Microsoft pulls Vista SP1 prerequisite update: reboot loops, data corruption
Amidst accusations that a prerequisite patch for Vista SP1 has caused machines to fail and data loss, Microsoft is playing it safe and has pulled the package from Windows Update.
In the approach to the pending release of Windows Vista SP1 via Windows Update, Microsoft has released a couple of prerequisite updates, designed to prep a system to receive SP1 and without which SP1 won’t be made available.
According to Microsoft, one of these patches – KB937287 – is “… the component that handles the installation and the removal of software updates, language packs, optional Windows features, and service packs. Update 937287 is necessary to successfully install and to remove Windows Vista SP1 on all versions of Windows Vista.”
If you’ve downloaded the full standalone SP1 install package, KB937287 is installed during the update process.
However, within the last couple of days Microsoft has pulled this update from Windows Update after some users complained of their machines behaving erratically, getting stuck in a reboot loop, or in one users’ case, “data corruption” which was “resolved” by wiping the hard drive.
In the Windows Vista Team Blog, Nick White commented that “…immediately after receiving reports of this error, we made the decision to temporarily suspend automatic distribution of the update to avoid further customer impact while we investigate possible causes.”
“So far, we've been able to determine that this problem only affects a small number of customers in unique circumstances. We are working to identify possible solutions and will make the update available again shortly after we address the issue.”
So far there hasn’t been any information released on what it is precisely which triggers the fault, but there have various suggestions made by users and Microsoft technicians on how to get around the problem. Indeed, it was suggeted that the one user who reported data corruption and claimed that he had to wipe the hard drive (losing data in the process) acted prematurely and didn’t need to take such drastic steps.
There are a couple of fixes suggested for the reboot loop, which reportedly work well. More information on that here.
Bear in mind that KB937287 is not a component of SP1. Additionally, there’s next to no evidence to suggest that this is a widespread problem. Personally, I’ve installed SP1 on around nine machines, all different hardware platforms, running a mixture of Vista Enterprise, Vista Home Premium and Vista Ultimate (32- and 64-bit) and haven’t had a single issue.