Pending Restart Action Message

(imported topic written by DPSofNY)

I have several clients in a group all with the same windows OS revision(W2K3 R2). When applying relevant fixlets to the group, I select a force restart in the post action section. 1 of the clients completes successfully (Status = complete) while the other 4 clients expire with a status of Pending Message. When you drill down into the View Action Info on an individual client the message is the following:

Waiting for user to respond to restart message.

I have the default post action set to:

  1. Restart computer after action completes

  2. Force restart/shutdown after: 1 minute.

Checked the KB and read articles 159 and 369. The client that reboots has no entry in the registry for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServiesOnce\BESPendingRestart while the failing 4 clients do.

Has anyone seen this type of behavior? What would cause the client not to reboot? I am new to BigFix and could use some help -THANKS

(imported comment written by SystemAdmin)

There was a bit longer of a discussion on something similar to this:

The take away for you would be to set the BES Client setting


to 1 and see if that helps improve the restart behavior on these boxes. If these computers are Terminal Servers you might be seeing an issue where Windows will not shutdown properly because of multiple users being logged into the computer. I would just try using the setting here and see if the restart behavior improves.

(imported comment written by SystemAdmin)

another similar post:

(imported comment written by DPSofNY)

Tyler - I am not quite sure where I would find the _BESClient_ActionManager_SkipVoluntaryOnForceShutdown option. I do see it in the _results file located in C:\Program Files\BigFix Enterprise\BES Client__BESData__Global. For the messages pending clients and the completed clients the setting is - 26m: _BESClient_ActionManager_SkipVoluntaryOnForceShutdown=1. I do notice one difference between clients:

Completed clients

26i: setting

26m: _BESClient_ActionManager_SkipVoluntaryOnForceShutdown=1

26m: _BESClient_LastShutdown_Reason=Service manager shutdown request

26m: _BESClient_UploadManager_BufferDirectory=C%253a%255cProgram File

Message Pending Client

26i: setting

26m: _BESClient_ActionManager_SkipVoluntaryOnForceShutdown=1

26m: _BESClient_UploadManager_BufferDirectory=C%253a%255cProgram Files

Is there a way to set the BESClient_ActionManager_SkipVoluntaryOnForceShutdown option to something else for troubleshooting purposes.


(imported comment written by alex91)

Was there ever a solution to this problem from some time ago? I’m fairly new to BigFix and am experiencing the exact same problem. Both clients that are not restarting (and not displaying any of the BigFix messages) are WinXP machines. Both have the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunServiesOnce\BESPendingRestart key. It wasn’t really listed in this thread but can someone tell me where I would set _BESClient_ActionManager_SkipVoluntaryOnForceShutdown to 1? Thanks

One client is running v7.0.7.82 and the other is running v7.0.7.96

(imported comment written by BenKus)

Hi Alex,

I don’t think we have any known reason that an agent wouldn’t restart. The discussion about the “SkipVoluntaryOnForceShutdown” setting is related to the fact that Server computers will not shutdown if there is a remote user connected (a Windows message will appear if you look at the local console of the server) and so we set the setting “SkipVoluntaryOnForceShutdown”=1 to make it restart forcefully to skip the local message.

To figure out why the computers aren’t restarting, I suggest starting a support case and send a screenshot of the action details along with the log file from the BigFix Agent that didn’t restart. Also, if you can confirm that no one was remotely connected to the computer, it will help troubleshooting.


(imported comment written by alex91)

Hi Ben,

Thanks for the help! We opened a support case and sent our log files.


(imported comment written by SystemAdmin)

Sorry if these seems like an obvious question but I was wondering what happens when another fixlet (which may require a restart) is applied to a computer which is already in a “pending restart” state from another fixlet? Will the new fixlet wait for the “pending restart” to complete before being applied to the computer? I’m also wondering if there is a way to present a restart window to a logged in user only if the fixlet requests it?


(imported comment written by BenKus)

Hi j2johnson,

The “Pending restart” state will only affect Fixlets that have “not pending restart” in their relevance (which is mostly just “corrupt patches”) so you generally don’t need to worry about this…

You can use the “restart needed” Fixlet to restart a computer only if it needs it.