Home > Computers and Internet, Technology > Entry 02/23/2011 10:46:10 AM – Mentat 602

Entry 02/23/2011 10:46:10 AM – Mentat 602


Oh the joys of waking up first thing in the morning and as I’m making my routine decision of restarting my system after it being online for a week, see that the restart button is actually set to shut down. Any time I’ve seen this sort of thing, I know that Windows has pushed some sort of update and that it’s requiring a full start fro a down state in order to work. Forcing the restart anyway, when it gets back to the Windows Login, I see that no updates had been applied, check the history to see why it was there. It turns out that Windows attempted to push KB2488113 as a required update and then downgraded it to optional.

Shrugging to myself, I go into Windows Update to see that there were a couple of required patches that need to be installed not to mention Windows 7’s Service Pack 1 in the queue for download and installation.


One thing that I’ve rarely been enthusiastic about Windows Update has been the way that Microsoft’s been attempting to push SP updates through its interface, and for years of working on upgrades for my home computer along with production computers at work, I’ve generally avoided doing the SP upgrade path through Windows Update because of the two times that have gone tragically. The first time, the service pack didn’t even install and the second time the OS had been completely hosed. So as a general rule I stuck to downloading (or purchasing) ISO and running it from disc instead.

Not this time. Call me a masochist, but this time I made the decision to give it a try just to see if the update engine had been improved.

First time I tried running it, it said that it had failed and demanded a restart while the update window was covered in red-as-blood failure messages.

“No biggie,” I muttered to myself. It was probably because of the three other patches that it had downloaded and installed and experience has shown that certain patches have higher priority for being installed than other patches and even service packs.

A restart later and I was off to try again. Stopped the Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware modules as a precaution as it’s simply common sense when applying serious OS/Kernel updates.

Then came the anticipation of sitting there watching the download move along at its own pace; halting at 15%, then 45% and then 75%. When it downloaded and began the hooks for installation was when the real sitting on pins and needles feeling began.

Unlike Windows XP (and even 2000) where you can sit in the OS and happily watch as the service pack was being installed from the desktop, Windows Vista and above actually forces the user out of the OS to apply the service pack. And with Vista and 7, it will occasionally force the system to restart at certain points of the service pack configuration. In this case it happened at 30% which sort of caught me unaware as I was on the laptop and here the familiar clicks of my desktop fans being cycled while I was chatting with Glenn on MSN.

Thirty minutes and about 4 GB of disc space taken by this update later, the Service Pack was successfully installed and from what I can tell everything’s up and running according to plan. And for those of you that are sort of policing your free disc space (like I do), you can follow the instruction on cleaning up the backup files once the service pack is installed from here. They’re not kidding about it taking a few minutes to run the completed service either. While it stated that it had completed the remove, it took almost 7 minutes for it to reach the “The operation completed successfully” message. From what I’ve been seeing of the comments on the page, 32-bit and 64-bit users will see ~540 MB to ~1.3 GB disc space recovered. So far I seem to be the exception with Windows 7 Ultimate and reclaiming ~4 GB of disc space; and at least one person noticed they had less free space after than before (though it was reported afterward that he was tired and reported it backward)… but it’s still early on with the article, and I’m sure there will be others that reclaim more.

As a precaution, I had also downloaded the DVD ISO Service Pack from Microsoft in case I ever had to reinstall from scratch and don’t want to sit through single updates, which after a bit of finagling through Firefox was able to burn to DVD. Seems that when trying to download it through IE, I kept getting a “connection reset by server” message just as it downloaded the last bits of the ISO, but in Firefox, it downloaded like a charm and a couple of minutes after that, I had a DVD happily burned just in case I ever decide to reinstall Windows from scratch on this system.

So after about 2 hours of installing, restarts, almost biting my nails a couple of times, with finally performing the routine clean-ups and a bit of stress-testing. I’m back to where I should have been when I had originally restarted my system. Woo-hoo!

[Last Edited: 02/23/2011 03:57:18 PM]

Other than the usual upgrade nonsense, things are for the most part quite and rather normal. Of course by normal I mean that the temperature are colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra face down in an ice puddle. While we’ve had some moderate to better temperatures (on and off) for the better part of the last week and we’ve seen/experienced some melt for the glaciers many of us seem to have in our yards as well as along the sidewalks in the city; whatever melt we’ve had as stopped leaving us with harder blocks of ice where packed snow used to be. Even had a bit of snow as well; though fortunately for us it didn’t last long even on top of the existing snow and ice we have here. Jeez, can’t it start to warm up soon? I’m tired of having a chill and having one hand that feels as though it’s colder than the rest of me.


Well that’s about it for the time being. Off to warm up a bit and finish reading Bram Stoker. Until the next time.

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