Evidently there's a Rattled Cage in Redmond.

I received this email via the zdnet.co.uk webmail today and I thought it would be more appropriate to answer here so jayaram I hope you come back to read it...

I received this email via the zdnet.co.uk webmail today and I thought it would be more appropriate to answer here so jayaram I hope you come back to read it... ______________________________________________________ ----- Original Message ---- From: jayaram To: Xwindowsjunkie Sent: Monday, 28 July, 2008 1:10:00 PM Subject: SP3 and 40$ routers?

hi, Not sure if my earlier comment got through- Zdnet made me register to comment and even after that I cannot see it!.

But coming to the point- Can you try out the steps at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/943144 on one of the affected machines and let me know if that worked.

If not, can you let me know more details of your setup and logs at jayaramk@microsoft.com ________________________________________________

Actually neither of the two scenarios listed in that knowledge base article have anything to do with what was happening or at least that is the way it appears to me, so no I won't try either of those two “fixes”.

The original setup was a bare metal install of a volume license copy that had been slipstreamed with SP2 and then updated to include 99 Windows updates after the installation of Windows Pro SP2. This was to create a production image that could be used by my company's rental operations staff to refurbish fleet computers used in the oil field. It also happened at home as well but that wasn't a critical issue. I use Debian 4.0 mostly, the XP box is secondary. The plan was to have a OS image with SP3 already installed on it.

The install was done from a CDROM image created by WPE after the slip-stream up to SP2 status. The updates were installed by using Windows Update through a LinkSys router that was eventually routed through to the corporate Internet connection. No I don't know the specifics of the routing etc. What I can tell you is that after all the SP2+ updates, I re-booted the computer every time it was required or even suggested by the OS message boxes. Each time the system came up without any errors or hints of issues.

The Media Player 11, the dotNet 3.0 update and the multiple language packs were not installed.

The updates for SP2 included a WGA "update" and an update to Windows Update itself that was listed after most of the 90+ updates were previously installed. I rebooted after those 2. Additionally I added dot.Net 1.1 and dotNet 2.0 as optional components since the system release I'm working on requires dotNet 2.0. Those were added before the WGA and the Windows Update patches were installed.

After that it looked like SP2 was as far as it could go, Windows Update suggested that I install SP3 and that was where I was heading with the whole system, so I did. It was at that point that things fell apart. SP3 seemed to install fine as far as I could tell. The system ran fine and the computer did not hesitate or crash. The updates web site indicated that there were some post SP3 updates to install so I downloaded those and let them install and at that point they would not successfully install. When I retried this step, the computer didn't try to download them, it would go straight to installation and then report failure. No I don't remember at this point specifically which updates they were but there were only 5 or 6 and they all failed. I wiped the drive and re-started with the SP2 CDROM again.

I had downloaded SP3 as a standalone exe , as part of the ISO and as a Windows Update download/install and got exactly the same issues each time. Each time the failure point post-SP3 was when I tried to install the downloaded updates after installing SP3. SP2 updates downloaded and installed fine each time I tried the process or a variation of it. It was only after SP3 was installed that things went to crap.

Before you email me back, the specific router I used is now part of a landfill somewhere most likely. Its been nearly 3 weeks since the issue got resolved. Patching around the router fixed the problem or at the very least removed it. I currently have a slip-streamed and updated SP3+ volume license image that seems to be working fine.

Each time I started with bare metal, did the CDROM install and then the WIndows Update process each time.

You can tell the yo-yo's that designed that Service Pack that you've effectively doubled the workload for a number of people with the requirement of removing IE7 before install of SP3 AND having to have already installed SP1. Service Packs used to be complete and inclusive, you guys blew it with this one.

And don't get me started with WGA. Yes I agree that your company has a right to protect its property but the manner in which it was done is the most aggravating piece of crap I've ever had to deal with.

I have not updated my home XP Pro computer past the point of SP2 plus the 99 updates and I probably won't since it seems to do it I'll have to replace the router. When I get my new Linux firewall up and running I'll probably use it to connect the Windows box without the router in the path and do the updates but not until then.

I have not been able to take the time to net-sniff the whole transaction process and see what the router didn't like and since I don't work for Microsoft I'll leave the router testing to ya'll. I've already gotten bitched at for taking too long on the image project. I hope to deliver that this week and then I'm on to something else.

BTW: the posting jayaram refers to is dated July 2 2008, a lunar month ago.