Patch Tuesday updates fix a trio of Windows 7 SP1 glitches

If you've had trouble installing Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, you'll want to take a close look at today's batch of updates from Microsoft. You'll find fixes for two installation bugs and one glitch that can cause USB problems. I have the details.

If you’ve experienced problems installing Service Pack 1 for Windows 7  or Windows Server 2008 R2, help may be on the way.

Microsoft today released a pair of updates intended to fix the two most common problems I’ve heard about in relation to SP1. Both are rated Important and will be installed without any interaction required from you if you have Windows Update set to install updates automatically.

I highlighted one of these issues in a February post and recommended that anyone with a large number of language packs installed proceed with caution. It turns out there was indeed an issue:

2534366 - "0xC0000009A" error message when you try to install Windows 7 SP1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

When you try to install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) on a computer that has more than 10 language packs installed, the computer stops responding at a black screen. Additionally, you receive an "0xC0000009A" error message.

This issue occurs because the number of open registry key handles for subkeys that have the same name is limited to 65,535 in the registry. Each language pack that is installed on the computer increases the number of open registry key handles.

There’s also a fix for a second issue that caused SP1 updates to fail under specific circumstances. Although I had heard reports of this problem, I had never been able to reproduce it. Today’s fix explains the reason why:

2533552 - An update that prevents a "0xC0000034" error message when you try to install Windows 7 SP1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 is available

This issue occurs because Windows tries to perform operations in the Primitive Operation Queue (POQ) two times during the service pack installation process. The second attempt to perform these operations fails (because the operations have already been performed). Therefore, Windows generates a "0xc0000034" error.

Finally, there’s a fix for a bug that caused some USB ports on some systems to downshift to USB 1.1 speeds. (I encountered the issue on two systems here and read about the details in this post.) This update should eliminate the need to run a third-party utility to restore normal speeds:

2529073 - Binary files in some USB drivers are not updated after you install Windows 7 SP1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

After you install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1), binary files in some USB drivers are not updated. For example, the Usbport.sys, Usbehci.sys, and Winusb.sys binary files are not updated.

Notes

  • This issue does not occur when you install USB drivers by using a custom description device information (.inf) file that was provided by the computer’s OEM.
  • This issue does not occur if you are running a slipstream version of Windows 7 SP1 or of Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.

This issue occurs because both the Usbport.inf file and the Usb.inf file refer to the Usbhub.sys file. Therefore, Windows cannot copy the driver files to the destination location during the driver installation process.

If you’ve already installed SP1 successfully and haven’t noticed any of these issues, it’s possible that you can skip these updates. I would strongly consider the last one, however, just to ensure that the correct USB drivers are installed. I also recommend taking a close look at KB2533552. Although the support article doesn't mention possible future issues, the Windows Update text does:

Install this update to enable future updates to install successfully on all editions of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. This update may be required before selected future updates can be installed. After you install this item, it cannot be removed.

As always, I'm interested in hearing about your experiences. If you've run into other SP1-related issues, let me know in the Talkback section below.