It seems that Microsoft began feeding Windows Vista users last week updates to prep PCs for next month’s release of Service Pack 1. These updates have crippled some machines, according to messages posted to the company’s support site.
Last Tuesday, Microsoft started sending Vista users two final prerequisite updates that are required before SP1 can be installed in March. The updates to the operating system’s install components were delivered via Windows Updates, which automatically downloaded and installed them on the majority of Vista machines. Looking at the feedback on the support site, it appears that users were quite unhappy and they have every right to be.
In many instances, users reported that the final update hung while displaying the message “Configuring Updates Step 3 of 3 – 0% Complete,” which was followed by a reboot of the PC. Which was followed by another reboot, and another. “[It] reboots ad infinitum,” said Frank Melk on the Microsoft support newsgroup. A smaller number reported a different problem: After the update, their computer refused to boot normally.
Trying to boot into Safe Mode did no good, users said; the reboot loop cranked up then as well. “I am unsure as to what to do, because entering Safe Mode gives the same screen,” Melk said. “Furthermore, I have no restore points saved, so going back to a known previous good config is no good either!”
Users are posting situations they’ve experienced:
“The first two restore points available to me failed,” noted another user, pegged as phazedoubt. “I had to go back 3 days before I found one that worked.”
Some users who posted messages to the same newsgroup said that they had managed to regain control of the computer by booting from their Vista install DVD, and selecting the “Restore from a previous restore point” option.
“Apparently, so Microsoft says, my machine was restarted thinking it had downloaded an update, but really the update hadn’t been downloaded,” said user bicksbah on the support newsgroup. “So, upon reboot, it couldn’t find the update and Vista kept trying to install it endlessly.”
Messages left on the newsgroup indicate that Microsoft is aware of the problem.