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back to article Windows 7 customers hit by service pack 1 install 'fatal error' flaws

A brace of "fatal errors" is hampering Windows 7-based computers that have been updated with Microsoft's first service pack for its current operating system. In fact, since Windows 7 SP1 was released late last month, many users have been grumbling on forums about problems with the install of the update package. Similarly, The …

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FAIL

Needlessly complex

Can anyone explain how you could do 90% of the stuff you do nowadays on an operating system that took up 5MB (a bit more if you include browser, media player and expansion card drivers)?

I tried Kubuntu -really nice-, but to change some basic options you need to type in 10 lines of text.

Another alternative is AROS (a free modern x86 Amiga OS) still needs work though.

If MS want to sell me another copy of Windows they should go back to square one and write a lean streamlined OS for 'home' users. What they do for other users doesn't concern me

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Coat

Re @ "Needlessly complex"

"Can anyone explain how you could do 90% of the stuff you do nowadays on an operating system that took up 5MB (a bit more if you include browser, media player and expansion card drivers)?"

The answer to your slightly confusing sentence (I can only presume you typed something wrong) is that you CAN'T do 90% of the stuff you do nowadays on a 5MB (think MS-DOS) operating system. No GUI, no internet (just drivers alone for the tons of modems out there would be more than 5MB, not to mention NICs if you use a separate DSL/Cable modem instead of a simple dialup). Of course, a browser that is NOT lynx or the like would run at least 5MB too.

A fuzzy, feel-good interface (even OSX) takes up a lot of disk space. Functionality takes up space as well. The OS is likely "bloated" in your opinion because you don't even use half of the functionality that is available through menus, let alone any of the more hard-core functionality (when did you last use Group Policies? [just to name one]). A Linux install takes over 1GB (usually around 4GB for more common rollouts). I definitely wouldn't label Linux as a "for everyone" OS just yet. I feel 100% comfortable, however, having Win7 stuffed on machines though. No need to walk the parents through command lines or VI editing format-reliant config files.

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WTF?

1GB? Really?

damnsmalllinux.org

50MB; streamlined, but not absolutely minimal.

My usual full-fledged Debian image is ~500MB; and that's with some pretty bloated productivity applications. I don't know where you're pulling that 1-4GB figure from (although I may hazard a wild guess...).

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Maybe not in 5 mb....

... but I know that tinycore linux can get you a working desktop with firefox in under 10.

http://www.tinycorelinux.com/

Linux has the advantage of being monolithic, and is therefore pretty fast.

I don't think that resorting to something like Amiga would be the long term answer.

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Anonymous Coward

5MB (think MS-DOS) --- ?

MS-DOS fitted on a floppy. An old floppy, at that,

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Bronze badge
Stop

Really or is that just utter cod's from a *nix hater?

"I tried Kubuntu -really nice-, but to change some basic options you need to type in 10 lines of text."

Really? You must have screwed up the install pretty badly for that to be your last resort! I admin Solaris boxes day in day out from two Ubuntu desktops, the last time I typed in some command line stuff on my desktops was about 6 months ago to get some WAV files converted to MP3 so I could listen to some music on Saturday morning callout.

Can we drop this crap that Unix always needs command hacks, it's getting very tiresome and in 95% of the cases it's utter shite spouted by people who have never actually run a distro in their lives and simply want to put it down. If you don't like *nix, fine I have no problem with that, just stop ragging on it!

I think WIndows is a great O/S it has opened up tech for so many who would never have considered a computer before, and this from someone who uses Mac with OSX at home and Solaris/Linux at work, I hardly touch Windows these days and still think it's a fine O/S.

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Bronze badge

MSDOS on a floppy

Sort of. The final installations sometimes spilled over, though it should be remembered that Windows 3.1 usually took 6 floppies and possibly another four for the Workgroups version. I suppose it really depends on what you are going to do with the OS, whether you actually need a GUI and, if you do, what bits are of any use. You have to remember that Windows, Linux, Amiga OS, heck even RISC OS which is my own stamping ground, are built for general purpose use and will have a lot in them that you may or may not use.

The difference, I find, tends to be in the fripperies that go with the GUI to tart it up to appeal to those folk that care about such things and all the hand-holding wizards and such, some of which aren't much use. For example, how many users out there mod their Windows 7 installations to switch off the nags and the fancy screen bits to grab extra speed and reduce resource hunger? I still tend to use KDE3 on Linux because, up to now, KDE4 has been too hungry when doing video playback amongst other things.

Yet I still like to do my DTP work on RISC OS. And that's a tiny system compared with the modern stuff, GUI included. It's all horses for courses really.

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Anonymous Coward

@fuzzy whatnot

Part of the problem is that you may well be able to do everything in Unix or Linux from the GUI, but there are a lot of Unix/Linux 'gurus' who suggest that the only real way of doing something is through the command line. These are often the same people who call GUIs "point and drool" and slag Windows off, incorrectly, for having to do everything through the GUI.

Personally I use Win/Linux and OSx, I always have the command line open, but I am under no illusions that I'm not normal in this respect. There are a lot of others who still think that computing should somehow be difficult, if it's being done properly, a bit sad really.

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true but not the whole story

that is indeed part of why people use command-line, (a similar phenomenon on windows is "registry hacks" instead of just checking the checkbox in options), but part of it is when you are wanting to walk someone through something, it's easier to tell them to copy&paste from the command line than it is to say "bring up this menu, then that menu..." ad infinitum. Windows server MSDN articles do the same thing; to enable a lot of functionality they'll tell you to type something into an elevated command prompt rather than click on the "install server role" option or similar

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All fine here

I installed it on my machine as soon as it was available and have had no problem what so ever, i will say though that my 3d mark test results were lower after the install so it has done something to slow my pc down somewhere but nothing i can really notice

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Silver badge
Happy

SPs always make me nervous.

I run Win 7 hp 64-bit at home on two machines. A few days before the update was released I ran full system backup manually on both of them and then took backup off schedule. Happily when Redmond sent SP1 down the pipe to yours truly it installed in both cases without giving any noticeable problems. Had I experienced problems I could not find a work-around to I would have switched off Windows update, formatted the drives, restored from the drive image and then kept that monkey (AKA Windows updat) off-line until it was clear that a safe version was available. I've been burned before!

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Bronze badge

Absolutely.

When they tell you to back up your system volumes (system and boot at least) before installing an update, they aren't joking. Having said that, my HP OEM tablet-laptop took it fine, too.

I think you can tell Windows Update to stop Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and still give you other Windows 7 updates, and that way you probably have everything safely updated anyway, but don't take my word for that.

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Unhappy

Sahib

Clearly Microsoft aren't ready for the desktop yet.

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64 bit

I've installed SP1 on 4 Windows 7 Professional 64 bit machines and haven't had any issues. Haven't tried any 32 bit machines yet though......

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Bronze badge

It was ever thus.

Windows XP SP2 did the same thing to tens of thousands of machines. So did SP1.

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Anonymous Coward

No surprise

They're not referred as 'Nervous Packs' for nothing you know!

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FAIL

Mixed bag of experience here..

My install of SP1 on my daughter Win7 pro running PC was a mixed bag.

On one hand, the Safari browser has slowed to a crawl and I had to install 5.0.1 to restore a bit of speed. On the other hand the "shut down" function which had ceased to work for some reasons weeks ago forcing me to use hibernate is now working again.

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Joke

Well, THERE's yer problem

Safari - Apple product. It's either a conspiracy on Apple's part to make Windows look bad, or a conspiracy on MS's part to make Safari look bad.

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Hmmmm

Of those rebooting and crashing I wonder how many are infected with a virus or with a bad hard drive or a hard drive that could have used a chkdsk before sp1 was installed.

I always run a chkdsk before applying a service pack.

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Thumb Up

aye

and imaging the drive isnt such a bad thing either.

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64bit seems to be the key

Looking around for the solution for my failure (1 of 2 machines at home worked) it does seem that it is x64 that is having all of the trouble.

Home edition went fine for me though but Professional failed (both x64).

After running through many of the suggested hoops ending in wiping my entire update history it eventually found an issue with some of the system files for which a system recovery would be needed. The machine has some deeper issues though, possibly due to a power outage mid update some time ago, so is due for a re-build anyway.

After various successes elsewhere I had just allowed SP1 through the WSUS. Worked on all but one of the machines and the failure on the 3rd isn't this one luckily enough.

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Unhappy

Oh the PITA

64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate on development desktop with 64-bit Office (big Excel modelling) worked a treat, but 64-bit Enterprise version with 32-bit Office is giving me grief ... in permanent update cycle "Restart computer to finish update, installing, restart computer to finish update, etc." VM setups also giving me permanent loop of non working updates.

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It happened to me

I let SP.1 install.

Machine was fine for a week.

Then broke badly, and there were no restore points.

Had to do two factory resets over the weekend.....the first left it unable to download files above 26meg without hanging.

As I was not aware that SP.1 may be the culprit, I let the machine update itself to SP.1 again.

It's like typing on a ticking time bo.......

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Silver badge
WTF?

XP Rules! Another reason for not changing

Usually I don't even changing OS until well after the first SP.

And no one in their right mind ever adopts a SP until a few weeks after release.

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Strange

Tested out on 2 Win7 boxes here via WSUS without a problem. OEM licenced although only a fool puts the OEM image on the PC. Whip out the Volume Licence key's and deploy a propper image!!

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Gates Horns

uhu

Happened on one of my machines, crashed while installing with no way to roll it back. Somehow worked fine after a reinstall.

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Jobs Halo

It makes me smile.

Why does reading this give me an urge to cackle maniacally in glee?

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not sure?

Maybe because you've forgotten that Apple always have problems with updates too?

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Thumb Down

No actually

The only update on OSX I ever saw fail was leopard with people running APE.

I do support for most of the Mac people I know and I never see update problems. None at all.

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Bronze badge

7 machines no probs

I think it's pretty much luck of the draw.

To answer all of the "______ is better, never screwed up on update" (insert name of OS), I have witnessed and indeed screwed up myself OSX, Ubuntu, XP installations by following the prescribed update path. All OSs have their issues. The worst was an Apple that had to be sent back, update made the HDD disappear.

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Go

Six Machines

Five SP1 updates from the downloaded x86 installer and one new install using an RT7 Lite integrated SP1 x86 FullFile.

<yawn> Boooorrrring.

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FAIL

Well, thanks but no thanks

I installed this on a home m/c - running WIndows7 Home Premium, I think they call it.

Bricked it.

Complete re-build.

Happy Customer?

What do you think?!

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Warning- additional language packs

I suffered from a different error to the ones (above), namely a dreaded 'out of memory' error. Apparently (after some research) its well known to Microsoft- and the 'work-around' is to uninstall any additional language packs you may have installed. Not only is this troublesome- but the cryptic manner in which you have to find a solution, is annoying as hell......

I also had the hanging on update 124,556 of 300,000 (odd) updates on startup, and a myriad of other issues- that necessitated a fresh install......

Microsoft should be ashamed to have let this out the door- if we did similar with our software, we'd have our business users baying for our blood.......

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FAIL

home users are getting these errors too

I work in the UK business support dept for a PC hardware manufacturer that starts with D and rhymes with Hell.Since SP1 came out even home/small business users users have had the same errors described. I think its been rushed out of the door too fast without the necessay testing reqd.

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FAIL

Not just Win7

I had this problem today with Win2k8R2 - same 0xc0000034 error message on boot, no suitable restore points, so I spent the morning reinstalling a domain controllers. Thanks, Microsoft.

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Unhappy

3 machines out of 7 here

Maybe this is a clue:

of our 7 machines, 2 run 32bit win 7 pro - they upgraded OK

of the remaining 5 running 64bit win 7 pro, 2 upgraded OK

the ones the failed all had extra language packs loaded - that is the ONLY difference in software packages.

The language packs loaded were Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional and Japanese, all to support overseas projects. Our standard installs have only Australian English.

I have read on a few other sites that it looks like the additional language packs might be the culprit.

We fixed our machines using a WinPE boot CD and removing the 0000000000000000.cdf-ms statements from %systemroot%/WinSXS/pending.xml. Apparently MS tells us this will cause extra problems, but I only found that bit after I had 'fixed' our machines.

Thanks MS. All the goodwill I had towards Windows 7 and SBS2008 evaporated in one quick update.

I hate MS again now. Hating MS is cool.

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SP1

It took me a few goes and while the download looked stalled, it did eventually go on.

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Anonymous Coward

About a 15% failure rate here

We're 100% 64-bit Win7 here. Tested the SP1 on a bunch of machines for last couple of weeks with no issues. Started rolling it out slowly across the company and started seeing the C00000034 fatal errors on a few machines. Thus far it's running about 15%-20% failure rate with *nothing* in common we can find yet. Machines created from the same default image running the same patch levels and same software will glitch and some won't. Total crapshoot with every install.

For those of you hit by this, the MS TechNet article on booting into startup repair, getting to a command prompt, and manually editing the %windir%\winsxs\pending.xml file *DOES WORK* every time. It gets the machine bootable and *appears* to back out the SP1 changes. However, if you do a check on My Computer > Properties you'll see it says SP1 is installed even though the SP1 installer says it failed. I haven't figured out whether the SP installed or not and I don't have time yet to go crawling through DLL versions to find out.

I've tried manually re-installing the SP1 from the downloaded (non-WSUS, non-Windows Update) offline installer on a few afflicted machines. Every one of them dies during the initial install claiming that some "windows component" needed for install isn't present. There's a "helpful" link in the error that says something like "why is this happening." It leads to an MS web page that says some OEM installs omit certain Windows Components (it doesn't say which ones) and -- surprise surprise! -- says you can *easily* fix the problem by RE-INSTALLING WINDOWS. Pardon me while I go strangle the idiot that came up with this web page.

If anyone can find some commonality in these failures, I'm all ears.

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Unhappy

MS demonstrate TEST is a four letter word to be avioded

Whilist some problems are likely to sneak through in a major software change, the fact you have a 15%+ fail rate indicates Micro$haft is simply not testing is products in any meaningful way.

The suggestion here is never deploy MS SPs until you have to, and even then, do your own integration testing, and backup everything.

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bex

not had a problem her

I have updated over 20 pcs mixed 32/64 bit only problem one of them had to install a fix for something missing before the service pack would take. This report smacks of the so called kinect problem the bbc reported that was nothing

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I suppose I should be grateful

that SP1 wouldn't even install on my OEM home PC. At least it may have saved me hours of swearing and a rollback.

Now I can confidently leave all the bug hunting and swearing to Microsoft. Good luck with it, guys.

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This saved me

Praise be to the geek who worked this out (first reply in the thread):

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-system/fatal-error-c0000034-applying-update-operation-282/bd99ead9-ece9-48af-9ad8-3c0377d01301

My laptop went from brick to fully working in less than 20 minutes, but woe betide anyone who's even slightly scared of getting their hands dirty with an OS. And it was the FIRST time in as long as I remember that I just OK'd a Windows update to install without looking at it first! >_< It was all going so well with Win7...

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Grenade

So

the trouble with Win7 is you really need to use the command line to get it working?

*zing*

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Boffin

Getting your hands dirty

I sometimes wonder if some users are a bit too coddled with their GUI worlds (whatever flavour). Mind you, I suppose I'm old enough to remember when computers had switch registers and paper tape readers, so what do I know?

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backup sorted?

Well i didn't have a problem with mine!

running win7 home premium, but i wonder if the backup still corrupts DVRr/w's a few weeks after you forst use it?

i am loathed to bugger another one again, having tried two different laptops and numerous dvd's and all end up with same problem although if formatted they work fine for anything else !

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FAIL

Its all about SBS....

I'm the guy that reported this to the register, and to all those that say why didnt people test before approving the update in WSUS need to understand that the majority of people affected by the c0000034 fatal error are people with SBS2008 servers and OEM factory image machines. In this situation, SBS2008 is preconfigured to deploy service packs automatically to clients. As soon as it became a critical update, thats when the problem went widespread. The support company i work for (Pyranet UK Ltd) have several clients with this setup, and its caused a fair few issues for them. MS need to sort this out!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Did anyone review SBS2008 WSUS settings

Or did they just assume that Microsoft's choices were the right ones for their company?

Although a rank amateur with WSUS having installed it on our SBS setup I went into it and looked at the settings and set it so that no update was installed without someone saying Yes to it. And then after the list of updates got updated each month I'd go through and OK them one at a time. Anything related to a critical system, eg Exchange, I'd hold off on for a week to see if any bugs crept out of the woodwork.

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Unhappy

Anyone had this problem?

The only change I've noticed on my machine is that it takes considerably longer to boot up. The extra time comes after the BIOS gubbins and before when it says "Starting Windows" or whatever. The screen goes black and I get an old DOS-style flashing "_" cursor at the top left of my screen that stays there for about 10 seconds before Windows starts loading. Anyone else had this issue?

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WTF?

No problems here

Updated both my machines (64-bit) when SP1 came out and had zero problems since.

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Thumb Up

Alternatively with no Reg tweaks

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itprogeneral/thread/608ecca8-b815-4ff6-8f3c-a828518434a7

INSTRUCTIONS:

01. Reboot your computer while it's starting up.

02. When your computer starts up again, choose the option "Launch Startup Repair"

--> PIC: http://notebooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Recov-1.jpg

03. When the Startup repair starts, click cancel.

04. After you click cancel it will show a box. Click "Don't Send"

--> PIC: http://i52.tinypic.com/xgjriw.png

05. Click the link "View advanced options for recovery and support"

06. In the new window click Command Prompt at the bottom.

--> PIC: http://i51.tinypic.com/50imu8.png

07. In Command Prompt type this and press enter: %windir%\system32\notepad.exe

08. Notepad will open. In notepad go to File-->Open.

09. Change the type of files notepad views from .txt to All Files (see pic)

--> PIC: http://i51.tinypic.com/35nd74z.png

10. Now in Notepad, go to C:\Windows\winsxs\ (or whichever drive Windows is installed on)

11. In that folder, find pending.xml and make a copy of it

12. Now open the original pending.xml (it will load really slow because the file is huge)

13. Press CNTRL+F and search for the following exactly: 0000000000000000.cdf-ms

14. Delete the following text (yours will be a little different):

--> PIC: http://i54.tinypic.com/adzpzp.png

Your PC might not have all 3 sections of code (, , ). Just make sure you delete section "Checkpoint" and whatever other sections have "000000000000000.cdf-ms". They will be right next to eachother.

15. Save the file, close notepad, close command prompt, restart your computer.

Once your computer starts up, do a normal startup (it may stall for 5-10 minutes at the "starting windows" screen, but leave it going) and the Service Pack will install some more stuff and restart a few times and then everything should be working! For some people, it reverts everything and cancels the service pack installation. For other people, the service pack installation completes. Either result is fine.

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