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Re: [TenTec] Service Pack 2 Won't Install (off topic!!)

To: tentec@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [TenTec] Service Pack 2 Won't Install (off topic!!)
From: Joe Giacobello <k2xx@swva.net>
Reply-to: k2xx@swva.net, tentec@contesting.com
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2004 13:42:06 -0500
List-post: <mailto:tentec@contesting.com>
You folks may all find this article from NY Times on " Still Wrestling Windows SP2?" useful. It acknowledges the problems with this so-called upgrade and gives step-by-step installation instructions to avoid problems. Hoowever, for reasons that are not clear I can't find the link, so I've cut and pasted what was still in my inbox. maybe someone else can locate the original ink.

Still Wrestling Windows SP2?

Last week, I wrote up a list of steps for long-suffering Windows users who are afraid to install Service Pack 2, which is proving to cause problems (like dead PC's) for certain unlucky percentage.

First, a correction. As one reader put it: "I can't believe the SP2 product manager put his stamp of approval on your procedure. You have people visiting sites on the Internet [to check for BIOS updates] AFTER uninstalling their virus and firewall protection. Good luck to all of them."

Ooh, yes, that was a gaffe, which I promptly corrected in the online version of the column. If you have the original e-mail column on hand, you can make the same change by swapping steps 3 and 6, so that turning off your virus and firewall software is the last step.

Much more of the feedback, though, ran along these lines:

• "I just got done reading your current SP2 Step-by-Step newsletter. All I can say is, holy moley. While I may be pretty technical, I can't imagine the vast majority of the 200 million users being able to work their way through all of the precautions you laid out. Can you imagine trying to explain to the average Joe or Jane from Omaha how to update their BIOS? Are you kidding?!"

• "They are the 800 pound gorilla and they can't send a Service Pack out that works? To go through what you have suggested is absurd for the average PC user. Keep up the vigilance. Please let them know they have created a fearful user base."

• "Microsoft simply astounds me. I have to go through all of that because their software doesn't work in the first place?"

• "When talking to all of those Windows XP experts from Redmond, did you ask them why they created a patch which was so problematic to the average consumer? Surely, with all that brain power at Microsoft, they could have done a better job of creating a patch that does not require a safety checklist that rivals a NASA lift-off."

• "I am one of those people who have not upgraded my OS with SP2. Every time I talk to my propeller-head friends about the prospects of running the update, there is a chorus of 'noooooooo!' from the group. You're correct when you say many people of very afraid, given the horror stories found on the many message boards around the Net."

• "The irony is that because Microsoft is making such an arrogant show of this security release by putting it on the Critical Update list, I and many other professionals are turning off Automatic Updates. Microsoft should never have put SP2 on the Critical Update list. It should be optional.

"Until SP2 was released, I had all my clients' XP computers on fully automatic updates. Their systems would be protected within a day of a patch's release. Some corporate control freaks don't like this, as you mentioned, but I've never once been burned by an automatic update. But when the release of SP2 was imminent, I made sure that every single XP computer I manage had Automatic Updates turned off. So the real consequence of SP2 is that my clients' XP systems take longer to get manual updates and are less protected than before until I can test and prepare for a controlled release of SP2 under my own schedule. I don't think that's the consequence Microsoft intended."

Finally, two more bits of tech advice.

• "I have found that it is very important to run chkdsk [a built-in hard drive utility] before doing any maintenance on Windows machines [to repair hidden hard drive damage caused by crashes or improper shutdowns]. Especially when a large update such as Windows XP SP2 is installed. I have installed SP2 on over 50 machines without a problem making sure chkdsk is part of the pre-installation routine."

To which I'll add: If you know how to run chkdsk from the Windows command line, great. For anyone who's not quite that technical, you may find it less intimidating to proceed like this: Close all documents and programs. Open My Computer; right-click your hard drive icon; choose Properties; click the Tools tab; and under "Error-checking," click Check Now. In the next dialog box, turn on "Automatically fix file system errors" and "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors." Click Start.

And if all else fails:

• "Thank you for the warnings, but they came too late. Any advice on uninstalling SP2 so I can start again the right way? It came as an automatic update and I dutifully installed it..."

Yes. If you want to uninstall SP2 (perhaps with the intention of repeating the installation after first following last week's checklist), click Start, open your Control Panel, open Add or Remove Programs, and scroll down. You'll see "Windows XP Service Pack 2" listed as an individually removable item. Just click it and then click Remove.

Visit David Pogue on the Web at DavidPogue.com <http://www.davidpogue.com>.

73, Joe

Jim Reid wrote:

Forgive this, another off a direct Ten Tec issue topic.

The update seems to be downloaded just fine.
But,  I cannot get SP2 for XP to install!  Gets about
as far as inspecting the "registry"  then an error window
appears:  "Can't read to or from the data base".....and
all stops.  Another window shows up advising that SP2
was not installed,  and all disappears.  Only to have the
reminder window to come up later advising that updates
are available to be installed.  This has been going on for
around a month now.  I'd like to be rid of these continuing
reminders,  or else get the silly update pack installed.

How/what do I do about the data base reading issue....
maybe just forget it,  hi.

73,  Jim W6KPI
On the Garden Island of Kauai
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