Microsoft posts two major Vista fix packs for download

Microsoft posts two major Vista fix packs for download

Summary: Remember those Windows Vista reliability and performance fix packs -- beta versions of which temporarily escaped to the masses last week? On August 7, Microsoft posted the final versions of the two packs for download.

TOPICS: Microsoft, Windows

Remember those Windows Vista reliability and performance fix packs -- beta versions of which temporarily escaped to the masses last week? On August 7, Microsoft posted the final versions of the two Vista fix packs for download.

The Vista performance fix pack, KB 938979, (both 32- and 64-bit versions) is downloadable here. The reliability fix pack, KB 938194, (32- and 64-bit flavors), can be downloaded here.

The two fix packs include a number of the updates that Microsoft is expected to deliver in the first full-fledged Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1 release, a public beta of which is expected real soon now. SP1 is expected to include a number of security, performance and reliability fixes that Microsoft has been delivering since it shipped Vista, all in one single package.

Microsoft is promising to make the two new Vista fix packs available via Windows Update at a "later date." The full statement, provided by a Microsoft spokeswoman:

"The two updates will be available on Microsoft's download center today, and will be available through Windows Update at a later date."

A number of Web sites and blogs have reported that Microsoft will push out these two fix packs on August 14, Patch Tuesday. The spokeswoman would not confirm that the 14th is the date. (But I'm betting it is.)

Topics: Microsoft, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • aahhh more user testing ahead

    “The two updates will be available on Microsoft’s download center today, and will be available through Windows Update at a later date.”
    • Tested

      Yes, but since they're identical to the beta versions last month -- which means that the testers didn't find anything that concerned MS -- I think these updates are safer than they otherwise would be.
      • Thanks for the smile...

        "Yes, but since they're identical to the beta versions last month -- which means that the testers didn't find anything that concerned MS"

        I read that and thought "I wonder if the testers found anything to be concerned about, even if MS didn't?" :-)
      • Try not to think, it leaves too many doubts

        The testers ? Now go ahead, enlighten us as to who these higher than thou subjects might be. Who and when does one become appointed to be a " TESTER " Does this appointment come with money and if so, who signs the checks ?
    • Time to open the cistern gates...

      and pump in the raw MSFT sewage.

      We promise SP.6 will fix everything that Vista 1.0 screwed up on your computer. After that, pigs will fly and the streets will be paved with gold as sure as Steve Ballmer is a wizard.

      Wanna buy a bridge cheap?
      Jeremy W
      • TOO LATE

        Well said. It's *absolutely impossible* for *any* "fix pack" to repair the damage Vista has done to my *last* Vista system. Problems are documented all over the web, and unfortunately I didn't fish around before buying a Vista system to test the third party libraries I develop in a Vista environment -- in Visual Studio for instance running under Vista.

        Anyway, the many counts of absolutely incredible unreliability are too many to mention -- but I will mention just one, for which the machine I bought is now going back to its maker, who should (and does) know well better than distributing systems with Vista on them.

        Vista is bundled with a searching "service" running full time. You cannot disable it; and as it doesn't even obey some of the rules documented for it, you can't even protect yourself from it.

        Just for the rest of you...

        I first had to bring over 150 Gb of personal work. This triggered a perpetual indexing operation which lasted more than 40 hours. The hard drive was so busy, that in a few minutes I searhed the web for "excessive hard drive activity" and found that masses of other users were experiencing *extremely* objectionable hard drive activity as well.

        But this was only the beginning of a story which lasted weeks. I next found I *could not* successfully install my Visual Studio development environment. The disks I was using had only been used once, to install to a machine that "died" when affected by the infamous Windows mup.sys flaw -- another MS defect without solution (one carried over for years).

        So this was odd, to say the least. "Vista" reported many corrupted files (and, evidently, false reports and false reactions to ostensibly corrupted files are a *dangerous* and highly destructive characteristic of Vista -- a very behavior which ultimately destroyed the new system I am writing about).

        I looked on the disks, and the files *didn't even exit* -- much less were they extracted from anything (as calls to MS support verified).

        Convinced I had discovered a serious problem, the *Visual Studio* team (which cannot escalate issues to the operating systems teams) attempted, in "Easy Assist" shared sessions, to install Visual Studio -- discovering too a deluge of erroneous error messages, all, ultimately culminating in failure.

        Little by little we got further into the install process, until "my issue" (*your* issue) was escalated to a MS technician who installed a specialized performance monitor on my system (as I complained about what another user/poster called "insane hard drive activity").

        Oops! In 60 seconds we had 3 *million* calls to searchindexer.exe -- and, all the while, 100% CPU and IO consumption!

        To make *the first part* of a long story short, MS never succeeded even in *installing* *their* development environment on *their* "operating system."

        But I did succeed afterward -- the very moment the *first* indexing process completed.

        Hmmmm. So, your first thought might be, "Oh, well that probably won't happen to me, then, will it?"

        So wrong you are! No, *any* time that searchindexer is running it will consume so much CPU and IO bandwidth that *other* processes (any and/or ALL other processes) will fail.

        What does this mean?

        It means that when you plug in an exterior drive to read data, you may trigger an unwanted and extremely dangerous 40-hour indexing process which even violates the rules that "searchindexer" is supposed to comply with. It means *all* your software can *and will* fail, even while searchindexer processes of relatively brief duration are executed. You'll at least by re-booting often.

        But let's just walk you through the ramifications. Your machine crashes; and even your searchindexer process(ES) crash -- and so you have to re-boot your system. You have no choice. It's hung, and/or nothing is running properly.

        So you re-boot.

        But searchindexer terminated undesirably -- and left a mess of corrupted files or indexes in its wake.

        So when you reboot, "Vista" tells you it terminated unexpectedly, and reports that it must run chkdsk to validate your system.

        Chkdsk in turn finds many corrupted files or indexes, and reports it is "fixing" them.

        Well, it doesn't fix them at all; in fact it *breaks* them.

        And so if you *use* "Vista," you endure a cycle of breaking, and breaking, and breaking and breaking... (*just* on account of searchindexer)... until, like my brand new Vista system, no matter what startup mode you attempt, you get nothing but blue screens of death. My brand new system won't even restart anymore.

        Problems of this magnitude of course are absolutely unforgivable. As I've said since the later 80s, "If Microsoft were held accountable for the damages they perpetually inflict on their customer base, Bill Gates would not be one of the 'wealthiest' men in the world -- he would be *the most* indebted."

        As for me, I am now running *my last* copy of Windows (XP) on a new iMac 24 in Boot Camp. But tell me this... how can *any* "fix pack" *fix* the damage Vista will inflict on *any* Vista installation?

        Absolutely impossible. Absolute rubbish -- and they should have to be paying for this.
        • mike i add and remove files all the time from my severs and other

          mike i add and remove files all the time from my severs and other sources.

          i have never had this problem and yes you can turn the index services off on one vista box i use at home for a file server i have it turned off as it is just a storage box so it does not need a lot of extra services running.

          i'm sure you had a problem not saying you did not but i don't think everyone is having your issue.

          if i were you i would try a fresh install or a pc replacement.

          sometimes you get a bad os install it happens and when it does it can make for a lot of headaches.

          but you have many many choices you can develop for mac osx or Linux.

          or you can use something besides Visual Studio "i've never liked it to much my self"

          there are many options out there for you.
          SO.CAL Guy
        • So..MS MADE you do all this??

          Or was it your own choice to upgrade. Hmmmm. I know.. I know.. It always feels better to blame someone else; that way none of the responsibility for our own crazy expectations and lack of planning need be taken by us. Typical end-user mindset!
        • Holding Microsoft Management Accountable

          Great Post and it makes me feel better about not taking the upgrade to Vista option on my wife's new computer which she purchased for tax reasons at the end of last year. The following represents a possible mechanism for indebting Bill Gates and others executives at Microsoft who have prayed on US consumers.

          When I worked for a not-for-profit, I became aware of what happens when physicians enrich themselves with various forms of embezzlement and are caught. Every organization billed by the organization the embezzler works for rightly assumes they were overcharged. So when the practice or hospital recovers the money the board of governors usually decides to distribute what was recovered back to those who were over billed. Not doing so, and given the unfavorable press, risks additional scrutiny on all billing and we who have been patients know how accurate those are!

          The logic of this is obvious. Since the organization as a whole isn't to generate profit any moneys that overly enrich the for profit physician and are recovered go back to those that paid. In practice perhaps only the top 5 billers (insurance carriers and the US government) might actually get money back from physician embezzlement)

          So if you think of Bill Gate as a for profit entity and Microsoft as an organization attempting to do good - like a hospital - a mechanism for holding Bill Gates and his fellow executives personally responsible comes right to mind.

          Gates and Ballmer have admitted to back dating stock options without reporting that initially. Shareholders can not hold them accountable for this because eventually the practice was reported and financial statements adjusted and the statute of limitations has or is about to expire. Plus ,who knows, perhaps there was no damage to the stock holders because profits would have been less if the back dating had not been normal business practice.

          But there is no question that the costs of backdating were passed on to those billed by Microsoft. Carrying this to conclusion, the top five entities billed by Microsoft should expect money back from this form of executive embezzlement. The fact that this expectation is not being met raises other issues, like are the top five entities billed by Microsoft also controlled by Microsoft executives. One of those entities, like the physician example, is the US government.

          I just through this out because it has troubled me so for a while.
  • Why didn't I have to pay for these?

    I thought you had to charge for fix packs. Am I missing something? Oh that's right. Only the Mac guy has to pay for drivers and serice packs.

    Bite me.
    • Idiot troll!

      Plain and simple, You are an idiot. There is no way around it. If you don't like Apple
      and its products, then fine. But don't ****ing lie.

      All the firmware updates I have received were free . And the one 802.11n firmware
      update that cost $1.99 was an non-issue. People spend more money on a freaking
      ring tone!
    • Perhaps because?

      Most people realize they are worthless, and
      wouldn't give 2 cents for them?
      Ole Man
  • Language silliness

    I'm English. I live in Portugal. I speak some Portuguese, but for technical documents I definitely prefer to read them in English. I have indicated this in my IE7 browser settings (under Tools/Internet Options/General/Languages) where "en-GB" is listed as my preferred language for viewing web pages.

    So how come Microsoft doesn't use this setting itself? It's visible to any web server. Yet, when I went today to download these updates from Microsoft and then clicked to read the associated KB documentation, it was presented to me in Portuguese? Yes, my IP address will be listed as being in Portugal, but that should not override my stated language preference.

    This is a clear case of incompetent techie-ness. The IP address location should not be used to make assumptions about my language, only my physical location.

    What hope do we have for updates and fixes if Microsoft can't/won't use their own technology intelligently?
    • This is a clear case of incompetent techie-ness.

      After all the horror of "The Wow is Now" hype (can you remember back to W95?) did you really think MSFT could do something right?

      Remember, this is the company that disabled the Zune for 5 months. (You remember the Zune - the soon to be removed failure/social device?) Incompetence in technology and marketing is a genetic requirement for anyone joining MSFT.
      Jeremy W
      • Now you are just being

        a moron. I'm sure you wouldn't qualify to work at mickey dees.
  • So...

    "Performance fixes" "Security fixes" and "Reliability fixes", replace the words "slow", "insecure", and "buggy".

    This is news?
    • Newsworthy or Not

      Agreed, not very newsworthy...
  • Right

    Yep, even Boot Camp is *FREE*. AND(!) it's *called* a beta release -- but it's *ABSOLUTELY FLAWLESS* in my experience -- which has stressed it far moreso than was *even possible* in "vista."

    What's more... those "free" updates from Masochisticsoft... oh sure, "they're great" -- WHAT THEY ARE is *perpetual* evidence of how bad not only the first "job" was... but *every one after it*.

    No one could use a system for much real work and not consider them a huge impediment. The bottom line is, software written well doesn't require *any* revision. Yes, it may one day or another integrate a new or different technology.

    If General Motors had to fix your ignition 4 times a day, what would you think of General Motors? Of course, if General Motors stole every possible competing invention (no matter how poorly they implemented it), you'd probably/possibly still be running General Motors -- and it might be the titantic.

    Even the software development tools for OSX are free.
    • there are a lot of free development tools for windows to ;) (NT)

      SO.CAL Guy
      • It's NOT as if Windows doesn't need new development tools

        Actually a new bunch a day would be
        beneficial for the poor
        users that are stuc....I meant lucky enough
        to be using it.
        Ole Man