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SQL Server 2008 Uninstall – Restart Computer Failure

Sometimes when attempting to uninstall SQL Server, “Setup Support Rules” performs a check and fails on “Restart Computer” with the following error;

“A computer restart is required. You must restart this computer before installing SQL Server”

So you restart your computer and try again, same error… Doh!

So now it turns out there is a bad registry entry, so if you have restarted your computer and there are actually no pending restart operations that you are aware of the do the following

  1. Leave the Setup Support Rules UI open if you are already in there
  2. Open Regedit
  3. Go to the following registry key”HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager”
  4. Delete the “PendingFileRenameOperations”
  5. Click “Re-Run” in Setup Support Rules launch the uninstall again

So now you will have passed the restart computer check and you can continue and get rid of that pesky old version of SQL Server.

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Rating: 9.8/10 (13 votes cast)
SQL Server 2008 Uninstall - Restart Computer Failure, 9.8 out of 10 based on 13 ratings

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  1. Harjot
    February 2nd, 2011 at 17:12 | #1

    Thanks a ton….Worked perfectly for me.

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  2. aleha
    August 19th, 2011 at 03:02 | #2

    solved. Stupid soft crashing my brains

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  3. November 24th, 2011 at 18:18 | #3

    You are a genius!!!! This took hours for me.

    Kevin

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  4. Trevor Farley
    May 27th, 2012 at 09:37 | #4

    Hi jcrawfor74, Thank you so much for this post, it was brilliant. I find Microsoft so frustrating when one cannot even un-install one of their products without running into some bizarre error for which Microsoft provide no help whatsoever. Regards Trevor Farley (Australia)

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  5. bob mick
    November 4th, 2012 at 12:52 | #5

    Thanks for the info!! I and running vista and finding the “Pending… was a little different but it is now uninstalling SQL Server!! (I just searched for “Pending” in regedit and it found the right one.

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  6. Pratik
    January 13th, 2013 at 17:05 | #6

    Please Visit This Site. Follow The Steps
    http://www.sqlcoffee.com/Troubleshooting051.htm

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  7. JP
    March 17th, 2013 at 07:36 | #7

    This worked! Thank you!

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  8. Chris Holding
    August 11th, 2013 at 21:04 | #8

    Works! Thanks

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  9. Franklin
    January 8th, 2014 at 05:50 | #9

    This fix and you are a godsend! I had 3 2008/2008R2 instances to uninstall on one server and it worked everytime!
    Thanks!

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  10. Mahesh Shrestha
    January 9th, 2014 at 11:01 | #10

    Thanks a lot!!!

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  11. vijay
    January 28th, 2014 at 13:11 | #11

    There is no such Pending file in my Registry but still I am getting same error, Please advise what to do?

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  12. John
    January 31st, 2014 at 03:52 | #12

    This worked! Thank you so much for posting it.

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  13. March 1st, 2014 at 23:19 | #13

    thanks good job

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  14. Tanvi
    March 2nd, 2014 at 06:47 | #14

    There is no PendingFileRenameOperation is my directory. Please advice me what to do?

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  15. Danish HABIB
    May 8th, 2014 at 14:22 | #15

    This is good solution i did and it works well

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  16. JC
    December 16th, 2014 at 15:36 | #16

    Thanks from me too – I never would have guessed this !

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  17. Dan
    December 19th, 2014 at 08:34 | #17

    Your post just keeps on giving! Thanks for the help!

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  18. Nigel Smith
    January 12th, 2016 at 21:45 | #18

    Still useful, cheers!

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  19. keegan
    April 14th, 2016 at 16:15 | #19

    this didnt work for me. I had to remove SQL server from command line with the following

    C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Setup Bootstrap\SQLServer2008R2\setup.exe /SkipRules=RebootRequiredCheck /ACTION=uninstall

    Hopefully helps someone else. windows 8.1, SQL 2008R2

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  20. Jing
    January 7th, 2019 at 23:42 | #20

    Thanks! It works!

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