Thursday, March 10, 2011

Windows 7 Service Pack 1... the pros and cons.

I was taken by surprise today while working on a Windows 7 laptop - it really took an unusually long time to install an update while shutting down.

Normally I wouldn't be at all concerned by updates installing during shutdown, but this took in the region of half an hour... on a Core i7 machine no less!

As the machine restarted, I realised that the update was in fact Windows 7 Service Pack 1, an update which I was not even aware of yet.
Windows 7 has just been such a hit when compared to Vista, that I didn't expect a Service Pack just yet.
Regardless, here we are. Windows 7 has received its' first Service Pack.

Now Service Packs are generally a good thing, offering tweaks, fixes, patches, bug fixes and all those wonderful things, but it would appear that Windows Service Pack 1 is causing headaches all over the place.
In some cases, as in mine, the installation hangs at some point, citing some or other failure / error "282".
Reboots do not help, Safe Mode is useless, and there are no System Restore points to help you get back to a pre-installation state.

In short, it's a mess.
So without any further ranting, here is how I fixed it in my particular case (full thanks and credit to user "thiswoot" on the Microsoft Technet Forums for this solution - you saved my bacon man!!):

INSTRUCTIONS:

01. Reboot your computer while it's hanging / attempting to start up, by pressing reset or by holding the power button down for 6 seconds, and then switching it back on.

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 (Right click it, click Copy, then Right click in a blank space beneath it, and click Paste).

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

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

14. Scroll slightly back from the text you found, and delete the following text (click to enlarge - yours might 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 each other.

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...



This little gem fixed my situation, and Windows 7 Service Pack 1 installed successfully after all.
It appears that this fix just tells Windows to skip the offending update, and the rest of the installation then continues as normal.

Hope this works for you as well as it did for me!
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4 comments:

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