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.