Quick fix for Windows 7 SP1 installation errors

Quick fix for Windows 7 SP1 installation errors

Summary: If you run Windows 7 and Linux on the same PC, you might run into an odd error when you try to install Windows 7 Service Pack 1. Here's the cause and the fix.

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If you run Windows 7 and Linux on the same PC, you might run into an odd error when you try to install Windows 7 Service Pack 1. I've already had three readers contact me with reports that they were stopped by error 0x800f0a12 during the installation process. It's a non-fatal error, but still baffling.

The error is documented here, but you'll have to dig deeper to find the solution. A Microsoft support engineer has already posted the details of the problem and an easy fix. In all of the cases I heard about, the reason for the error is a check that the service pack installer performs. When it determines that the active partition is not able to start Windows directly, it produces the error message.

The fix, according to this report, is to use Windows Disk Management to set the System Reserved partition as active; if there's no System Reserved partition, set the Windows volume as active.

After this fix is made, you should be able to run the SP1 installer.

If you've run across this error (I haven't seen it personally), let me know in the comments.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

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  • RE: Quick fix for Windows 7 SP1 installation errors

    Once again proving why you should not use linux, it will corrupt your Microsoft Windows installation. The better fix is to remove linux completely then you won't have this error at all when installing SP1. I installed it and didn't run into any issues. I'm betting Linus Torvalds purposely did this in a failed attempt to make Microsoft Windows look bad.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Quick fix for Windows 7 SP1 installation errors

      Who needs 3rd rate communist software that will break your machine, linux should be drowned in a sack along with other unwanted animals.<br><br>As soon as I installed w7 sp1 my corns and in-growing toenails instantly felt better, just another example of the healing power of windows.
      Rubberduck Rabidson
      • RE: Quick fix for Windows 7 SP1 installation errors

        @Rubberduck Rabidson <br><br>Oddly enough, when I installed w7 sp2, my Cancer went into remission, my Scoliosis permanently corrected itself, and the testicle I lost in a freak accident as a 4 year old grew back ...<br><br> Thank you Microsoft, you are all saviors ...<br><br>N.B. None of this can be proven in a court of law ... even with Microsofts lawyers
        Ludovit
      • RE: Quick fix for Windows 7 SP1 installation errors

        @Rubberduck Rabidson
        I had Linux SuperOS wubi-ed into Window7 before SP1. After SP1 installation, both Window7 and Linux SuperOS miraculously boot, run and shut down much faster than ever before. Bravo to SP1. Bravo!
        yschoo1@...
      • RE: Quick fix for Windows 7 SP1 installation errors

        @Rubberduck Rabidson
        Good thing you were seated when you did the upgrade; can you imagine what would have happened to your hemorhoids?
        ExEC135CrewDog
      • What?

        Yeah who needs idiots posting on a tech website that can't use what kids can. Keep breaking your boxes UP/DOWN. You give me moneys! Haha!
        Eric Xeno
    • RE: Quick fix for Windows 7 SP1 installation errors

      @Loverock Davidson It's a windows disk check problem.

      So how is this Linux's fault?

      Oh wait, its not.

      How's that WP7 coming for you?

      " I can't wait to get one."
      Ron Burgundy
      • RE: Quick fix for Windows 7 SP1 installation errors

        Double post.

        ZDNet + disabled compatibility mode in IE9 = meh.
        ChrisTX4
      • RE: Quick fix for Windows 7 SP1 installation errors

        @Ron Burgundy It's not a Windows "disk check" problem.

        The issue is that if the SP1 installer does not find the partition that is being booted from, it errors because it wouldn't know which partition is the correct one it has to update to also update the bootmgr.

        It is however a very bad idea to make GRUB the default boot loader.
        ChrisTX4
      • LMAO...&quot;it's a windows disk check problem&quot;

        @Ron Burgundy

        LOL...Thank God it's not an 'installing XP on a SATA drive' problem

        otherwise, your mind would be mush
        SonofaSailor
      • RE: Quick fix for Windows 7 SP1 installation errors

        @ChrisTX4 - GRUB makes a perfectly fine default boot loader. The shame is that Windows 7 refuses to play nice with any boot loader other than its own and overwrites the foreign boot loader without asking (if any other software did this we would call it malware).
        rbgaynor
      • RE: Quick fix for Windows 7 SP1 installation errors

        @rbgaynor
        Not exactly. GRUB will only chainload Windows Boot Manager, too. Thing is, that Windows Boot Manager can also chainload GRUB and that Windows has to update its own boot manager, but without knowing which one is the active partition, it's not really possible to determine for Windows which exact boot manager booted it.

        You can install bootmgr multiple times (ie per bcdboot tool) and it can be installed at different locations, so it has to know which instance belongs to it and has to be updated.
        ChrisTX4
    • RE: Quick fix for Windows 7 SP1 installation errors

      @Loverock Trollsson

      Windows mucking up Linux on dual boot systems is old news. Windows assumes only one system is on the computer. Windows has never been friendly to other OS installations.

      The usual routine is to restart Linux using alternate media and rerun the bootloader after the Windows update. The world is not sure if it is deliberate sabotage by your employer, or just plain stupidity by the Microsoft techs. Personally, I never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.
      YetAnotherBob
      • RE: just plain stupidity by the Microsoft techs

        @YetAnotherBob

        No, more likely a deliberate decision from either legal or marketing.
        fatman65535
    • RE: Quick fix for Windows 7 SP1 installation errors

      @Loverock Davidson Were you traumatized by a penguin once?
      Bob63
      • Let's not get carried away

        @Bob63

        Please. ;)
        klumper
      • RE: Quick fix for Windows 7 SP1 installation errors

        @Bob63
        Oh, he was attacked by a whole flock when he was young...
        AmraLeo
  • RE: Quick fix for Windows 7 SP1 installation errors

    Fascinating. Both my Lenovo laptop and MSI-based desktop feature Win/Linux dual-booting, and both upgraded to SP1 this morning with nary a peep!
    woodp5
  • RE: Quick fix for Windows 7 SP1 installation errors

    I'm still holding off for a week or so.
    Spell check Ed spell check!
    mike2k
    • RE: Quick fix for Windows 7 SP1 installation errors

      @mike2k

      While I do understand the benefits of spell check, wouldn't it be better to simply know how to spell, and to take your time to get it right in the first place?

      Spell check is the reason the majority of public and high school kids don't know how to spell ...

      JMHO

      Ludo
      Ludovit