Recently I found myself stumped whilst trying to installing some firewall monitoring software onto my Windows 7 machine at work. Each time I ran either the setup.exe or setup.msi it would tell me there was another installation stuck pending a reboot. No matter how many times I rebooted I still got the same message. After several hours of digging around I finally managed to figure out there was a rogue registry key that needed a bit of a kick before Windows would finally believe there was no work to be done.
To get the setup to run
Click on Start > Run type Regedit and click ok
Find the key “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager”
Rename the “PendingFileRenameOperations” value to “PendingFileRenameOperations2″
Once done, run the setup again and you should be able to install the software as expected. Obviously there is on caveat with this solution. In that some of the operations pending may actually need to be run, so it’s best to do this is a last option scenario. Also – playing in the registry can be dangerous, so it’s worth backing up before performing any operations in the registry.