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I need to update Windows Installer to 4.5 on Windows XP (Hotfix KB942288) but it has to be done without a reboot. Some software we're trying to install requires WI 4.5 but it's on a computer that cannot be restarted. It runs on a multi-site HA VMWare ESX cluster and we need to keep it as close to 100% uptime as possible (Our SLA is 6 nines), the services it's running don't support Windows Server or their own HA/clustering so we must keep a single instance up all the time. We can't even run security updates.

Is there any way to get the WI 4.5 update fully installed without a full reboot?

I know nothing that needs 6 nines uptime should be run on a single instance, but the software doesn't support any form of clustering, failover, replication, HA etc. I've never had anything to do with this server before (I'm actually a UNIX sysadmin but I've been pulled onto this for some reason unknown to me).

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Name and shame the security auditor and then I will help you :P ... (Joke) attempting to write the answer now... – William Hilsum Aug 10 '11 at 7:55
Argh, just tested in a VM, can't see an easy away around it requiring a restart - sorry :( – William Hilsum Aug 10 '11 at 7:58
Pulling a UNIX IT tech over to Windows? sounds like a fall guy to me. The Unix guy screwed it up, your fired! – Moab Aug 10 '11 at 16:37
In short, no, some updates modify parts of the registry that require a restart, no way around this, its WINDOWS not Unix. – Moab Aug 10 '11 at 16:39
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I don't know if this will fully answer your question because I believe you eventually will have to restart the service if not the server. If you had the /norestart option to the execution of the package it will suppress the reboot, and will either return ERROR_SUCCESS_REBOOT_REQUIRED or ERROR_SUCCESS. You will most likely have to shut down the Windows Installer service. Check this page for more details Windows Installer

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