I’ve run into this one a few times, so I figured I’d share my experience. During the “Prepare First Standard Edition Wizard” the installer says “The server must be restarted before installation can continue”. I’ve also seen this same error when doing SQL installs, such as the backend database.
After a reboot, the installation still halts with the same error. To correct the behavior we have to hop into our registry editor and navigate to: HKLM>System>ControlSet001>Control>Session Manager
Under the “PendingFileRename” entry you will see text like what is in the box below.
This tells the system that the file in question is pending a rename and causes the SQL install to fail because it checks this entry before proceeding. If you delete the contents in the “Value data” box and restart the installer (not the machine), the issue will be resolved temporarily and will allow you to continue with the installation.