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\->Troubleshooting->Bugs, Features and Issues (NON-MAKEMSI)->Pending Restart Bugs

BUG: Pending Restart Bugs

Windows Installer will return a return code of 3010 if files are in use and at least one file is scheduled for deletion or overwrite. The bug is it is still scheduled even when the need is gone and it will cause problems when executed.

It is preferable to have users close applications whenever possible or for you to stop services before performing the install activity. If this is not possible then having enough advertised entry points is a workaround as it ensures the application gets repaired if required.

The proper solution (by Microsoft) is that Windows Installer needs its own locked file scheduling which it needs to manage itself (and not just at restart). It needs to remove pending operations that are no longer required or at least not allow future installs that will generate this issue.

One Way to Reproduce

One scenario which will result in missing files:

  1. Install a product.

  2. Start the application or otherwise ensure one or more of the installed files is "in use" (locked).

  3. Uninstall the product. Do this in "quiet mode" (/qb perhaps), this ensures that the deletion is scheduled for next boot up. Confirm the return code is "3010" (perhaps with a verbose log).

  4. Stop the application or otherwise ensure none of the files are in use.

  5. Install this application again (or a new version as is more likely "in the wild').

  6. Start the application, it should be OK.

  7. Reboot the computer, the scheduled deletion kicks in and the installed file(s) now gets deleted.

  8. Check that the previously locked files are gone confirming the bug.

For your testing, do not attempt to let Windows Installer "cover up" this fault by invoking advertised entry points and causing a repair.


Microsoft awarded me an MVP (Most Valuable Professional award) in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009 for the Windows SDK (Windows Installer) area.Please email me any feedback, additional information or corrections.
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Sunday February 28 2016 at 3:45pm
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Microsoft awarded me an MVP (Most Valuable Professional award) in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009 for the Windows SDK (Windows Installer) area.