In comparison to a medium like cinema, computer games suffer from a particularly poor level of longevity. The vast majority of films can still happily be viewed today, often in an updated format, though keeping to the original production. That isn’t to suggest that films do not become dated, nor that more than just distribution formats are updated in later productions. Only recently I had the privilege of watching a once lost silent Polish film, A Strong Man (Mocny Człowiek), rediscovered in 1997. As there were no hints as to what musical accompaniment was meant to be played with the film, the DVD was released with a modern ambient style, that took a short while to get used to, but actually fit the film’s plot and style rather beautifully. On the whole, however, a film produced fifty years ago can be viewed with much the same clarity today as on the day it was released.
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. ((Note 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:
- Click Start > Run… and then type regedit.
- Find the following branch in the registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager.
- Double-click the PendingFileRenameOperations entry.
- Delete any entries and click OK.
- Close the registry editor and restart the computer.
- 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.