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Windows Update Problems, Again

I have just been traveling for a few days on business. As I was taking carry-on baggage only, I wanted to take only the Samsung N150 Plus netbook, but I needed to be sure that it was up to date and could do the work-related things I would need while traveling.
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Written by J.A. Watson on

I have just been traveling for a few days on business. As I was taking carry-on baggage only, I wanted to take only the Samsung N150 Plus netbook, but I needed to be sure that it was up to date and could do the work-related things I would need while traveling. It came preloaded with Windows 7 Starter, but in normal use I very seldom boot Windows on it.

So, of course, when I booted Win 7 it immediately downloaded all the latest patches from Microsoft. When I shut it down, it said that it was installing 16 updates. The next time I booted Windows, it took forever to start, but I didn't pay much attention as slow startup is typical of Windows... When I shut it down again, it said that it had 16 updates to install. Ugh. By that time I was on the road, and I really didn't want to have to deal with idiotic Windows problems... Sigh. I paid a bit more attention, and saw that it seemed to go normally through the process of installing all 16 updates, and then shut off. But when I booted Windows again, it said "Finishing Update Installation..." or whatever, and thrashed around for a ridiculously long time... and then said "Installation failed, backing out updates" and thrashed around for another ridiculously long time.

It never ceases to amaze me that people put up with this garbage, and then continue to post that Windows is a "great operating system" or whatever. Grrr....

I assumed that this was the same problem that I had seen once before, on my HP Pavillion dv2-1010ez with Vista. That turned out to be caused by Windows Update not liking the fact that I had replaced the Windows bootloader with GRUB. Of course, when I wrote about that problem I was told by all of the Microsoft apologists that I was "stupid" for still running Vista (which I suppose implies that I am "stupid" for not giving Microsoft even more money), and the problem was unique to Vista, and Microsoft already knew about it and of course it wouldn't happen any more, especially with the wonderful fantastic spectacular Windows 7.

This time I didn't particularly care whether the updates got installed or not (Windows is hopelessly broken and hopelessly security-compromised either with or without them, so who really cares?), but I didn't want to have to put up with that ridiculous delay every time I shut down and started up. I thought I would just mark that batch of updates to not be installed, but then since I had some time while I was traveling, I decided to try to figure out exactly which one was causing the problem.

I spent a long time in my hotel room selecting and installing them one by one... install, reboot, wait for ages, and one by one... and one by one... and they all installed without a problem. ALL OF THEM! EVERY LAST STUPID ONE OF THEM! No problems, no errors, no "Installation Failed...".

So, what was the "real" problem? Did this happen just because Windows 7 Starter Edition is just so brain-damaged that it couldn't even handle Microsoft's own updates? Or is it a more general problem with Windows 7?

Bleah.

jw 10/11/2010

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