Kevin Kempf's Blog

August 11, 2010

Patching Oracle on Windows 2003 (and how msconfig can make it less painful)

Filed under: Oracle, Windows 2003 — kkempf @ 2:49 pm

When is a file more than a file?

When it’s a .dll, of course!  Then it’s like a villain in a bad Bruce Willis movie.    It refuses to die.  Or in this case, be deleted.

The walk-through

I went to upgrade to the 10.2.0.5 client on a few Windows 2003 applications servers and remembered why I hate Windows so much.  It’s just not enterprise-ready.   After I get a few steps into the installer, it’s complaining about 2 services running (COM+ System Application and Distributed Transaction Coordinator):

You Shall not Pass!

Linux would behave more properly; if it had permissions (which I can manipulate without a reboot!) it would overlay a file and pick up the new version when the service or process restarted.  However, I’m stuck in Bill Gates’ idea of a server, so like a good Windows person, I go over and stop those services:

I'm sure this is all it will take, right?

But… SURPRISE!  It didn’t work.  Now I get the mysterious “Close any running applications” error:

Isn't the installer a running application?

Plan B

Start->Run->msconfig

Bringing out the big guns

First, check “Hide all Microsoft Services”.  Then Disable All:

A word of caution, if you run a non-Windows service to log in to the server (in my case, VNC), you need to enable that or you can’t get back in.

OK, now uncheck the “Hide All Microsoft Services” box, and uncheck the two it specifically complained about before (COM+ System Application and Distributed Transaction Coordinator, your mileage may vary) for good measure.

You thought Windows was handicapped before!

Hit Apply & OK.  You will get this message:

Now hit restart and see how it comes back.  Windows should obediently remind you that you’ve crippled it:

Note to self

Now, the Oracle installer runs without complaint!

I will reluctantly bend to your will

Finally, when you’re done with the installer or whatever you may be doing (I suspect this trick will work well for CPU patches as well), restore the system startup services via msconfig and reboot:

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