October 28, 2008

Vista Service Pack 1 Failure
Installation Error 0xc01a001d

Last week I used Windows Update to install Windows Vista Service Pack 1 on my father's computer running Vista Home Premium.

The Problem

The installation failed during one of the automatic restarts. There was a black screen with one line of flickering white text, which said the following:

!! 0xc01a001d !! 37707/91526 (\Registry\Machine\COMPONENTS\Winners\x86...)

Before the error the 37707 number had been incrementing rapidly and the 91526 number was static. I assume the numbers represented registry entries (or files) and the left number was incrementing until it reached the right number.

The Cause

Unknown. Google returned about 500 hits on the error code. Most of the hits referenced forums in which people were asking for help with the same problem. I saw no site documenting a solution. One possible reason for the code is that a log file filled up. ("C01A001D STATUS_LOG_FULL Log space is exhausted" found here.)

The Final Solution

I had to perform a custom reinstallation of Vista using the Vista reinstallation DVD that came with the Dell computer. The first attempt failed. The second attempt succeeded. I had to download and install Vista Service Pack 1 again. This time it worked. I had to reinstall every program and figure out how to get each program's data loaded from backup copies.

Actions Taken

When I first saw the error I knew it was bad. I didn't want to do anything that might make the problem harder to recover from. Since Microsoft offers free Vista SP1 support for problems not defined as advanced, I called Microsoft at (866) 234-6020. There was no wait time for a Vista SP1 support person.

I worked on the phone with a Microsoft technician for 2 hours and 26 minutes. She sounded Indian and had an accent I found difficult to understand. At first I was hopeful because I knew I had at least four good restore points. Following are some of the things we tried. I mention them here because if you can get any of them to work it's better than reinstalling Vista.

I powered off the computer by pressing and holding the Dell desktop's power button for several seconds. Then I pressed the power button to turn it back on. The restart failed at the same point, but with a different error code. This time the error code was 0xc0190036 and the file named was WSDMon.dll. I powered the computer off and on again. The restart failed with the same error (0xc0190036) on the same file (WSDMon.dll).

(While writing this account I discovered a forum post claiming that the 0xc0190036 error means the named file is corrupted. If you can boot into Safe Mode or to a command prompt, which I could not, and if the poster's information is correct, you can get around this error by either deleting or changing the name of the corrupted file. The Vista SP1 installation will simply install a new copy of the file. However, this error list says error C0190036 means "STATUS_FILE_IDENTITY_NOT_PERSISTENT The file cannot be opened transactionally, because its identity depends on the outcome of an unresolved transaction.")

I powered off and powered on again, pressing F8 repeatedly during boot-up to invoke the Advanced Boot Options. I selected Safe Mode. Attempting to boot into Safe Mode failed.

I rebooted and pressed F12 during boot-up to get the boot source options. With the Vista Installation DVD in the CD/DVD drive, I chose "Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive". The next text-filled screen had something like "Press any key to boot from CD" at the very bottom of the screen, however, time was not provided to read the screen before the computer began booting from the hard disk. This timing problem caused me to accidentally start booting from the hard disk three different times. Each time Windows ran a recovery process that failed.

I rebooted, pressed F12, chose "Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive", and quickly pressed the space bar to boot from the DVD drive. I selected the "Repair Your Computer" option from the DVD. I don't have the details in my notes, but I got to a screen that offered to restore from a restore point. Only one restore point was shown. The failed Vista SP1 installation had deleted, hidden, or otherwise rendered the other restore points inaccessible. I tried to restore to the restore point shown and received the following error.

System Restore did not complete successfully. Your computer's system files and settings were not changed. System Restore failed due to an unspecified error. The file cannot be opened transactionally, because its identity depends on the outcome of an unresolved transaction. (0x80071AA7)

I rebooted to the DVD and chose to perform a custom installation. A custom installation saves selected files in a folder called "Windows.old". On the last step of the installation the installation failed with an error message saying the Windows.old directory was corrupt. It said to run CHKDSK.

Rebooting produced the following error.

Install Windows
The computer restarted unexpectedly or encountered an unexpected error. Windows installation cannot proceed. To install Windows, click "OK" to restart the computer, and then restart the installation.


The computer would not reboot, even in Safe Mode or Safe Mode with command prompt.

I rebooted to the DVD and chose to perform another custom installation. This time the installation completed and then CHKDSK ran automatically.

I called Microsoft back and got another difficult-to-understand Indian-sounding technician to help me get a clean installation of Vista Service Pack 1. He walked me through checking services, setting selective start-up in msconfig, and downloading SP1. The SP1 installation succeeded.

45 Comments:

Blogger Eri said...

Does this affect documents and other files such as pictures? I just came back from a five month trip and the laptop currently has over 3,000 pictures and there are no other copies.

December 23, 2008 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger thorick said...

thanks for relating your experience. Last night I stupidly agreed to allow Windows Update to install Vista SP1 (I was unaware of these problems). Result: an unbootable machine (in ANY mode). I'
m pretty irritated. I have real work to do that depended on this machine working ! Your post is a good heads up on what lies in the road ahead...

December 27, 2008 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger Jon Maloney said...

Hi Eri,

If you do a custom installation of Vista after the update failure, your pictures and documents would probably be saved in the folder "Windows.old". If the only way you know to get to your pictures and documents is through application programs, then you would have to reinstall those application programs in order to access your files. I hope that answers what you're asking.


Hi Thorick,

I definitely identify with your situation. I was quite angry. Both of us could have avoided the situation we found ourselves in if we had maintained good, complete backups and an emergency boot CD. I keep such a backup of my own computer, but there was no such backup for my father's computer which is the one that had the problem. When you have a good backup then it's easy to recover from catastrophic software errors -- just boot from the emergency CD and reload the entire disk from the backup.

December 30, 2008 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger pAoLo said...

Same problem... i guess the same custom solution!

Great SP1!

January 3, 2009 at 5:48 AM  
Anonymous austin said...

i'm in college and i need my laptop to work and i don't won't to lose any of my documents either. i had the same error. instead of me ruining my computer, i took it to the IT dept. at my college so maybe they would have better luck than me. I'm going to be severly pissed if i lose all of my files. It's March 25, 2009 and I'm having this problem. this blog was posted in Oct. of '08. why has microsoft not fixed this problem within 6 months nearly 7 months. I could understand if this was not a huge problem, but this is a severe error on their part. they need to get their butt in gear and fix this!

March 25, 2009 at 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Melvin B. said...

Wow... my son just called with the same SP1 collapse of his laptop... March 28. He has lost his original setup disk and had not made any backup disks... Can anyone help us with a source to get him up and running again?
Thanks.

March 27, 2009 at 10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the step by step advice...I couldn't for the life of me figure out what was wrong with this computer!

April 8, 2009 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Janice said...

Thank you for this post! I have been all over the internet looking for a way to fix this issue; no tech support person has been available to me so I was even more frustrated. Hopefully this will work out as I am walking through the steps right now. This is the most progress I have seen thus far so I am grateful!

June 27, 2009 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger Jon Maloney said...

Good luck, Janice!

June 27, 2009 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger MhChue said...

hey im having the same problem. can you please help me? my email is mhleechue@gmail.com. thanks!

-mhchue

August 17, 2009 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Jon Maloney said...

MhChue,

I worked on this problem on my father's computer 10 months ago. I don't even use Vista. I described the steps I took to solve the problem in this blog post. I had to reinstall Vista and reinstall all my father's programs, and then load his data back into each program from backups. It was a big job. Microsoft technicians helped me get Vista reinstalled, for free. Microsoft still offers free support for people having trouble installing Vista Service Pack 1. Their free support lasts until August 31, 2009. You can follow the instructions on this page: Microsoft Help and Support

Good luck!

August 17, 2009 at 11:13 PM  
Blogger Mikesco3 said...

I am able to go in with the "repair mode" and then restore it to a previous point, and it seems to work only if you want to upgrade vista again I have the same issue.

October 7, 2009 at 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok I just had this same issue. Just allowed windows update to install SP1. Same black screen and fault code. Same Indian tech same crap attempts at recovering my PC. None of which worked might I add. So I am now faced with the task of re installing a fresh copy of vista.

This gets up my nose for 2 reasons.

1. There are now THOUSANDS of prie reporting this same problem online and even after all this time, after all these people complaining, Microsoft are still allowing this obviously broken service pack to be released. The only thing they seem to be any good at in my opinion.

2. My PC is a home built custom job and my copy of vista is a retail copy I bought when it was first released all those years ago. To save on costs I bought an UPDATE only copy. For those who dont know this means that I have to have a Genuine working copy of a windows operating system installed on my PC to install my copy of vista. This was almost a good idea on microsofts part meant to stop people with "bootlegged" coppies of XP installed on their PC's from getting vista cheap. They would have to buy the full version for 3 times the price. Wel like I said "almost" a good idea. The fact is it just means you have to install it without activating it then simply "update" it from the un registered copy. WHAT A JOKE. Anyway my point is after all these years I no longer have my copy of XP and therfore have to go through all of that to get it working again.......

...... Is it really worth it. Just to have something else go wrong. All this hassle when.... When.... I could just go and buy a MAC. Cmon Microsoft get it together or loose yet another loyal customer of many years.

Incidentaly I am posting this using my apple iPhone because my windows pc is broken.

Rant over. Thanks for reading.


Gaz

October 13, 2009 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger Jon Maloney said...

Hi Gaz,

Good rant. This is not a rare bug, and it really screws a certain percentage of people updating Vista. It's been a year since I dealt with the problem on my father's computer. Isn't it astounding that after a year Microsoft is still distributing a service pack with such a huge potential problem? You'd think they would have made it a priority to add some code to save a copy of essential files and restore points so if the service pack trashed the system the system would still be recoverable. I mean if they can't solve the problem that makes it happen on some systems, at least they should have coded a way to undo the damage.

Good luck with your recoveries.

Jon

October 13, 2009 at 6:28 PM  
Blogger Aitch said...

Well, I may be late to the party, but I'm here now. My Dell XPS 1710 has died on me in the same way everyone else experienced. I held off for 6 months on this update,because of my sixth sense of impending doom. In fact Microsoft did not include it in my Updates List until about April this year. My suspicions were correct though...it's not been fixed.
So finally, I decided to upgrade my HD from a measly 100GB to 500GB (I thought 100GB would be fine until Vista hogged most of it). Having used Acronis to clone my HD to the new one, I was then in a good position to apply SP1 because I have a 100GB backup HD! No matter, I am now in the same boat as everyone else, except I DO have a chance to catalog all my myriad programs that will require re-install, from Msft Office to Photofiltre, there are dozens. I'll back up my data to an external HD first, but setting up the whole mess is a time-consuming, and unnecessary waste of my time. I'm an old school ex-IBM programmer analyst from the 1960's, and I can tell you that this kind of crap didn't happen on our old systems, you know, the ones we chiselled out in stone. Of course we had problems, but we worked round the clock to fix them. What the hell is Microsoft playing at?

November 8, 2009 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Jon Maloney said...

Thanks for your post, Aitch. I feel for you and I agree with you. I too am a dinosaur. I went to school using keypunch machines and programming Burroughs mainframes in the seventies. I'm disgusted and amazed that Microsoft would let an obvious problem that affects so many people go unaddressed. I know people's systems are different and large updates are complex, but at the least Microsoft should offer a reliable workaround so that when the service pack trashes the system the user has a recourse other than reinstalling everything.

I never upgrade my programs just because new programs are available. I upgrade programs when the programs no longer do what I need them to do. That approach and my lack of foresight in not saving program patches over the years makes it so that when I need to reinstall all my programs, I actually lose stuff. Reinstalling is not merely an inconvenience. For example, I use old versions of Eudora, Quicken, and Photoshop. When I am forced to reinstall those I lose all the bug fixes and security patches done to those programs that are no longer available. I keep good system backups so as not to run into that situation anymore. My father doesn't have backups like that though, which is how we got into the situation I wrote about in this post. One exceedingly irritating aspect to this problem is that I made sure I had good restore points before the update, and the update trashed the restore points.

Jon

November 8, 2009 at 1:27 PM  
Anonymous John Brinnand said...

Microsofts’ Vista SP1 Installation Fiasco ending in 0xc01a001d

I finally managed to recover without having to do a full restore – here is my story. (Sorry it is so long-winded that I have to post two entries)

Part 1.

Environment:
Dell E520 (Dimension DM061) preinstalled with 32 bit Vista – Home Premium
System installed May 2007.
Hardware:
HP C6380 All-in-One; Mag Innovation Monitor; LG GSA-516D DVD Rewriter;
Logitech QuickCam; Microsoft Optical Desktop 500 (Keyboard & Mouse).
Significant Software Changes:
De-installed McFee; Installed Free AVG; Spybot.
During last 2 years have installed/deinstalled a number of programs and some CODECs

Vista SP1 Installation attempted in Nov 2009.

After many hours I, like many others ended up with the dreaded:

Oxco1a001d !! nnnn/99275 (\Registry\MachineCOMPONENTS\DerivedData…
on a black screen.

Before I go on I have to admit that I did not turn off Spybot and AVG (very stupid of me) and I am guessing this was most likely the cause of the problem. However that does not excuse Microsoft’s lack of ability to leave the system in a usable condition after detecting the error nor does it excuse Microsoft for its lack of customer service in responding to the myriad of pleas for help.

Recovery Process (I’m sure most people went through these steps).

Spent many hours on the Internet looking for a solution.

Tried Repair Process (never ending loop)
Tried the “Restore from a Previous Configuration” in Safe Mode (never ending loop)
Tried to run in “Normal Mode” and continued to get the dreaded 0xc01a001d but with an increasing number for “nnnn”
Tried “Safe Mode without Drivers” it stopped at crcdisk.??? for a long time. I thought it was in another loop but it finally came back with a message that offered a restore/restart/repair option (I’m a bit hazy on this). I think the repair process came back and told me no problems were found but ended up taking me back to the dreaded 0xc01a001d.
Hitting F8 during the reboot I eventually ended up running a hardware diagnostic utility – it took a couple of hours but everything passed the test.

I DID NOT change the BIOS nor did I go into “Command Mode” nor did not take the cover off the PC.

(I don’t think any of the above is germane to the problem but I summarized what I did, and did not do, just in case it is relevant).

Now I prepared for a re-install using the DELL Reinstallation DVD and the eventual reinstallation of all my programs/hardware and reloading my data (I did have most of my data backed up).

Here is my step-by-step

1. Disconnected the power supply from the PC. (Had not done this during the hard rebooting)
2. Disconnected all peripherals and network cable except for the monitor.
3. Connected the original USB Keyboard and Mouse.
4. Powered back up
5. Put the DELL Reinstallation DVD in the drive and began a hard reboot,
6. (Began to cry as I waited for the “ARE YOU SURE” question to pop up on the screen).

See next comment for what happened

November 11, 2009 at 6:33 PM  
Anonymous John Brinnand said...

This is what happened

1. Got the usual message telling me the last shut down was not clean and asking if I wanted to do the “Repair Process” or “Normal Startup” – unfortunately I am not sure which one I selected.
2. Much to my surprise I got the Windows screen telling me it was: -
“Installing SP1 Stage 3 of 3 nn% Complete – Do not turn off the Computer”
3. After 10 minutes it reached 100% and did a self reboot
(The reboot screen was different from what I normally get - ?SP1 reboot screen?)
4. Continued to get the “Installing SP1 Stage 3 of 3 100% Complete – Do not turn off the Computer” for some time then got …….
5. “Service Pack Did Not Install – Reverting Change - Do not turn off the Computer”
6. After 20 minutes it did a reboot (same unfamiliar screen) and then for another 20 minutes continued to display the same message.
7. Then I got my familiar Widows Vista sign in screen; signed in and got the “Welcome” screen.

All my programs and data were intact and I think the system was running better than it had for some time.

I immediately created a Restore Point – all my previous restore points were gone and the only listed was the one put there by the SP1 installation.

The bottom line is I have no idea which one of the above led me to getting my system back. However, I though it would be worthwhile to take the time to document what I did in the hopes that it may save someone from having to do a complete re-install.

John
(Also a throw back to punched cards; paper tape; Autocoder and one-address Machines)

November 11, 2009 at 6:36 PM  
Blogger Jon Maloney said...

Hi John,

Thanks for your story. Perhaps it will help someone who finds it here. Your step 5 indicates that service pack 1 was not installed; that Windows reverted back to before SP1 when it encountered an error. You might want to use Start, Run and enter winver to see what Windows version you're running now.

Jon

November 11, 2009 at 6:55 PM  
Anonymous John Brinnand said...

Jon

Winver shows Version 6.0 (Build 6000)

I think that is the version that came with the Dell, but not 100% sure.

John

November 12, 2009 at 12:17 AM  
Blogger Jon Maloney said...

John,

The winver command would also show the service pack number if there is one. If service pack 1 got installed, winver would show it.

Jon

November 12, 2009 at 12:44 AM  
Blogger Aitch said...

OK, I`m still here, and have as yet not undertaken the daunting task of re-installing my whole world (see previous post). I do have the luxury of having an Acronis clone HD sitting in my desk drawer, so I am still avoiding the SP1 install, even though I`m covered six ways to Sunday. Every time I even get a whiff of Windows Updates exhorting me to install SP1, I decline.
OK, the purpose of this post is to let you know that I had a bit of an epiphany, and suddenly thought `wait a minute, why don`t I just install Windows 7, instead of the fatally flawed Vista?.` My reasoning was impeccable - (well it is if you haven`t lost faith in Microsoft completely - if you have, it`s time for a Mac). I figured that this would be akin to hopping off the Titanic onto a better, safer ship, just prior to the minor accident that has become the apocryphal tale of hubris and comeuppance. Bad analogy, I know, it should be something to do with a pandemic, I suppose. Anyway, I downloaded Microsoft`s Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, and ran it. As expected, the inevitable Catch-22 was right there with the finding `You must upgrade Vista to SP1 before you can install Windows 7`. Kills you doesn`t it?
Now I think this finding applies to a Windows Update/Replacement IN PLACE. I still don`t know if I can use a clean (new) install of Windows 7, or if I would have to pay a higher price to do so. I believe the Upgrade version for me would be $120, but the `New`purchase price is around $200. Possibly a Family Pack might be a cheaper deal.
Bottom Line: Is it worth considering this as an option? I know it's a cop out, but Vista really is a piece of S**t, and this SP1 fiasco proves it.
Ah, for the good old days of 16K memory and no hard drives. (joke)

November 15, 2009 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Jon Maloney said...

Aitch,

I would not assume that Windows 7 has fewer problems than Vista. I'm currently running XP and I've had more problems with it than I had with Windows 98. It has been my experience that each new version of Windows adds new problems and does not solve many of the prior version's problems. If I was in your situation I would make sure I had two complete system backups and a way to restore them if Windows can't boot, manually download Vista SP1 and write it to a non-system hard disk or to a CD, use msconfig to prevent all antivirus and similar programs from running on start-up, disconnect from the Internet, boot the system, and try to install SP1. I'm not telling you to do that, but that's what I'd try. Of course you should only do what you're comfortable doing. Good luck!

Jon

November 15, 2009 at 7:36 PM  
Blogger Jon Maloney said...

Aitch,

If you want to upgrade to Windows 7, you might find this article on the Windows Secrets web site very helpful: Windows Secrets: Clean-install Windows 7 from the upgrade disc.

Jon

November 15, 2009 at 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Jeremy said...

Just had this same problem on a customer's computer. I did find an option in Windows Startup repair to run System Restore and there was one available right before the install of SP1.

I know this doesn't get SP1 installed, but I'm going to try doing some virus scans, disabling antivirus software, and then reinstalling SP1

See this guide for more details on using the Windows Startup Repair: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/tutorial148.html

May 12, 2010 at 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Jeremy said...

I ran several scans, removed one malware item, and uninstalled antivirus programs/malware scanners.

Then I successfully installed the full version of SP1 (NOT the one available through Windows Update).

May 13, 2010 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger Jon Maloney said...

Thanks for your posts, Jeremy. Perhaps they'll help someone who still has this problem in their future.

May 17, 2010 at 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'v the same, the guy from microsoft sad that i have to reinstal the system, and the first what i have to instal after that is the SP1 and SP2(before the other programs, especialy the anti virus).
i'm so happy that i have a Linux on my computer, and I can copy all my privat files.
But, now I have to instal all again... it takes about a week!

September 9, 2010 at 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm Clarence!

I need help! It's still not working! When i try to boot from cd/dvd it loads and after a few minutes the screen turns blue and it says

A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer..........

I keep repeating same step but it still comes back over and over again.I'm doomed. I should have not updated my computer. Pleasw reply!

October 21, 2010 at 11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also tried safe mod/safe mode with network..etc

I tried every options but it still doesn't work. What should i do?

Clarence

October 21, 2010 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Jon Maloney said...

Clarence,

If I were you I would use Microsoft support, first its online advanced search and help documents, then ask for help by email if necessary.

Microsoft advanced search

Microsoft support for Vista service packs

Good luck!

Jon

October 22, 2010 at 6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

You'll be pleased to know that this SP1 issue is still circulating. I generally hold off with updating anything by Microsoft for as long as possible because, for all they get paid, their programmers are shoddy at best.

I attempted to update to SP1 today, after fixing my Linux laptop, and feeling in the computer DIY mood. Wish I hadn't bothered.

Still trying to fix it with the various workarounds on the net, no joy yet.

You'd think that they would have fixed this by now, you know, since SP2 has been released for some time and everything ...

November 1, 2010 at 7:50 PM  
Blogger Jon Maloney said...

I'm sorry to hear you got bit by this. It's a real pain. Good luck.

Any update can fail, and when it is large and complex it is probably more likely to fail. What I thought was unbelievable and unacceptable about this problem was that there wasn't a sufficient fallback built in. Part of the update process should have been to copy files that would be changed so that if an unrecoverable exception occurred they could easily be copied back to their original locations with no harm done. If part of that plan had to be making an emergency boot diskette, CD, or USB drive, so be it. But Microsoft just allowed a certain percentage of these updates to fail with no fallback. What's more, I couldn't even find any documentation available online saying what the error is and how to fix it. I thought I was safe when I made sure I had good restore points to go back to before I started, but the failed update trashed them. That pretty much defeats the purpose of system restore points doesn't it?

Jon

November 1, 2010 at 8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add me to the list... now Microsoft says it no longer offers support for Vista Service Pack 1... then why the heck do they still have it requesting installation - this has been over 2 years and is unacceptable.

December 10, 2010 at 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
I had a similar problem just now, I did the updates and left the room and the computer shut down. I returned not more than half an hour later. When I turned it back on it did the same thing but only had something along the lines of this:
8540/8549 \Registry\Machine\Components

It only lasted for less than a minute and then proceeded to my sign in page.

Earlier on the internet I had an attack on my computer but everything was quarantined. I did a scan and everything checked out OK. It was after this that I did the updates.

When I saw the wierd message I came on the internet and googled it. This is by far the most imformative page and I have read through all the posts. My computer seems unaffected right now but I am scared to turn it off now for fear of further problems. My computer is a simple acer from costco that I got two years ago and has Windows Vista Home Premium on it with SP2. From what I can tell the updates were to MS Office 2007 which I recently installed. There was nothing in regards to Windows.

Any advice as to what should be my next step? Is there any way to tell if I am screwed?

December 14, 2010 at 10:38 PM  
Blogger Jon Maloney said...

The safest and surest approach would be to make a complete backup of your hard disk before rebooting. That way if the reboot fails you can restore your hard disk from your backup.

It doesn't sound like you have any indication that it won't reboot. You said it got past the screen where it tallied components. If I remember right that was the problem screen.

At the very least you should create a restore point in Vista so that if the reboot fails you might be able to reload to your restore point. The problem I had destroyed my restore points, but it sounds like your update completed okay.

Good luck.

Jon

December 14, 2010 at 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The date is April 2012...

To say I am furious would be an understatement. I was about to purchase an iPad but noticed that to use iCloud I would have to have SP2 installed on my Vista Home Premium system.

I then found I had to have SP1 installed before I could get SP2...

I now have a dead computer. Ninety per cent of my work is backed up twice on two external hard discs -- but crucially a book I have been writing over the last month using Blurb is on the wrecked PC together with some recent photographs.

It would appear from everything I have read above that I will have to reinstall and lose those vital files.

I will take my PC to a repair shop to see if they can retrieve the files but it will cost me about one hundred pounds...

Checked in with Microsoft. Free support for SP1 problems has ended and help costs a staggering £46-00!!

This is April 2012 -- and people like me are still falling into the trap of trusting Microsoft. We must be mad.

PD

April 27, 2012 at 12:03 AM  
Blogger Jon Maloney said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 27, 2012 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Jon Maloney said...

This problem angered me because it seemed so avoidable with better programming. Microsoft knew millions of people would be installing the service pack, and they knew that some percentage would have failed installations, for whatever reason. Any update operation should be coded so that there is a way to recover if it fails. If it's written well, the recovery should be automatic. At the least, there should be manual steps the user can take to recover. This service pack installation error failed to have a built-in recovery, failed to provide a manual recovery, and even failed to identify what error occurred. Displaying error "0xc01a001d " is not helpful.

I hope the repair shop is able to recover your files for you. Good luck!

Jon

April 27, 2012 at 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jon.

Here`s the update.

A PC engineer was called. It took him four and a half hours to recover my data using Linux/Ubuntu.

He then reinstalled Vista from my recovery disc.

The bill came to a staggering £250-00 When I almost fainted he reduced it to a four hour charge of £192-00

When I went through my files later I found that as I suspected I had 90% of everything backed up on my external drives. All that had been missing was some family photos and a book I`d been working on. All of which I could not afford to lose.

But £192-00 for a problem Microsoft created and have failed to correct...?!

There will be people today who think it is a good idea to update their PCs with Service Pack 1 not realising how damaging and costly that can be.

I`m sending a copy of my bill to Mr Gates.

And I`m still furious. This is money I can ill afford to spend. And it has taken me days to rebuild my system with essential program files -- and some of the older programs will not work.

If Gates pays up I`ll let you know... (Don`t hold yer breath)

PD

.

May 4, 2012 at 12:04 AM  
Blogger Jon Maloney said...

PD,

I'm glad you were able to rescue your data. Your bill of £192-00 equals about $310.56 US. That's an expensive lesson, made even more expensive when you include the time and stress involved in your recovery efforts. There is always the risk of software or hardware failure making a computer unusable, so I guess the lesson is to make frequent backups of everything you don't want to lose. Even then there's a risk, but the risk of losing valuable data is reduced. Thanks for posting.

Jon

May 4, 2012 at 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4 years later and people are still having the same problem... I saw this "service pack 1" thing 2 years ago and told myself not to install it, knowing it was gonna to something bad for some reason.... but my silly brother went and installed it right now without telling me and now I have to do all this .... This is why I'm never buying a windows PC again, they're such a pain in the butt to fix when they have a problem, and they aren't even bothered to repair what they distribute, even after so long !

May 30, 2012 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Jon Maloney said...

Any major update can encounter a problem that prevents it from completing properly. What I found so frustrating and infuriating about this problem was that Microsoft did not build a recovery method into the update process to restore the system in case the update couldn't complete. They just let it fail with an unhelpful error message. And when people started having their systems trashed from the problem, Microsoft didn't follow up with a fix-it program to help those people.

Of course any update can trash a system, whether it's Windows, Apple, or Linux. I'd like to see a comparison by operating system of the percentage of computers trashed beyond recovery due to failed updates. That would be interesting.

Regardless of the operating system, a major problem like this one proves the value of making regular system backups.

Jon

May 30, 2012 at 10:43 PM  
Blogger Kiterinals said...

Hi, I've got the same problem. I did the backup last week, but I'm still angry about this update of vista. Yesterday I installed the SP 1 update for vista, that I've denied for 4 years. The installation completed successfully, but after the restart the flashing error !! 0xc01a001d !! appeared. I've tried to put the computer to safe mode, to start normally, but without success, because the fatal error appeared and the computer shut down immediatly. Now I'm still searching for a solution.
Kiterinals

August 17, 2012 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger Jon Maloney said...

My solution was long and painful.
Good luck!

August 17, 2012 at 1:43 PM  

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