A Mind @ Play

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Problem installing Altiris SVS

After reading a review over at freewaregenius.com, I thought I’d check out this neat little program, free for personal use. It offers a way to install programs as a ‘layer’ on your system, transparently noting all changes and additions made in the installation, and enabling you to turn this layer on or off, or seamlessly delete it without worry. Although not limited to creating layers for installations, this would seem the perfect solution for people who wish to try out different versions of a software package without them interfering with one another, or simply test out some software without the hastle of worrying if its installer left anything behind.

However, I came across a problem during the installation that seems, ironically, to be caused by things being left behind. The installer would fail and blurt:

There are file operations pending on this machine. The machine should be restarted, and setup can be run again.

Whilst a reboot should fix the problem, this was not the case for me. Your natural recourse to a problem like this might be to delete everything in your C:\Documents and Settings\your username\Local Settings\Temp folder, as detailed here (in Chinese), however this brought no joy. Instead, some erroneous registry entry was to blame. 1Note that these entries are probably only erroneous if they are still present after restarting Windows. Ensure this is the case. The solution is to delete the entries and restart, thus:

  1. Click Start > Run… and then type regedit.
  2. Find the following branch in the registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager.
  3. Double-click the PendingFileRenameOperations entry.
  4. Delete any entries and click OK.
  5. Close the registry editor and restart the computer.
  6. Run the installer again.

If this does not work, another solution would be to export the above registry branch, delete the PendingFileRenameOperations registry entry altogether, run the installer, and then reimport the saved file.

   [ + ]

1. Note that these entries are probably only erroneous if they are still present after restarting Windows. Ensure this is the case.


  1. Thanks for that. I'm about to reboot, and hopefully this has fixed my problem.

    • Hope it worked out for you. Although I've stopped using Altiris SVS now, it proved very useful for testing out programmes, particularly if they tend to conflict with one another.

  2. Yes, it worked thanks. I'm now a happy user.

  3. Rick McCormick

    29th May 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Several times I cleared the registry entries, rebooted, and got the same error msg. I finally figured out that CCleaner was running on startup and causing the entries to be rewritten. Turned off CCleaner on startup, installed like a charm.

  4. Thank you so much, It worked flawlessly

  5. Unfortunately its not working for me. It could be that I am running Windows 7 – but vista programs should be compatible with 7.

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