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Farelf

Win XP and repaired installations

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After days of work, a little more searching, a "simple" solution and my work PC is whole once more.

Sad story - old XP SP2 started re-booting after some hours of running, errors on HD weren't the cause (tech guy replaced drive and loaded an image of the old one but that was just the "best case" scenario, soon disproved), main suspect, the motherboard then replaced with another necessitating a reload - but I ordered "repair" instead (who needs all the bother of configurations, not to mention the problematical location of the installation disks for the numerous apps? - apps all pass audit as installed already) but then MS/Windows critical updates won't run. Tactic of downloading and installing one by one (84 -> 81 once IE7 upgrade done) exploring the "received wisdom" notion that some magic patch will unjam something and the rest will run in batch looks forlorn by #41 with the odds no longer favorable. Googling finds

Normally, users who repair XP can easily download and install the latest patches, using the Automatic Updates control panel or navigating directly to Microsoft's Windows Update site.

However, after using the repair option from an XP CD-ROM, Windows Update now downloads and installs the new 7.0.600.381 executable files. Some WU executables aren't registered with the operating system, preventing Windows Update from working as intended. This, in turn, prevents Microsoft's 80 latest patches from installing — even if the patches successfully downloaded to the PC.

from the guy (Scott Dunn) at http://windowssecrets.com/2007/09/27/03-St...vents-XP-repair and yep, his little batch file, specified in the Sep 27 article, does the trick, the rest of the things promptly install like they're supposed to. Well, there's the matter of a "File Protection" warning asking for the original versions of files which have been replaced by unrecognized versions, to be loaded to some non-existent server location, specified as a local file. Which I (eventually) ignored for the want of better response - guessing compliance would undo the fix, besides having no idea on how to comply. Touch wood (numinous incomprehension feels similar to but is far easier to obtain than actual knowledge).

Further in the article it says

In my articles in the last two weeks on the silent installation of the Windows Update support files, I stated that the stealthy upgrade seemed harmless. Now that we know that version .381 prevents a repaired instance of XP from getting critical patches, "harmless" no longer describes the situation. The crippling of Windows Update illustrates why many computer professionals demand to review updates for software conflicts before widely installing upgrades.
Amen to that. Why does MS do things like this? I still haven't forgiven them for not including doskey in DOS 1.1 (when the necessary services were all available, requiring only trivial code for implementation). Instead they left it until 5.0 or somesuch - despite the moaning and pleading of users about the lack of a command-line editor (some even vowed to stay with CPM because of that).

Anyhow, anyone running "Repair" on an XP installation, do yourself a favor and look at the materials referenced in the article. Whole species may become extinct in the time it takes to install those critical patches one at a time to get current, not to mention for the rest of the life of the machine. Anything which defers confronting Vista has to be good (considering the MS track record) but needn't be quite so painful as they would like it to be. And some wonder why I'm a curmudgeon.

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Trying not to laugh too hard ... Reason is that I went through this a number of months back. Yes, I researched the hell out of it, I whacked Registry entries, I moved/deleted/renamed files. I alsp tried the manual-install routine (though I ran into other issues) I will admit to absolutely going nuts for quite a while because nothing actually worked. I kept reading variations of the same steps and advice, finally deciding that some of these may have worked at one point in time, but Microsoft changed some code workings since those instructions were posted .... noting that even the 'critical update' bit of code has changed a half-dozen times (at least) in just the last year.

The actual 'working solution' on that first one and the half-dozen since .... bite my tounge, ignore all the warning bells and .....

Do the Microsoft thing ... turn on 'Automatic Updates' .. then the most hurtful part .... 'Automatically install' everything. Wait for the next 'super patch Tuesday' .... sit back and be amazed.

Update code itself updates with no complaints about Admin rights, other patches get installed with no complaints, on and on ... at that time, one can change the 'AutoUpdate' settings to something else, as it all works fine at that point.

On the other hand, I'm currently trying to figure out the possibility of trying to get the "Check for Critical Updates" tool to actually work on a Win-98 system .... read that as I typed it .. Win-98, not Win-98SE ....

Damn thing pops up the 'need' to check daily, let it go hit the Microsoft site .... and basically, make a decision as to when to close the window, as the 'check' for new code never actually gets anywhere.

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Yeah, I admit I've seen the auto update thing work before - same machine, earlier time. Got caught on shutdown with the "Upates are ready to install" and some sort of dialog that gave an option of letting it do its thing and it would shut down for me. Sounded good, selected that one, went home - next morning the machine was churning away, updates had failed, shutdown hadn't worked and those updates just wouldn't install, going to the update site, okaying install, failing time and again. Technician (another one) said to turn off auto update, not to let the process try anything on auto, he would fix it next time he was in. I thought about that (maybe recalling some comment from you or someone else that auto was "different"), left auto update on against advice and sure enough, it fixed itself on the next scheduled session.

This time seemed a bit different - previous updates regressed all the way back to 2005 and update dialogs popping up all the time, continual downloads (though the download messages kept saying 0 mb, already downloaded), continual failures, system barely usable for days while this was happening. Had already done another machine (been sitting with no updates since SP1) which went through no problems once SP2 installed (but no installation repair involved) But anyway, the batch file worked for the more recent case, all critical updates then went through straight away and I went straight back and picked up the optional ones with no problems either.

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