Microsoft Pulls Buggy Windows Vista SP1 Files

Windows Vista users report that the files cause their computers to crash or enter an endless cycle of boots and reboots.

Paul McDougall, Editor At Large, InformationWeek

February 20, 2008

2 Min Read

Microsoft has removed from its software update service a file that's a prerequisite to installing the first major update to the Windows Vista operating system.

The move follows reports from users that the file causes their computers to crash or enter an endless cycle of boots and reboots. "We made the decision to temporarily suspend automatic distribution of the update," Vista program manager Nick White revealed in a blog post Tuesday. White said that Microsoft needs time "to investigate possible causes" of the bug before it can again make the file -- known simply as KB937287 -- available through Windows Update.

Vista users have in recent days complained about the troublesome file on Microsoft's online support forum. One user going by the name CH777 reported that his or her computer "reboots and reboots and reboots" as a result of the update. Another, EchoStormFury, complained to Microsoft that "your stupid SP1 pre-updates have destroyed access to my computer."

In his blog, White insisted that the problem "affects a small number of customers in unique circumstances."

KB937287 is one of three prerequisite files that Windows Vista users must install before they can update their computers to Vista Service Pack 1.

The bug is not the first glitch for Vista SP1. Microsoft has delayed widespread distribution of the service pack until it can resolve compatibility issue with some software drivers that control PC peripherals such as mice, keyboards, and printers.

As a result, Vista SP1 won't be available as a manual download until mid-March on Windows Update. Even then, installation will be rejected on PCs with the problem drivers. Affected users who want to access the software regardless will be able to download it directly from

Microsoft will automatically push Vista SP1 to customers who have signed up for automated downloads from Windows Update starting in mid-April. Again, however, PCs that are using the incompatible drivers will be blocked from receiving it.

Vista SP1 includes more than 300 hot fixes for the operating system, which Microsoft launched a year ago.

Among them: a fix for a problem in which optical disks turn blank after being formatted with Vista's Live File System; a patch for a glitch that generates an error message when large files are copied from one Vista-based computer to another over a network; and an update designed to improve Vista's speed when its operating on a computer linked to a virtual private network.

About the Author(s)

Paul McDougall

Editor At Large, InformationWeek

Paul McDougall is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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