Exchange Setup Repeatedly Says 'A Restart from a Previous Installation is Pending'

Tuesday, June 29, 2010
You may find when installing Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010 that the server repeatedly reports:
A restart from a previous installation is pending. Please restart the system and rerun setup.
Exchange Setup reads the following registry key to determine whether a system restart is required after installation or removal of a software update such as a security update, critical update, or hotfix.


Exchange Setup also checks the following registry key to determine whether a previous software update installation was not completed and the system must be restarted to finish the installation.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\PendingFileRenameOperations

If setup still complains that a restart is needed after you've performed a restart, do the following:
  • Open RegEdit.
  • Set the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Updates\UpdateExeVolatile key value to 0 or delete it.
  • Delete the HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\PendingFileRenameOperations key.
  • Rerun Setup.


  1. Jeff,

    It worked! Thank you so much!

  2. Worked like a champ! thanks for the tip!

  3. Well. I have none of the keys above, but I still get this message. Restart does not solve my problem. I have tried creating the UpdateExeVolatile key and setting the value to 0, but still no go. Is here any other places in the registry Exchange checks for pending restart?

  4. Thanks Jeff! This one saved me from scratching a bald spot on my head! See you at TechEd in Orlando!

  5. Thank you! The first key did not exist on my 2008R2, but the second key was the trick that got me there. Thank you for the advice.

  6. The first key didn't exist but the second one did and the setup completed once it was deleted. I did also need to stop the datacollectorsvc while the setup was running.

    Thanks alot

  7. Thanks Jeff! - My hair was going grey with stress - I can put the just for men back in the bathroom cupboard for now


Thank you for your comment! It is my hope that you find the information here useful. Let others know if this post helped you out, or if you have a comment or further information.