LHS Feature Of The Week #9 - Restart Manager

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Hello everyone, and welcome back to  the “Feature Of The Week” newsletter. In this week’s edition of the “Longhorn Server Feature of the Week”, we will be taking a look at a new feature in Vista and Longhorn Server: the Restart Manager.

What is the Restart Manager? The primary reason software updates require a system restart during an installation or update is that some of the files that are being updated are currently being used by a running application or service. The Restart Manager enables all but the critical system services to be shut down and restarted and guarantees that blocking DLLs and resources are unloaded. This frees files that are in use and allows installation operations to complete.

Using the Restart Manager DLL, an installer can use the Restart Manager to register files that should be replaced during the installation of an application or update. Then during a subsequent update or installation, the installer can use the Restart Manager to determine which files cannot be updated because they are currently in use. Installers can direct the Restart Manager to shutdown and restart applications or services based on the file in use, the process ID (PID), or the short-name of a Windows service.

What scenarios does this enable? The Restart Manager API can eliminate or reduce the number of system restarts that are required to complete an installation or update.

Notes – Applications that use Windows Installer, version 4.0, for installation and servicing automatically use the Restart Manager to reduce system restarts. Custom installers can also be designed to call the Restart Manager API to shutdown and restart applications and services.

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