL will install ok.

Anyway. Good thread. Helped me to fix the prob.

per hejndorf
September 8th, 2005 at 12:01 am

Thanks for the rescue – again some HP installation had left its mark on the registry on my nx8220. Seems they need to clean up their act :)

Rui David
September 11th, 2005 at 4:52 am

Hi Mikhael,

Work fine !!!!

Many thanks !

Rob Meade
September 17th, 2005 at 2:32 pm

This fix worked perfectly for me, I have installed SQL Server many times on many different computers/servers and had never experienced this problem before. For me this occured on my HP Pavilion zd8290ea laptop, the file in question was: c:\Program Files\HPQ\Shared\, which had a file size of zero.

I took a backup of all of the files in that directly and then deleted them, the above was in use and wouldn’t allow me to delete it though, backup up the registry and then deleted the key as above. No reboot was necessary after this, I could simply carry on with the installation of SQL Server.

Not sure whether perhaps this file was something to do with the sysprep stuff that the laptops seem to come with, I had had a few problems with that also until I wiped it and did it all myself!

Anyway, thanks for the fix, most appreciated (especially as I only wanted the client tools!)




September 28th, 2005 at 7:47 pm


Had the same problem with both SQL Server Dev and Visual Studio. Every time the laptop reboots it regenerates the key. Will update with info if I find a “permanent” solution to the problem.



October 3rd, 2005 at 4:56 pm

Yup, I too have an NC8230 and experienced the same problem. Looks like tere must be an issue with these laptops. Thanks for the fix, though, worked a treat.


October 7th, 2005 at 12:02 am

Worked like clockwork on XP. Amazing how you figured that out. Thanks so much.


Jerrel Baxter
October 28th, 2005 at 2:56 am

I also have had this problem with an HP NC8230 laptop. I had to restart in Safe mode to clear the content of the “\Program Files\HPQ\Shared” directory after backing them up to another folder. Then I was finally able to install Visual Other than this issue I really like the laptop so far. I did find their single sign-on credential manager application to be a royal pain and use Add/Remove programs to get rid of it.

Larry B
November 12th, 2005 at 2:34 am

Thx for the help! Worked great on XP.
One note: I had previously installed SQL Server 2005 CTP (Sept) and decided I didn’t need it afterall, so I uninstalled it 1st, then applied your “fix”. This might be why I had the appropriate key in my reg.


January 10th, 2006 at 2:51 am

Thanks so much. This problem was stumping me for 3 days already. I was totally blaming Norton Internet Security, haha. Have a good one.

March 8th, 2006 at 12:05 am

I volunteer to wash you car and mow your lawn for one week. Saved my neck.

May 1st, 2006 at 3:56 pm

I was kinda nervous to make modifications to a perfectly working (brand new) HP Laptop NX6120.

So I went with the second advice and disabled all HP application in MSCONFIG.exe

So far it seems to have done the trick. I’m going through the installation as I entering this. I’ll enable those HP apps after I’ve completed the Server Installation.

Thanks for the info. It really helped.


October 23rd, 2006 at 5:51 pm

Had this problem on a win2003 server, great tip, installation went through fine after.

December 20th, 2006 at 6:17 pm

Thanks for the great tip! Works perfectly

March 27th, 2007 at 10:17 pm

Hi Thanks
It worked on Windows 2003 Server for me. Thank You Guyz

July 2nd, 2007 at 2:26 pm

Thanks guys. Wasted 2 hours restarting and removing applications for this.

August 14th, 2007 at 3:41 pm

SWEEEEET!!! I’ll have to remember that one! Cheers

November 7th, 2007 at 4:55 am

Be careful! By deleting this value you could be whacking your system. Pending files are usually DLL’s and EXE’s that could not be replaced while all the services were running, so the installs write the files with temporary names and setup PendingFileRenameOperations to correct the names later. Deleting the operations mean you could create DLL hell.

December 13th, 2008 at 2:56 am

Hey bro,
you are wonderfoul !!! nice you helped me a lot TYTYTY and 100x TY man THNX a lot

February 4th, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Great! Many thanks.

June 15th, 2010 at 8:09 pm

thanks its work perfect (XP and W2k3)

July 17th, 2010 at 11:57 am

thanks sir… this is helps me a lot _

>> Jheff

Roland Hall
August 25th, 2010 at 9:48 pm

I had already rebooted once and this allowed me to get the install to run on W2K3 Standard. MSFT is such a disappointment in so many areas. I had a guy tell me I might have to reinstall Windows. I hung up on him laughing. Thanks buddy.

September 18th, 2011 at 9:56 am

thanks a lot for providing me the solution, it works on 2003 O.O sp2 Std edition.

September 18th, 2011 at 9:58 am

great its work

August 13th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

u save my time!


theme by teslathemes