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Determining if a restart is needed

Technote (FAQ)


How does the BigFix Client determine that a computer needs a restart?


The BigFix Client looks at the following conditions to see if a restart is necessary:

  1. If any action was run with the line "action requires restart", then the BigFix Client will show the "Restart Needed" Fixlet message and will report "Pending Restart" in the action status. Taking such an action will create the value "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\BigFix\EnterpriseClient\BESPendingRestart\BESPendingRestart" on Windows client machines. If the appropriate registry key value exists, the client is considered to be in a "pending restart" state.
  2. TheBigFix Client also looks in the registry under the key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager". If the value "PendingFileRenameOperations" exists, then this indicates that Windows will do some file operations during the next restart. Note that the BigFix Client will report that the computer needs a restart even if the application that requires the restart was not run by the BigFix Client. (If you run a patch or installer manually that requires a restart, the BigFix Client will notice that the computer needs a restart.)
  3. TheBigFix Client also looks in the registry under these keys  HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager  value: PendingFileRenameOperations
       HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update\RebootRequired
       HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\RebootPending
       HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Updates  value: UpdateExeVolatile

Note: Windows Deployment Services (WDC) configuration can cause this not to work properly on Windows 2008.

Note: There have been reports that some applications constantly leave the "PendingFileRenameOperations" value in the registry. Specifically, certain applications will sometimes malfunction and constantly write this value. If this situation is occurring, your BigFix Client will constantly report that a restart is needed and will report "Failed" if you attempt to take the restart action in the "Restart Needed" Fixlet message. In this situation, look at the "PendingFileRenameOperations" value for clues as to which applications are misbehaving.

You can search Microsoft's web site for more information on the "PendingFileRenameOperations" registry value.

A BigFix Client setting has been added called "_BESClient_ActionManager_PendingRestartExclusions". The purpose of this setting was to help with applications that put themselves in the "PendingFileRenameOperations" registry key all the time and therefore made the BigFix Client constantly report "Pending Restart".

The format of the value of this setting is: "exclude1;exclude2;exclude3;"
The trailing semi-colon is required. This will ignore any entry in the registry "PendingFileRenameOperations" that has any of these three strings.

Note: The string is case sensitive.

Also Note: Once a BigFix Client has determined that a restart is needed, the BigFix Client will continue to show "pending restart" until the computer is rebooted, regardless of whether this BigFix Client setting has been modified to include the string currently in the "PendingFileRenameOperations" key.

For further information please see the following DCF article:
Pending Restart..

You may also want to see the following article which suggests that the application Intel Smart Connect can cause a system to remain in pending restart state:here

Historical Number


Document information

More support for: IBM BigFix family

Software version: All Versions

Operating system(s): Platform Independent

Software edition: All Editions

Reference #: 1506002

Modified date: 16 November 2017

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