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Article ID: 139086 - Last Review: February 21, 2014 - Revision: 2.2

This article was previously published under Q139086
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.


If you attempt to update Windows client system files that are currently in use, the update fails and the files are not overwritten. This article outlines a procedure that you can use to ensure these files are updated when you restart the computer. The procedure is not supported and may be used at your own risk. The SMSWORK component can change in future releases of Systems Management Server.


The C:\SMS.INI file can include a [SMS Work] section, and a PendingWork key. For this key, you can create a comma separated list of commands for the SMSWORK.EXE component of Systems Management Server. SMSWORK.EXE executes these commands when AUTOEXEC.BAT calls the Systems Management Server batch file, CLIENT.BAT.

For example, if you want to update the NETAPI.DLL file in the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory, do the following:

  1. Use Microsoft Test or another method to update SMS.INI as follows:
          [SMS Work]
          PendingWork=copy c:\temp\netapi.dll c:\windows\system\netapi.dll /y,
          del c:\temp\netapi.dll
    NOTE: SMS.INI is a critical file for the Systems Management Server client and great care should be taken when altering it. SMS.INI has the file attribute Hidden. Be sure to restore the Hidden file attribute after you remove it.
  2. In the script you use, place the new version of NETAPI.DLL into the c:\TEMP directory and possibly notify the user that a reboot is needed.
In this example, when the client reboots, AUTOEXEC.BAT calls CLIENT.BAT, which invokes SMSWORK.EXE. SMSWORK reads the items from PendingWork and executes them as separate commands according to where you place the comma starting with the left command first. SMSWORK then copies NETAPI.DLL over the old one, and the next command deletes the temporary version of NETAPI.DLL. Following each command, SMSWORK automatically removes the executed command from the PendingWork key.

By design, SMSWORK is a helper component to the modules that perform operating system upgrades and installs. SMSWORK helps these modules by removing local temporary directories created during the operating system setup or undoes other actions taken by these modules, when the system reboots.

  • Microsoft Systems Management Server 1.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Systems Management Server 1.1 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Systems Management Server 1.2 Standard Edition
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbhowto kbsetup KB139086
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