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.

22 thoughts on “SQL Server 2008 Uninstall – Restart Computer Failure

  1. 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)

  2. 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.

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

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

  5. 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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