Thursday, February 21, 2008

SP1 Hiccup: don't install KB937287!

On February 12th, Microsoft released KB937287 as an automatic update. This was in preparation for the upcoming SP1 release. It is intended to improve reliability and performance when installing future Vista updates.

Unfortunately the hotfix has had rather undesireable results for a number of users. Many computers have entered an endless reboot scenario. Here's a forum that has been discussing the problem and has found some solutions in an attempt to avoid a complete OS rebuild.

Microsoft has now decided to pull the hotfix to avoid any further disruption while they try to find a solution. Their announcement is rather vague. They don't describe which customers would be affected and don't offer much help in backing out of the problem. But the attached comments are worth a read - the outrage is palpable.

Although Microsoft has pulled the update, I worry that the threat might still exist for us enterprise admins (hence this article). Those of us who don't allow automatic update into our organizations but use systems such as SMS to apply updates could still have this hotfix pending - you should check and make sure to pull it. Also, the KB article on this hotfix shows that it has been integrated into the SP1 package and will be applied if necessary. I suspect that installing SP1 could expose you to some additional risk - hopefully Microsoft can provide some additional clarification here.

What does this do to the release timeline for SP1? If the current package has a problematic hotfix in it, we will have to wait for a new one. If this prerequisite hotfix for SP1 has been pulled and needs to be reengineered, how long will it be before SP1 can be delivered via automatic update for the population at large?

BTW, I have installed my RTM edition of SP1 with no problems. I'll be checking all of the behaviors described in past articles to ensure that they remain accurate - 500 hotfixes must have changed some of them...

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