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Use QChain.exe to Install Multiple Hotfixes with Only One Reboot


The information in this article applies to:
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server version 4.0
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server version 4.0, Terminal Server Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server, Enterprise Edition version 4.0
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation version 4.0


SUMMARY

Microsoft has released a command-line tool named QChain.exe that gives system administrators the ability to safely chain hotfixes together. Hotfix chaining involves installing multiple hotfixes without rebooting between each installation. Without this tool, the only supported method is to reboot after each hotfix installation. The QChain.exe tool has the following benefits:

  • It increases uptime for servers because computers are not being rebooted between each hotfix installation.


  • It allows faster installations of multiple hotfixes on a single computer.


  • It is a solution that works on both Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0.



MORE INFORMATION

Chaining Hotfix Installations Without QChain.exe Is Not Safe

When you install hotfixes, if a file is locked or in use and cannot be replaced, it is placed in the Pending File Rename queue to be replaced after the restarts. The problem occurs in this scenario:
  • You install hotfixes A and B without rebooting between installations.


  • Both packages contain file X. Package A's file X is version of 3; package B's fix X is version 2. The version of file X on the computer is version 1.


  • When package A is installed, it places its version of file X in the Pending File Rename queue.


  • When package B is installed, it places its version of file X in the Pending File Rename queue.


  • When the computer is rebooted, because package B was installed last, its version of file X is installed (in the Pending File Rename queue, the last file is the one that is used). You end up with version 2 instead of version 3 as you expected.


If Previously Chained Hotfixes Without Rebooting Are Installed

Although, this scenario is rare, it is a good idea to verify that your computer has all of the fixes that you believe are installed. To verify this, use the Qfecheck.exe tool. For additional information about Qfecheck.exe, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q282784 Qfecheck.exe Verifies the Installation of Windows 2000 Hotfixes
QChain.exe cleans the Pending File Rename Operations key in the registry to make sure that only the latest version of a file is installed after the computer is rebooted.

To Install Multiple Hotfixes Without Rebooting

  1. Run the hotfix installer with the -z switch to instruct the installer not to reboot after the installation. Add the -m switch (for Quiet mode) in addition to the -z switch if you do not want to see prompts or messages during the installation. The hotfix installer is either:


    • The self-extracting package program file (for example, Qnnnnnn_w2k_spx_x86_en.exe)

      or


    • Hotfix.exe (if you have extracted all of the files from the package)


  2. After all of the hotfixes have been installed, run QChain.exe.


  3. Reboot the computer.


You could also create a batch file to do this. The following sample batch file demonstrates this method:
@echo off
setlocal
set PATHTOFIXES=some path

%PATHTOFIXES%\Q123456_w2k_sp2_x86.exe -z -m
%PATHTOFIXES%\Q123321_w2k_sp2_x86.exe -z -m
%PATHTOFIXES%\Q123789_w2k_sp2_x86.exe -z -m
%PATHTOFIXES%\qchain.exe

How to obtain QChain.exe

The following file is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:
[GRAPHIC: ]Download q296861_x86_en.exe now
For additional information about how to download Microsoft Support files, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q119591 How to Obtain Microsoft Support Files from Online Services
Microsoft used the most current virus detection software available on the date of posting to scan this file for viruses. Once posted, the file is housed on secure servers that prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.

The QChain.exe Command Syntax

qchain [logfilename]
The optional [logfilename] parameter creates a file with a before and after snapshot of the Pending File Rename Operations key.

Sample QChain.exe Output

---- Old Information In The Registry ------
Source:C:\WINNT\inf\acpi.inf
Version: 5.0.2183.1
Destination:d:\ntsust\testregchech\1394.inf
Version: 5.0.2183.1

Source:C:\WINNT\inf\adm_mult.inf
Version: 5.0.2184.1
Destination:d:\ntsust\testregchech\1394.inf
Version: 5.0.2183.1

Source:C:\WINNT\inf\banshee.inf
Version: 5.0.2080.1
Destination:d:\ntsust\testregchech\1394.inf
Version: 5.0.2183.1


---- New Information In The Registry ------
Source:C:\WINNT\inf\adm_mult.inf
Version: 5.0.2184.1
Destination:d:\ntsust\testregchech\1394.inf
Version: 5.0.2183.1

Additional query words: sp spsetup spinstall fixes patches updates

Keywords : kbfile kbtool
Issue type : kbinfo
Technology : kbWinNTsearch kbWinNTWsearch kbwin2000AdvServSearch kbwin2000DataServSearch kbWinNTSsearch kbWinNTSEntSearch kbwin2000Ssearch kbwin2000ProSearch kbNTTermServSearch kbExchange400 kbPictureIt2000 kbWinAdvServSearch kbWinDataServSearch


Last Reviewed: May 16, 2001
© 2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of Use.


Article ID: Q296861

Last Reviewed:
May 16, 2001

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