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Rebooting after install

I got recently assigned to maintain a software product.  While learning about the product I noticed that after each install/uninstall action, it prompts for a re-boot but ignoring to re-boot prompt does not seem to have any adverse effect.
My question is, when do we need a re-boot after installation?

Plover
Friday, September 05, 2003

Learn more about the project.  There is probably something it does to the registry that requires a reboot.  But either way, the answer is in the source code, not on this web board.

There are too many possible answers, we can't give you a good answer.

Andrew Hurst
Friday, September 05, 2003

On a lot of projects, a previous version required a reboot for some reason (usually replacing system DLLs), but on more recent OS's the reboot is no longer needed.

You'll have more friends among your customers if you can get rid of the reboot.

Chris Tavares
Friday, September 05, 2003

With Win2k, there are three answers I know of:
1) Interacting with system files or services can require a reboot, either to hook them properly or to hook them at startup.
2) Replacing a previous version (upgrade/reinstall) may require a reboot if active files are affected
3) "Rebooting makes sure the install is in a known state" <-weenie answer (and generally the actual answer)

I look at it this way - if ORACLE can be installed without a reboot, then nobody has an excuse.

Philo

Philo
Friday, September 05, 2003

Reboots are typically needed when a shared DLL is in use but needs to be replaced.  The software might work without a reboot because you didn't have the DLL or it wasn't in use (and the install writer was too lazy to account for this), or you had a newer DLL that didn't need replaced (and the install writer was too lazy to account for this), or you had an older DLL and simply didn't stumble on the issues that require a new version (or the newer version isn't really needed in the first place). 

Fixing this so it only reboots when absolutely necessary is a noble cause that I'm all for, but, one note of advice, you DO NOT want to be the guy who dumps the reboot because you don't think it's necessary and then has to explain to management why a bunch of customers are calling support because the product doesn't work (and, yes, they will call support before rebooting on their own). 

In short, don't assume that because it works for you, it'll work for everyone. 

SomeBody
Friday, September 05, 2003

From what I've seen, a lot of software does a reboot "just to be on the safe side". Maybe it's only passed a system test because it's rebooted after install. It's annoying, but it's one way of covering your tracks and standing a better chance of things working on every PC.

On the other hand, it is possible with a good spec for the installer to get something that will check every out of date file and see if it can unlock it and upgrade it before mandating the reboot.

Better Than Being Unemployed...
Friday, September 05, 2003

Check this registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\PendingFileRenameOperations

The installation renames any locked shared files it cannot replace and stores the new file name in this key in order to retry the process after reboot. If any file is present in this key the installation will request a reboot.

Now, if your package installs MDAC2.7 for instance, the chances are big one of the files is locked by one of your applications. An MSSQL service can be one of the culprits.

Install Shield installs MDAC2.7 with every installation without checking the existing version. If the existing MDAC version is the same as the installed version you can safely skip the reboot since it won’t change any file. I guess somebody decided to solve the MDAC DLL Hell this way.

19th floor
Friday, September 05, 2003

It is because it runs on windows.  The users there of love to reboot.

Seth
Friday, September 05, 2003

Use linux, my most uptime is 102 day while installing webserver, database server and complete programming tool (compiler IDE blah bvlah) .  I just reboot  the pc because  I want to transfer the it to another building. 
Highest uptime can be found here
http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/today/top.avg.html
btw if anybody reading is M$ supporter, only a Win2K machine has passed a  2 year uptime, I guess no service pack or security patch update ....(either a very busy or  very lazy admin).
and no, dont search for - uptime highest - at google because the 1st result is the reverse result (pun).

The best things in life are free.

Mohamad Afifi Omar
Friday, September 05, 2003

"I guess no service pack or security patch update"

Upgrade the kernel on a Linux box w/o a reboot, and I'll be impressed. :) Linux boxes have good uptimes, because they took a different (note: not better or worse) approach to supporting multiple versions of a library.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Friday, September 05, 2003

<quote>
It is because it runs on windows.  The users there of love to reboot.
</quote>

Yet another insightful response from your local Linux (or Mac?) advocate.

Seeya

Matthew
Sunday, September 07, 2003

<quote>
My question is, when do we need a re-boot after installation?
</quote>

http://www.wise.com/KBArticle.aspx?articleno=918&keywords=restart might be helpful.

Seeya

Matthew
Sunday, September 07, 2003

Thanks for all the response.

Plover
Monday, September 08, 2003

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