Failure to Boot

Some commenters here have complained that that other OS is smooth as silk and I should not criticize M$. An example of why I criticize M$ is here. They have made their updates so complex that WSUS+”7″ SP1 make machines unbootable…

Complex? How about M$ not having any clue except suggesting folks avoid using WSUS??! For those who don’t know what WSUS is, it is a server application that serves updates to clients and servers in a system so that each client or server does not need to download every package. WSUS keeps thing up to date, serves packages locally and helps the administrator monitor and control the system. How can WSUS break an update? Ask M$. It’s their baby.

Fortunately almost anyone in a position to need WSUS may well have good backups to fix the mess.

I would suggest avoiding the whole mess and migrating to GNU/Linux. You can install on one machine and broadcast images. You can do a fully automated installation or use the usual installer booted from CD, USB drive or the network. This does not mean your systems will be forever bootable but the odds improve substantially if M$ is not managing your IT.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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14 Responses to Failure to Boot

  1. oldman says:

    “If I brick my own GNU/Linux, I just pop in a live cd, chroot in, and fix it up.”

    I’ve also done my fair share of resurrecting borked Linux and Unix systems (ever had the pleasure of playing the fsck and pray recovery recovery game so common with pre journaled Unix and Linux file systems Dann?), but I’ve been using *nix for over 30 years and Linux actively for the past 5, so I’m up to it. Your average neophyte may find the windows easy recovery wizard and safe mode easier to deal with.

    “When all you do is attack opposing viewpoints and not give any convincing reasons for your own, it looks like smoke and mirrors.”

    With all due respect Dann, I said the following:

    “…but you have to tell me why it is easier to throw all of my existing software away just to avoid a problem that is probably isolated to a small subset of systems and which will be fixed fairly quickly.”

    Granted this is posed as a question, not an assertion, but the reasons should be fairly clear.

    I contend that recommending a fork lift upgrade to a completely different system with different software with different capability is IMHO unreasonable, especially when it is clear to anyone that this situation is a) not effecting the majority of windows 7 users and b)The worst case scenario of reinstalling the OS is trivial in comparison to the work that will be triggered by have to get rid of all of ones current software and adopt new software.

    “Bad things happen for sure. But when you keep on bricking your stuff, it gives an impression.”

    The problem with this is that the majority of people had few if any problems going from xp SP2 to SP3 – I know I did.

    IN comparison I know of quite a few Ubuntu users who dread what has come to be referred to by some less than charitable people as the “biannual forced death march” that is the software upgrades on this distribution can engender.

    But I guess its OK for a linux upgrade to brick someones system but not for windows to do so. Is this what you are inferring Dann?

    To be fair, I have never run into glitches with Ubuntu upgrades, but then again I run my Linux instances exclusively on VMWare virtual machines, which present the same uniform set of virtualized hardware to the OS.

  2. oldman says:

    “The web stats are showing M$ losing 2% share per annum. ”

    Yes I’ve read your interpretation of the dubious stats stats from W3Schools. You might wishj to look around and other sources outside before you assume anything.

    My own brief look across multiple sites suggests that at best, there has been most of this increase has been in Apples Market Share. This is not unreasonable considering that most of the major commercial tools that run on windows also run on OSX. Linux desktop adoption is flat to declining in comparison.

    “Once retailers get the message, the floodgates will open. I expect that will happen this year.”

    I think you will be disappointed, but then again, we shall see.

  3. Dann says:

    If I brick my own GNU/Linux, I just pop in a live cd, chroot in, and fix it up.
    It’s even simpler if I just have to open the drive up and change a file (say, a mistyped boot entry)

    When all you do is attack opposing viewpoints and not give any convincing reasons for your own, it looks like smoke and mirrors.

    Bad things happen for sure. But when you keep on bricking your stuff, it gives an impression.

    (XP sp2 to sp3 broke a few things via a patch to a system dll if memory serves. WP7 broke on samsung phones. Kin was sold as broken. Zune had that new years bug where it wouldn’t turn on due to a time issue. Vista was very incompatible. Windows 7 killed batteries… etc. etc.)

  4. The web stats are showing M$ losing 2% share per annum. That could be 40 million end-users or more per year. That’s not willy nilly. That’s a deliberate shift away from M$. Some are going to Apple but about as many are going to GNU/Linux and Android/Linux. That shift is in spite of M$ supposedly producing their best product ever. So many folks are ticked off at M$ or dissatisfied with the performance of that other OS that they are willing to change. Once retailers get the message, the floodgates will open. I expect that will happen this year.

  5. oldman says:

    “uhhh, M$ just bricked a bunch of PCs that so far can only be fixed by re-installing.”

    And if you look beyond the register you will discover that the vast majority of system are upgrading without issue. You will also note that the windows community of users is also banding together to diagnose and fix this.

    Nowhere is anyone thinking of solving the problem by throwing away windows and all of their software for Linux.

    Nor do I see people on the Debian side tossing debian side tossing Linux for Windows –

    (actually I see this more often than that, but for other reasons)

    My point is that both environment have their issues. And for people on either side of this debate to believe that the other is going to give up their particular set of productivity tools willy nilly is kidding themselves.

  6. uhhh, M$ just bricked a bunch of PCs that so far can only be fixed by re-installing.

  7. oldman says:

    “XP is still out there. There will be a ton of people who think starting with “7″ SP1 is a great way to go.”

    If those who are running late model (4 years and under) systems running XP and they can meet the minimum hardware requirements. For example the upgrade of my 6 year old Dell Optiplex system to 32 bit windows 7 went without issue. THen again I am running a system with 4Gb of RAM and a 3.2Ghz P4 HT CPU. and all of my software is new enough to convert without issue.

    “The beauty of Debian GNU/Linux is that the system is fixable with no need to consult the befuddled M$.”

    Again you make the assumption that currently shipping windows based systems are not fixable. On what actual current experience do you base this assertion?

    I’m sure that those people running debian and its derivatives were thrilled with the actions of the jackass who improved the security right out of OpenSSH. Of course, that little genm was also fixable, and it caused all sorts of mayem as people scrambled to fix their now broken systems.

  8. XP is still out there. There will be a ton of people who think starting with “7” SP1 is a great way to go.

    The beauty of Debian GNU/Linux is that the system is fixable with no need to consult the befuddled M$.

  9. oldman says:

    “Yep! It really is amazing. I can see lots of school-sized operations having auto-update enabled with WSUS to let M$ do the work so they can get on with education and a hundred PCs being bricked. ”

    I’m sorry Pog but your experiences with obsolete versions of windows running on ancient hardware an an area with a poor infrastructure are becoming less and less relevant. The rest of the computing world generally has better infrastructure and updates their hardware and the software over time to keep pace with the changing state of the art.

    It is hard to know exactly what caused these problems, ANd I’m sure they are disturbing to the people involved, but they probably don’t hold a candle to the fun and games that your average Ubuntu user is purported to goes through every 6 months as they attempt to figure out why their upgrades bork their system.

    For windows 7 upgrades on my end but I can speak from personal experience that for all of the windows 7 systems where I work, my own systems included, the update to SP1 was a non event. IN fact I just updated my laptop just before doing this without any problems.

    “I would suggest avoiding the whole mess and migrating to GNU/Linux.”

    You can suggest, but you have to tell me why it is easier to throw all of my existing software away just to avoid a problem that is probably isolated to a small subset of systems and which will be fixed fairly quickly.

    Look at it another way Pog? If Debian starts borking up all of the systems in your lab on updates will you be changing OS’s or fixing the problem? IF you choose to fix the problem, does it have something to do with the pain of having to change tool sets? IF that is the case, why do you think that a forklift upgrade is a viable option for windows users?

  10. Matias says:

    Windows 7 has also serious problems with restore.

    http://blogs.computerworld.com/17965/windows_7_system_restore_less_trustworthy_than_xp

    “Searching online, I found documentation on Restore Points from Microsoft that says

    System Restore in Windows 7 creates a scheduled restore point only if no other restore points have been created in the last 7 days.

    Given a choice, I prefer the daily scheme used by XP. And this doesn’t explain why there would only be a single Restore Point on a system allocating 1.65GB to the feature.

    I’m not alone in this. Last year, one of the questions asked of Leo Notenboom at his ask-leo.com website was Why do my Windows 7 restore points keep disappearing? “

  11. Richard Chapman says:

    Microsoft must have some of the best brains in the business. Obviously they’re not the ones making the final decisions. Maybe their motto is: Never make do with 13 million lines of code when you can do less with 40 million lines of code.

  12. Ray says:

    Not always though, when I tried to update Linux mint, Synaptic failed to work. 🙁

  13. Yep! It really is amazing. I can see lots of school-sized operations having auto-update enabled with WSUS to let M$ do the work so they can get on with education and a hundred PCs being bricked. Many schools have no in-house IT so they are off the air for a while until they pay big bucks to get everything restored. A couple of years ago, I was in a school that did that with XP. If they were on “7” they would be toast.

    It really is peculiar. If you wanted to produce a system that broke updates you would, I assume, have to set up a server that edited the update files. Why would WSUS do that? Why would not the updating process checksum the files??? It doesn’t have to make sense, I guess, it’s M$’s policy.

  14. Bender says:

    You mean Microsoft having thousands of developers still haven’t perfected apt-get like updates :)??

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