“WmiPrvSe.exe process is not controlled by…”

This morning when applying SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 i came across the following error during the installation “Check File In Use” page:

The ‘WmiPrvSE.exe’ process is not controlled by the update wizard. You have to manually stop this process to avoid a computer restart.


There where two theads being identified by the SQL SP1 installer, but in Task Manager – Processes there where 4 running process instances. Killing these processes manually just made them spawn again.

The “WmiPrvSE.exe” process is the provider created to launch multiple instances of WMI and if stopped each new request to the service will launch as new thread. The only way to get around this issue without restarting the server after installation is to stop the WMI service itself during the installation process.

To do this:

  1. Navigate to Start – Admistrative Tools – Services (or Start – Run – services.msc)
  2. Locate the Windows Management Instrumentation (Winmgmt) service – right click and select Stop.


Running a “Recheck Files” in the SQL Server SP1 installer should detect no running instances of WmiPrvSE.exe. Once you have deployed the service pack, simply restart the service.