Newsletter Archives

  • 3 more botched Windows patches: KB 2803821, KB 2840628, and KB 2821895

    Actually, I talked about KB 2803821 last week, but Microsoft finally acknowledged the problem. Four days after my article appeared.

    I really wonder who in the Sam Hill is running the patching organization these days. Oy.

    InfoWorld Tech Watch

    Fortunately, you’re smart — you wait and patch when the coast is clear. Right?

  • It’s time to run .NET out of town

    Microsoft can’t get their act together. Patching .NET is always a hassle. It’s time for developers to throw in the towel and choose an alternative that works.

    InfoWorld Tech Watch.

  • A solution – I think – to the KB 2518864, KB 2572073, KB 2633880 persistent patching problems

    I think there’s a solution to the problem. (Thanks again, SB!)

    To recap:

    If you’re running XP (or Server 2003) and .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 or 3.5 SP1, and Automatic Updates is turned on, then after these three patches are pushed onto your machine, you get the notification (with a yellow alert icon) that “Some updates could not be installed”. If you then go to Automatic Updates, it tells you that KB 2572073, 2633880, and 2518864 could not be installed.

    Here are the solutions I’ve heard about. I’ll list them in increasing order of difficulty.

    Alternative 1: Some people report that simply re-booting the computer may make the problem go away

    Alternative 2: Some people report that they can manually install the updates. The installation fails, but the yellow alert icon goes away. Then everything is OK.

    Alternative 3: One commenter says he was able to get the yellow update notification to go away by using the FixIt in KB 910339 under the heading “Reset Windows Update components and then try updating your computer.” It isn’t clear if he used the Default or Aggressive mode.

    Alternative 4: Susan Bradley offers this scorched-earth approach:

    1.    On XP, click Start, click Run, type services.msc, and then click OK.

        On Vista or Win7, click Start, type services.msc in the Start Search box, right-click services.msc, and then click Run as administrator.

    2.    In the Services (Local) pane, right-click Automatic Updates, and then click Stop.

    3.    Minimize the Services (local) window.

    4.    Select all of the contents of the c:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder, and then delete them. (Note that at least one Microsoft MVP hates deleting the SoftwareDistribution folder, so if you have a better idea, I’m all ears.)

    5.    Maximize the Services (Local) window.

    6.    In the Services (Local) pane, right-click Automatic Updates, and then click Start.

    7.    Restart the computer, and then run Windows Update again.

    Alternative 5: Commenter Amar offers this approach, which came from Microsoft just a few hours ago:

    Follow the below steps to rename Catroot2 and SoftwareDistribution folders

    1. Click Start, Run, on the Run box type services.msc and then click on OK.

    2. Double click on Background Intelligence Transfer Service. On the Service status click on Stop button and then click on Apply and then OK. Do the same steps with Cryptographic Services and Automatic Updates Services.

    3. Open C:\windows folder, and then rename the SoftwareDistribution folder as SoftwareDistribution.old. (See the note in Step 4 above about the MVP who really has a fit if you blast away the SoftwareDistribution folder.)

    4. Go to C:\windows\System32\ and rename Catroot2 to Catroot2.old.

    5. After renaming the folders, go to the services console again and restart the services that were stopped

    6. Restart the computer and check for updates

    If you’re having problems with these patches, I suggest you try those alternatives in order.

    It looks like the problems stem from three patches that were re-pushed down the Automatic Update chute on or about May 22.

    As best I can tell, Microsoft, in its inimitable way, hasn’t acknowledged the problem or offered a solution. Yet I’ll bet there are hundreds of thousands of XP users who have had that “Some updates could not be installed” icon on their desktops for the past 12 hours or longer.

    .NET patches are a massive pain in the neck. Microsoft keeps blowing them, over and over again. In this case, we have three re-issued .NET patches (MS11-100, MS12-034, MS12-035) that cause problems the second time around. Each of them is a “critical” security patch that arrived on the second patch Tuesday of the month.

    Folks, there’s a reason why I recommend you turn off Automatic Updates! Let’s see how long it takes Microsoft to (1) acknowledge and then (2) fix this very widespread problem.