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Microsoft Bug

Microsoft Pulls Broken XP Update 478

Posted by michael
from the repatch-and-sin-no-more dept.
Cally writes "Yahoo! reports that Microsoft have pulled a Windows XP update from the Windows Update servers after it killed network access for some users of the claimed 600,000 who installed it. (Does this mean only 600,000 XP users trust Windows Update?) The story hints that the problem was something to do with VPN or IPSec drivers clashing with Symantec software - however I haven't found anything about this on the Microsoft KnowledgeBase (the link Yahoo provide goes to the generic support home page.) Anyone got more info?"
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Microsoft Pulls Broken XP Update

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  • updated link (Score:4, Informative)

    by Carl_Cne (253854) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:18AM (#6055707)
    try http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb; en-us;818043
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:42AM (#6055854)
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @10:15AM (#6056564)
        I guess I was not the only one who got hosed downloading this update recommended to me by MS thru the update site. It ruined my DSL connection and could not be uninstalled. I wound up fdisking and formatting, which of course required the nice little phone call to Microsoft to get this number and that number. When they asked me why I was calling, I told them I downloaded an update from the update site that killed my internet connection - they were very polite after that.....wonder why? :)

        When Apple comes out with their new PPC 970 systems I will be first in line to buy one. I dont like what I see coming down the Microsoft trail re DRM and all the spying going on. I liked my G4 when I had it but it was so slow compared to my windows box I sold it. Seems like Mac maight make a comeback, I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking this way. But there's no way I'm buying a G4 unit.
    • The Fix (Score:5, Informative)

      by Davak (526912) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @11:37AM (#6057506) Homepage
      This problem should be easily fixable on any system.

      When the update occurs, XP makes a new restore point.

      If you are ever having problems after an update... just roll the system back. Easy.

      Restore Point Link [bcentral.co.uk]


      DavaK

  • by satanicat (239025) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:18AM (#6055709)
    windows mustive been getting too stable. .

    Do they have any sort of quality control?=)
    • Re:windows update (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BrokenHalo (565198)
      One does wonder...

      Does this mean only 600,000 XP users trust Windows Update?

      Probably only 600,000 users actually bother to use the updates. I know any number of people who just use the software that came on their Win98 CDROM, it never even occurs to them to update their software. Like all the academics at my university using Netscape 4.7x with MacOS 9.1.

      • Re:windows update (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jondor (55589)
        off course, then again, netscape 4.7 was the last one to support for example roaming access using an LDAP server or mod_roaming under apache.. A very usefull feature for those who use many different machines.

        You know, there ARE other reasons not to join the upgrade ratrace..
      • Re:windows update (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mcrbids (148650) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @05:05PM (#6061032) Journal
        I know any number of people who just use the software that came on their Win98 CDROM, it never even occurs to them to update their software.

        Ummmm, yeah!

        People think of a computer like a machine. Like a car, or a boat.

        Do you take your car in to have the Catalytic converter "upgraded" every year?

        Do you subscribe to an "update service" to update the embedded firmware on the onboard computer?

        Why would you do this? Why should they?
    • by Sazarac (621648) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @01:24PM (#6058640) Homepage
      As an IT professional/developer with 130 wintel boxes in my charge, I just want to say thanks to Microsoft for giving me something to fill up the otherwise boring hours of my employment with endless regression testing to make sure everything works with everything else. It's not as if I'm AT ALL busy with keeping everything running anyway. Not to mention writing new code that compiles and runs fine on Win2K but randomly throws exceptions on NT.

      != ("Not!")

      Sheesh... I'm gonna quit my job and start a new thrash band called Rage Against The Butterfly

    • by El (94934) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @02:05PM (#6059061)
      Do they have any sort of quality control?

      Yes, they've got a huge installed user base that reports problems very quickly... why should that pay people to find bugs, when there are 600,000 people willing to pay them for the priviledge of beta-testing their software?

  • by Debian Troll (676582) <debian_troll@yahoo.com> on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:19AM (#6055715) Homepage Journal
    I am currently porting apt-get to Windows. This will mean that these types of embarassing security breaches never happen again. apt-get is the answer to all of today's problems.
    • by Saint Stephen (19450) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:31AM (#6055795) Homepage Journal
      I got tired of apt-get blowing up my unstable Debian, so I wrote this to make it transactional:

      sub=dists/latest/binary-i386
      dt=`date +"%y%m%d_%H%M%S"`
      cd /data/apt
      dpkg-scanpackages latest /dev/null > $sub/Packages
      grep -Ex "Filename: latest/.+" $sub/Packages | sed "s/Filename: latest\/\(.*\)/\1/" > old/L$dt
      pushd $sub
      rm Packages.gz
      gzip Packages
      popd
      mv latest $dt
      mkdir latest
      for x in `cat old/L$dt`; do mv $dt/$x latest; done
      if [[ `ls $dt | wc -l` -eq 0 ]]; then rm -r $dt; fi

      If it blows up, I can easily roll back, and keep a history of all the intermedate versions.
      • by Debian Troll (676582) <debian_troll@yahoo.com> on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:42AM (#6055856) Homepage Journal
        I got tired of apt-get blowing up my unstable Debian, so I wrote this to make it transactional:

        Your code looks very interesting, and would make a fine addition to the new Windows version of apt-get which I have almost finished writing. It is crafted in MMX/SSE accelerated x86 assembler, so it runs really fast! You will, however, need to port your nice Java program to assembler. I am also looking for people to help out with the GUI front-end to win-apt-get, which is based around a helpful paper clip character called 'Klecker'. When the user requires an update, they 'Klick' on 'Klecker', and he helpfully tells the user to "Fuck off and read the manual you filthy Windoze luser", or to "Take a fucking number and wait for win-apt-get stable to be released in 2017".

  • Link has a typo. (Score:3, Informative)

    by nlinecomputers (602059) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:19AM (#6055719)
    Not sure but I think this is the link. Does not mention that it is pulled though.

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=k b; en-us;818043
  • by Tsu Dho Nimh (663417) <abacaxi@NosPAM.hotmail.com> on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:20AM (#6055721)
    If XP is allowed to go find its master and patch itself, any problem with a patch will spread widely to the people least able to deal with it.

    At least this patch made it perfectly obvious that it had a bug.
  • Why is this news? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 1g$man (221286) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:21AM (#6055725)
    Has a Linux, or FreeBSD patch ever been pulled because it was broken? *yawn*

    I'd say it was a slow news day, but it ain't even daytime yet.
    • Re:Why is this news? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by arivanov (12034) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:26AM (#6055756) Homepage
      Yes. Look at the "do not use" and missing kernel numbers on www.kernel.org and "Heads UP" announcements on bsd-current.
    • Re:Why is this news? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mblase (200735) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:32AM (#6055800)
      The second-to-last Mac OS X update had a glitch where, on many portables, it would reset the system clock to the epoch on restart. The update after that corrected the problem, of course.

      This is somewhat minor compared to losing network access, but only somewhat. This sort of thing happens often when OS updates move from the lab to the real world, and the fact that Microsoft responded the way it did should be considered a virtue rather than a vice.
    • Re:Why is this news? (Score:5, Informative)

      by theCoder (23772) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:33AM (#6055804) Homepage Journal
      True enough, but then again, I heard this story on NPR on my way to work today, so it's only natural that /. would carry something about it.

      But you're right, this does remind me of the kernel-that-never-should-have-been. I don't remember the version number (it was in the 2.4 series), but it was the one that corrupted your drives when you unmounted them. Of course, IIRC, that kernel wasn't pulled, the next version was just released very quickly. You can still get that kernel version if you really want to corrupt your data :)

      • greased turkey (Score:3, Informative)

        by JahToasted (517101)
        2.4.15 I believe. Released on thanksgiving day so it was called "Greased Turkey". I remember reading about it on a machine that was using it. There was a way to unmount the drives without them being corrupted, luckily, so I was able to reboot into a different kernel. But it was pretty dicey.
    • by ch-chuck (9622)
      Because it's a screwup by the richest folks in the world. They keep telling us they have such a monopoly because the educated consumer market freely choose their products as 'better' than alternatives. We keep insisting they keep their cash cow monopoly because their products are automatically bundled in with each and every Intel PC sold, whether the customer wants it or not, and that just gets the foot in the door so they can lead the gullible by the nose down the primrose path to the rest of their crappy,
  • by Howard Beale (92386) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:21AM (#6055727)
    "Most systems didn't crash; they simply lost network connectivity," said Michael Surkan, a Microsoft program manager for its networking communications group. "There were hundreds of thousands of people who downloaded this, and we know of only a handful of people who had the problem."

    Maybe because they couldn't get online to report the problem???

  • Old news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rjch (544288) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:21AM (#6055728) Homepage
    Unfortunately, it's something we've all heard before. I'm a recent entrant to the world of tech support, and the company I work for (much like many other large companies) refuse to touch a new Microsoft OS until it's been through at *least* one, preferably two service packs. Likewise, updates that Microsoft class as "critical" are not to be installed for at least a fortnight, unless they are for serious security holes with known exploits. Whilst I think this is probably a rather conservative approach, it sure as hell is better than having the network crash down around you. I believe this company was bitten badly by such a problem with a patch a couple of years ago, hence their policy on updates.
  • Not News (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 4of12 (97621) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:21AM (#6055729) Homepage Journal

    In real life, people don't trust MS patches until they've tested them on their own systems with their own application mixes.

    Until MS raises their quality assurance and testing to a higher level than it is now, knowledgeable system admins, responsible for managing lots of Windows systems in their environments, will continue not to trust Windows Update.

    • Re:Not News (Score:3, Funny)

      by mobiGeek (201274)

      In real life, people don't trust MS patches until they've tested them on their own systems with their own application mixes.

      • Since when does a properly managed IT infrastructure qualify as "real life"?

      ...knowledgeable system admins, responsible for managing lots of Windows systems...

      • Since when does a knowledgeable system admin manage an MS-Windows system?
      • Since when does a system admin manage lots of MS-Windows systems (unless you define the terms lots or manage very differently than do I...)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:22AM (#6055731)
    Does this mean only 600,000 XP users trust Windows Update

    What do you think is more likely: "only" 600,000 people trust Windows Update or everyone else just hasn't patched for checked for patches yet? I personally don't use the little auto-notification thingie, I just check every once in a while.

    Also, how is this different from any automated Linux update method? Software has bugs. Patches may have bugs. Regardless of vendor, patches are not perfect and may induce problems.

    Agree or disagree with me, when you think about it without bias it's true.
    • Also, how is this different from any automated Linux update method? Software has bugs. Patches may have bugs. Regardless of vendor, patches are not perfect and may induce problems. Agree or disagree with me, when you think about it without bias it's true.


      I'll agree with you on the bias issue. Slashdot for all I can remember (which is a couple of years) was not pro-microsoft. I'm not speaking for anyone, just stating a fact.

      But there is a difference between Microsoft and where with Windows Update, you have paid for the update service, and you should expect at least a minimum of Q&A done to a patch. With Linux, well... I can remember some packages I installed in which they gave you a very explicit warranty : This might screw you up, we're not responsible if it does.

      I've always installed packages on Linux with this in mind. This might not be the best mentality if we really want Linux on the desktop, but at least, I know what I'm getting myself into.

      MS Update makes it seem like everything was double-checked for you, and all is well and good to install... MS even goes so far as to recommend URGENT patches, which may or may not leave you worst off... And this you (should have) paid for. So yes, there is a difference, bias or not, since I paid money for my MS release, whereas my RedHat is downloaded and free... So yes, I should expect working patches from MS, and not expect RedHat to give me the time of day if they dont feel like it.

      'nuff said.

      • by lpret (570480) <lpret42NO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @09:39AM (#6056248) Homepage Journal
        But there is a difference between Microsoft and where with Windows Update, you have paid for the update service, and you should expect at least a minimum of Q&A done to a patch.

        I assume your speaking of paying for Windows XP when you say that you've paid for the update service, or else someone really ripped you off. If that is indeed what you are referring to, then I have an issue with Mandrake, Red Hat, and SuSe because I did pay for them (support the cause and all) and although you say "I can remember some packages I installed in which they gave you a very explicit warranty : This might screw you up, we're not responsible if it does. " -- this is exactly what Windows Update says in it's EULA.

        So, I would say that Microsoft does a better job in this aspect. Also, you're going to knock Microsoft because they are pro-actively getting people security updates? Wow, this seems to me like a better way, because we all know that many exploits have actually been patched, it's the sysadmins who don't patch their systems that get hacked.

        I know we're supposed to be Anti-MS here and all, and I generally am, but please, don't throw out logic and reasoning when attacking the giant.

    • by crawling_chaos (23007) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @09:14AM (#6056048) Homepage
      Software has bugs. Patches may have bugs. Regardless of vendor, patches are not perfect and may induce problems.

      You're correct, but one of the reasons Microsoft has given in the past for being slower on security updates than the Open Source community is that they have a much more rigorous regression testing procedure that must be run before release. The idea is to make sure that something like this never happens. It is one of the ostensible reasons that you pay so much more for Windows. If the extensive test procedure is no better than Red Hat's or SUSE's, then that proposition kind of goes up in smoke.

    • by gad_zuki! (70830) * on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @09:23AM (#6056122)
      >Also, how is this different from any automated Linux update method?

      Its not. Well, this wasn't automated, it had to be downloaded from the windowsupdate.com site, but I think we're just seeing something of a double standard here.

      Okay /. has an anti-MS bias. So do a lot of people, but losing network connectivity is pretty serious, especially on the world's monopoly OS.

      What really gets me is that whenever there's an MS problem the /. crowd complains about ignorant users who don't patch. Now the patchers are the problem?

      MS's automated patching system isn't bad, it keeps Joe User updated and there simply will be x amount of problems over y amount of time, as you said just like with any other vendor.

      Enjoy the schadenfreude guys, it'll just make real MS complaints sound all the less convincing. Optional supplemental reading: the boy who cried wolf.

      Crying wolf is a big problem when criticizing MS to the uninitiated. I have the displeasure of taking a 3 hour class with a rabid anti-MS type and at this point no one takes him seriously because of his zeal, even though 2/3 of the stuff he says are actually excellent points.

      Engaging in simple-minded schadenfreude simply makes people look less credible. Seems like a tough lesson to learn for the loud-mouth anti-MS types.
  • by heretic108 (454817) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:23AM (#6055740)
    Part of the pro-Palladium spin is that it will stop people infecting M$ machines with worms.

    But that would leave a major gap which, according to this story, has been admirably filled.

    Trusted computing - only trust the worms written and distributed by MS itself.

  • by AndroidCat (229562) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:23AM (#6055743) Homepage
    A new worm has begun infecting XP systems that didn't install the latest patch. "It's their own fault, they should have kept up to date" said BG.
  • "Most systems didn't crash; they simply lost network connectivity," said Michael Surkan, a Microsoft program manager for its networking communications group. "There were hundreds of thousands of people who downloaded this, and we know of only a handful of people who had the problem."

    Do you think that might be because, without the 'net, most couldn't contact you to complain? If they install an update and "the durn computer broke the Interweb!" do you think they're going to be able to debug and fix the pr
  • by 26199 (577806) * on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:25AM (#6055753) Homepage

    The article says that since this wasn't a critical patch, just an 'improvement', auto update doesn't install it.

  • Personal Experience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aaaurgh (455697) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:28AM (#6055770)
    All I know is that, having decided to pull down some of the critical updates (not on auto, you understand) I can no longer get the properties window to appear for a directory in Explorer, except in safe mode. Kind of makes it difficult to administer security that does; oh and the performance went down a heap too. Even tried backing them all out too, but the system restore was disabled - too little disk space apparently, nice of it to tell me in time(!).

    Only four hours ago, I was on the phone to MS support. If the p.c. is started with only MS services enabled (there's only Norton or MS ones on this machine) via the msconfig utility, everything is fine. If I disable all the non-MS services in the services window though and do a normal restart, everything is broken again - duh!

    I'm going to try unloading/reloading all the Norton stuff again but don't hold out much hope. Oh well, looks like I'm up for another rebuild, the sixth in five months... and no, I won't be using the updates in future
  • Geez (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quill_28 (553921) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:28AM (#6055773) Journal
    >Does this mean only 600,000 XP users trust Windows Update?

    Umm... NO. It doesn't.

    And stop taking cheap shots at MS, it just make you look like a whiny school kid.

    There is plenty of reasons to bash MS policies and software, but the signal-to-noise ratio is getting silly.

  • by jamesh (87723) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:29AM (#6055777)
    ... allows an admin to release patches to users when they have tested them. SUS retrieves patches from Microsoft. An Admin approves them. Client PC's (with an appropriate Group Policy) retrieve and install approved updates from the SUS server. Easy.

    If you're paranoid^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hsensible, wait a week or more to give the rest of the world time to find bugs, test the patch thoroughly in a test environment, and of course ask yourself if you actually need it.

    ps. how many of todays slashdot readers know what ^H means?
    • ps. how many of todays slashdot readers know what ^H means?

      Telnet backspace echo

      Man, I miss MUDing

      Anyhow, to respond to your point - independently test bedding M$ updates certainly sounds like a good idea, but it either means 1- A seperate testbed machine or 2- using a standard machine for the process.

      1- requires a fair ammount of money in the company, while 2- still has the possibility of nixxing one machine

      It's still a good idea though :)
  • attribution (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cally (10873) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:29AM (#6055779) Homepage
    Story submitter here - I forgot the attribution (my bad); I picked this up from the Full Disclosure mailing list [netsys.com], specifically, this post [netsys.com] by Richard M. Smith.

  • Um (Score:2, Funny)

    by Obiwan Kenobi (32807) *
    (Does this mean only 600,000 XP users trust Windows Update?)

    Or does it mean that after a hundred thousand complaints they pulled it from the site?

    *SLAP*
  • by delfstrom (205488) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:30AM (#6055786)
    Windows Update is flawed. I did a search the other week to find out more information on why some of our Windows 2000 workstations were suggesting old patches needed to be applied.

    For example, I've downloaded, installed, and rebooted as required for the security update from Feb 13 for MSXML 4.0 and the bloody thing still keeps coming back!

    Now I've got ones from April and later that keep returning like zombies to haunt me. You'd *think* that it would be simple... but noooo.
    • Windows Update is flawed. I did a search the other week to find out more information on why some of our Windows 2000 workstations were suggesting old patches needed to be applied.

      For example, I've downloaded, installed, and rebooted as required for the security update from Feb 13 for MSXML 4.0 and the bloody thing still keeps coming back!

      I don't know if this is true anymore, but back in the NT4.0 bad old days, adding or removing a winders component forced you to reinstall ALL service packs and patches.

    • check the date on your systems...

      btw is your Domain controller synced as well...

      [net time /setsntp:NTPSERVERIPADDRESS]

      (workstations usually get their time from the DC that authorized the login... win2k allows sync with SNTP (subset of the NTP protocol) servers if the windows time service is enabled.. Your DC should be synced to an SNTP source that way the clients get their time updated, as should ANY device that supports (S)NTP and does logging [ie: routers, linux boxes, DC]

      Windows Update is time sensi
  • This was not a mandatory update. It was a security patch for those that you the particular service in question. This means that most people wouldn't bother installing it.

    In that case, 600,000 people does seem like a lot, especially if they can't get on the internet afterwards to get the fix for the update, as the article implies. :-)
  • They say Friday -> Memorial day weekend. That sounds like they're suggesting an 8 day availability. It's interesting to read that over 8 days about 600,000 downloads occured. I would assume that security update downloads are a bit more frequent. How many XP installs are there out there? I'd be interested to see about how many people don't apply security patches. :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:31AM (#6055793)
    Yet another example of MS trying toi pass the buck and dodge the bullet...

    I had NO symantec s/ware on my system, (I use Mcafee) and I lost all networking / internet access.

    Also, the Yahoo article says that the update had to be removed which is bull$hit, the update could NOT be removed, and the only way to fix my system was to re-install and re-update Windoze.

    MS said only a small number complained, well, I did, and a couple of days later the update was pulled, no reply to my email though, not even a thank you or aknowlegment - typical MS =O(

    fLaMePr0oF
    • by Johnny318 (669822) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @09:01AM (#6055965)
      On Friday 5/23 I had a customer complain that our wireless DSL was down. After doing all the usual junk over the phone, I drove out there and checked all wires, etc. Nothing. His machine was grabbing an IP dynamically, so the wiring HAD to be correct. I asked him, "When is the last time this worked properly?" and he said Wednesday (5/21). I was about to uninstall his virus checker (Mcafee online), but first went into the XP System Restore utility, and I noticed a restore point on Wednesday due to the installation of a Microsoft update. I restored to the way the system was before Wednesday and everything worked great! Unbelievable. Microsoft is totally underplaying this one.
  • Unfortunate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Davak (526912) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:32AM (#6055802) Homepage
    This is not good for the average consumer.

    Bugs like this keep the common microsoft user from installing the latest and greatest updates. They might not understand that their security is troubled until they recent damage; however, they understand this:

    "I finally ran windows update... and now I can no longer get on the internet. Crap, I'm never doing that again."

    Methinks it's a Microsoft-is-too-huge-syndrome. Microsoft can't test its fixes on every possible configuration; therefore, problems like this will occur. Episodes like this [microsoft.com] have previously occurred and will occur again.

    It's the nature of the beast.

    btw, thanks Slashdot. I could have installed that this morning!

    Davak
    • Agree - my mother-in-law hadn't Update-d ever, and has a dial-up. In addressing a sudden problem she had I agreed to only the relevant subset of recommended patches and broke her machine. I will never update her machine ever, nor will I run XP on any of mine. I use Appple update all the time, though.

      I also agree that the proliferation of platforms hurts MS, but it hurts open source X86ware in the same way. Note that because Apple and Sun control the hardware, they and developers for their targets have man

  • by leeroybrown (624767) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:37AM (#6055828)
    It's moments like this that prove that the phrase "Microsoft KnowledgeBase" may in fact be the ultimate oxymoron.
  • by e**(i pi)-1 (462311) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:39AM (#6055833) Homepage Journal
    Every software update is a risk. Especially OS updates. With software, I always fear that beside enhancements, also restrictions will be built in (happend with quicktime once years ago). Therefore, I usually
    keep a copy of the old software or to make full backups before upgrading the OS. Updating software is not trivial because it X + A + B is not equal X + B + A : the update A can and will in general change something of the modification B. After a few such operations it becomes very difficult to keep track about all possible
    states the users can have on their machine.

    My experiences from updates:

    - even for modern Linux distributions, it is a good idea
    to make full new installs rather then upgrading. I personally
    always had problems with upgrades and almost never had problems
    with full reinstalls.

    - the OS X updates went all smooth so far. Still, I always upgrade
    first one machine, wait to see if everything works fine before
    updating the others.

    - XP updates. No problem with vmware. Just keep an copy of the
    old virtual machine around. If something screws up or one of
    the software has decided to "upgrade" itself:

    rm -rf winXPHome
    mv old.winXPHome winXPHome

    Virtual machines can also easily be copied from one machine to
    an other.
    • Updating software is not trivial because it X + A + B is not equal X + B + A : the update A can and will in general change something of the modification B. After a few such operations it becomes very difficult to keep track about all possible

      I think with a decent package management system, X + A + B should equal X + B + A. Debian for instance refuses to install packages which contain files that already belong to other packages. If there is no overlap, you can upgrade, downgrade, reinstall all way around.
  • XpP (Score:2, Funny)

    by soliaus (626912)
    Thankfully, I uh.. well, lets just say that windows update would cause information about my machine *caugh*cd key*caugh* profile to be 'exposed'. So, like any self respecting geek, I killed update at the machine level. Now your thinking...insecure? No bug fixes? C'mon, its windows for gods sake! RAID couldnt kill THAT bug.
  • DRM (Score:5, Funny)

    by Root Down (208740) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:41AM (#6055849) Homepage
    It's not a bug, it's digital rights management preventing illegal file sharing!
  • Automatic Updates (Score:5, Informative)

    by bjb (3050) * on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:41AM (#6055852) Homepage Journal
    I think the biggest problem is how the Windows Automatic Update feature is turned on by default on everyone's machines.

    For most people, it is the only way they're ever going to install updates on their computer. However, I've found production Windows 2000 servers with this feature enabled! This is at least the 2nd or 3rd time that I've read a story on /. about a Windows XP/2000 patch that was no good.

    If you want to disable automatic updates on your computer, go to Control Panel->System->Automatic Updates tab and click the buttons to turn it off. You'll be better off picking what you want to update manually.

    • by clonebarkins (470547) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @09:47AM (#6056309)
      This is at least the 2nd or 3rd time that I've read a story on /. about a Windows XP/2000 patch that was no good.

      Only 2nd or 3rd? Don't visit /. much, do ya?

    • Re:Automatic Updates (Score:3, Informative)

      by nachoboy (107025)
      I think the biggest problem is how the Windows Automatic Update feature is turned on by default on everyone's machines.

      Note that the Automatic Updates feature has three possible configurations.

      1) Notify before downloading, notify before installing. This is the most conservative as user intervention is required twice along the way.

      2) Download updates automatically, notify before installing. This is probably the best of the three options as it will trickle all updates down to your computer using unused
  • by Zog The Undeniable (632031) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:44AM (#6055870)
    What good is a Knowledge Base article, Mr Anderson? If you're unable to surf?
  • by drwtsn32 (674346) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:59AM (#6055954)
    If you're running XP SP1, you definitely do not want this fix. It will bring your system to a crawl. See this [microsoft.com] for more info.
  • First you people complain that MS ships buggy OS's and no one knows how to update it. Now that they put in an auto-update feature for the newbie, everyone complains that it's also bad.
    • First you people complain that MS ships buggy OS's and no one knows how to update it. Now that they put in an auto-update feature for the newbie, everyone complains that it's also bad.

      You're right -- the expectation that a product should work as intended is entirely unfounded. Thank you for freeing me from the ignorant cave in which I have been hiding all these years.

  • What Happened (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dr ttol (674155)
    This is related to threedegrees, a Microsoft software. I tracked it down 3 months ago and detailed the process on their message board that can be reached here:
    http://www.threedegrees.com/MessageBoards/ShowPost .aspx?PostID=427 [threedegrees.com]

    What is going on is that Symantec's AntiVirus software is clashing with Microsoft's attempt to update some critical files, and when only half of the files are updated and the other half is denied, the result is a broken machine.

    The fault can't entirely be blamed on Microsoft in

  • (Does this mean only 600,000 XP users trust Windows Update?)

    Not everbuddy checks their windowsupdate every fifth minute :P

  • by prell (584580) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @09:33AM (#6056197) Homepage
    Does this mean only 600,000 XP users trust Windows Update?
    Well, it's only been available since Friday, so you do the math on vacations (in America), frequency of use, and such.

    For whatever reason, though, I never use Windows Update, and I don't know that I've ever patched my Windows XP, outside of SP1. Maybe it's because I really only want to use Windows for gaming and not bother with much else, but I think it's also because, when I get something working, it's sometimes through some steps that elicit black magic from Windows, and I'd like the feature to stay working. The most recent example is the Windows XP VPN service, which for whatever reason will issue me an IP I want, and will work with other users' routers, only occaisionally. Windows allows so little control over its features (compared to Linux and others), and VPN is no exception: A set of wizards, so when it works, yea I'd like it to stay working, and this patch warning that VPN may be affected, is certainly only redoubling my avoidance of Windows Update.

    We all know the history of Microsoft and patches, so I'm certain that is a sort of "subconcsious" reaction when I see that awful tooltip in the corner. My Windows patching tendencies are highlighted by my almost religious running and adherence to OS X's Software Update panel (alright, I haven't installed the latest iTunes update ;-), and the fact that I'll usually run up2date in RedHat. In defense of OS X, usually their updates add all sorts of neat features, as compared to Windows XP, whose patches are usually the equivalent of them saying "OOPS, MY BAD!"
  • by nochops (522181) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @09:33AM (#6056202)
    "Does this mean only 600,000 XP users trust Windows Update?"

    No, that's not what it means. Users who are savvy enough to know about the 'issues' with Windows Update probably don't use Windows XP, for the most part.

    Actually, what this means is that you found a story about Microsoft, and needed a way to trash them, so you came up with a lame rhetorical question.

    Honestly, what would you have them do? Not retract the broken update? Around here Microsoft is "damned if they do, damned if they don't". They just can't do right by many Slashdot posters.

    Sure Microsoft does a lot of bad things, but certainly retracting a broken is not one of them.

    Call them on their bad business practices, sure. But snide remarks like yours only make anti Microsoft people look childish, foolish, and generally make you look like you're really struggling to find something wrong with them.

    Anti Microsoft Slashdot Goldmine
    1. Find non-news story about Microsoft rightly retracting a broken update.
    2. Insert witty, yet trollish rhetorical question.
    3. Post to Slashdot.
    4. Wait for the Karma to roll in.
    5. Profit!
  • by delus10n0 (524126) <delusion_@p[ ]s.org ['dsy' in gap]> on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @12:26PM (#6058047) Homepage
    Give me a break. Let's all start the Micro$oft bashing, right? Because it couldn't possibly be another vendor's fault, like *cough*Symantec's*cough*?

    I had a similar problem to this about a year ago, under Windows 2000. I was using a piece of firewall/intrusion detection software called BlackIce. They released a new version of BlackIce, I installed it. Then I installed a network/security update from Windows Update.. rebooted, and what do you know, my internet doesn't work anymore. I contact BlackIce's tech support (who was very helpful) and they admitted they were aware of an issue with that particular security update and their software not working together, and that they would be releasing a patch soon for BlackIce. Microsoft wasn't at fault for it, BlackIce was, and they admitted it.
  • Come On Now... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tomakaan (673394) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @12:44PM (#6058222)
    Many of us here on /. are developers. Are you going to honestly say that you've never screwed up in one of your releases and had a security or other bug slip through testing? You tell me that and I've got two words for you...bull ****. Yeah, Microsoft is on a much bigger scale than most of us, and they make a lot more money in sales, but everyone screws up still. Everyone screws up, even the "big-bad-money-hungry" Microsoft everyone loves to complain about!

Real Programmers don't write in FORTRAN. FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies. FORTRAN is for wimp engineers who wear white socks.

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