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(InfoWorld)   5 Microsoft Windows automatic updates from hell   (infoworld.com) divider line 63
    More: Fail, Automatic Updates  
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9585 clicks; posted to Geek » on 21 Jan 2013 at 10:38 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-21 09:44:39 AM
ahh yes... .net updates that can't complete. Our accounting software at work has .net 1.0 parts to it that its nearly impossible to get functioning again because of this.
 
2013-01-21 09:49:23 AM
Really running low on excuses for your daily PC vs Mac vs Linux poop tossin' aren't you there subs?
 
2013-01-21 10:20:59 AM

MadSkillz: ahh yes... .net updates that can't complete. Our accounting software at work has .net 1.0 parts to it that its nearly impossible to get functioning again because of this.


I don't know the software code at your work but has anyone explained why a recompile (and cleanup) with a later version of VS doesn't work or have they even tried it (I've seen it be *that* simple)?
 
2013-01-21 10:36:50 AM
If you're savvy enough to be reading this rant

Yes, the ability to read English makes one so savvy.
 
2013-01-21 10:43:55 AM

UberDave: MadSkillz: ahh yes... .net updates that can't complete. Our accounting software at work has .net 1.0 parts to it that its nearly impossible to get functioning again because of this.

I don't know the software code at your work but has anyone explained why a recompile (and cleanup) with a later version of VS doesn't work or have they even tried it (I've seen it be *that* simple)?


I've observed a set of conditions that cause latter-day versions of Quickbooks (2010+) to be completely and intractably hosed from failed .NET updates. Uberdave probably can't recompile because Intuit's answer to all of that is more-or-less "It's Microsoft's fault."
 
2013-01-21 10:45:32 AM
So what InfoWorld is telling us is.... don't patch?

Well, OK then.
 
2013-01-21 10:54:56 AM
Bing Desktop?
 
2013-01-21 11:08:05 AM

UberDave: MadSkillz: ahh yes... .net updates that can't complete. Our accounting software at work has .net 1.0 parts to it that its nearly impossible to get functioning again because of this.

I don't know the software code at your work but has anyone explained why a recompile (and cleanup) with a later version of VS doesn't work or have they even tried it (I've seen it be *that* simple)?


You make "cleanup" sound like it's a day of chasing down squiggly lines. There is some of that for compile time errors. But then there are things you just won't find until run time.

Here's one from DataTable... "In V1.1 if remove is called on rows that are not in the deleted state they get removed; however calling remove on rows that are in the deleted state doesn't remove them. If a user calls Remove(row) then the row should get removed regardless of the state it is in."

That's jacked up, requires kickass qa department.
 
2013-01-21 11:12:58 AM

RaceBoatDriver: That's jacked up, requires kickass qa department.


Sounds like it requires hiring new devs. :)
 
2013-01-21 11:15:51 AM
I turned off automatic update.

Yeah, yeah. Security risks or something. Blah blah blah.

I don't like having to wait for the thing to deal with the 768967896796 updates MS seems to release every week. Takes too long. Very annoying.
 
2013-01-21 11:22:55 AM
FTA - "Of course you need to apply patches sooner or later. Some even need to be installed immediately, but those are almost always released "out of band" to great fanfare in the computer press."

Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. When a critical patch comes in, whether it;s OOB or not, install that sucker right farking now. When they list a patch as critical, they aren't kidding.
 
2013-01-21 11:28:05 AM

ReverendJasen: Sounds like it requires hiring new devs. :)


Not really, there are some very serious differences between .NET 1.0 and 1.1, and then 1.1 and 2.0. There are a lot of features that were fundamentally changed and can completely break applications. From 2.0 forward, you can generally up-compile to new versions of the framework without anything breaking.

This is the punishment for being early adopters.
 
2013-01-21 11:31:23 AM
um, 8 years, no problems here. so yeah. subby is on crack again.
 
2013-01-21 11:32:13 AM

BumpInTheNight: Really running low on excuses for your daily PC vs Mac vs Linux poop tossin' aren't you there subs?


You're the first one to mention this. Projecting, how does it work?
 
2013-01-21 11:33:38 AM
This one: KB971033
 
2013-01-21 11:40:42 AM

doczoidberg: I turned off automatic update.

Yeah, yeah. Security risks or something. Blah blah blah.

I don't like having to wait for the thing to deal with the 768967896796 updates MS seems to release every week. Takes too long. Very annoying.


I'm sure this decision will definitely be less hassle in the long run!
 
2013-01-21 11:53:51 AM
5

...and that's where I stopped reading.
 
2013-01-21 11:56:13 AM
 
2013-01-21 11:59:23 AM

WayToBlue: doczoidberg: I turned off automatic update.

Yeah, yeah. Security risks or something. Blah blah blah.

I don't like having to wait for the thing to deal with the 768967896796 updates MS seems to release every week. Takes too long. Very annoying.

I'm sure this decision will definitely be less hassle in the long run!



I haven't bothered with updates since around 2002 (across two computers), and have only experienced one major problem since then.

Granted, I ended up having to totally reformat the machine I did have a problem with, but...whatever!

Automatic updates are BS.
 
2013-01-21 12:03:23 PM

RaceBoatDriver: UberDave: MadSkillz: ahh yes... .net updates that can't complete. Our accounting software at work has .net 1.0 parts to it that its nearly impossible to get functioning again because of this.

I don't know the software code at your work but has anyone explained why a recompile (and cleanup) with a later version of VS doesn't work or have they even tried it (I've seen it be *that* simple)?

You make "cleanup" sound like it's a day of chasing down squiggly lines. There is some of that for compile time errors. But then there are things you just won't find until run time.

Here's one from DataTable... "In V1.1 if remove is called on rows that are not in the deleted state they get removed; however calling remove on rows that are in the deleted state doesn't remove them. If a user calls Remove(row) then the row should get removed regardless of the state it is in."

That's jacked up, requires kickass qa department.


Like I said, I don't know his code.  Clean up could take five minutes or three weeks.  But, they should at least consider it if they haven't already.  If their code base is too large and recompiling in a later version would require too much work, then they should re-write the system.  I'm doing that very thing now actually...

I've encountered similar to the datatable problem but I can't remember the last time something like that went in to prod (the only time I ever use "remove" on a datatable, the table or relevant dataset has just been filled...most of the data I deal with is too intricate to use straight binding).  But I have similar mess to deal with - my system needs to connect to SQL Server, Oracle, and MS Access.  So, I get  crap from provider to provider - check this, Oracle provider will auto-type additional, programmer defined fields in a query to varchar where SQL Server provider auto-types them to int (put "dummy" text to make sure both convert to varchar).
 
2013-01-21 12:32:06 PM

UberDave: MadSkillz: ahh yes... .net updates that can't complete. Our accounting software at work has .net 1.0 parts to it that its nearly impossible to get functioning again because of this.

I don't know the software code at your work but has anyone explained why a recompile (and cleanup) with a later version of VS doesn't work or have they even tried it (I've seen it be *that* simple)?


They've probably got a boll weevil programmer that has infarkeded the code with all manner of 1.0 dependent farkery, and everybody else is afraid to touch it.
 
2013-01-21 12:36:48 PM
Every single time I open VirtualBox it's bugging me for yet another update from Oracle. Enough already, stop using the public as a beta tester and release good code.
 
2013-01-21 12:40:42 PM

theurge14: Every single time I open VirtualBox it's bugging me for yet another update from Oracle. Enough already, stop using the public as a beta tester and release good code.


This. get it right the first time and test it thoroughly.
 
2013-01-21 12:55:36 PM
I just get annoyed that after every update I have to restart about three times to get my volume control icon back in the notification area. Yeas, I know about properties>notification area. check volume. It disappears there, too.

A few restarts and it finally shows back up in that menu and I can adjust speaker volume without going 7 layers deep into the control panel.

Oh yeah, that volume control on the keyboard? the updates defeat that at the same time.
 
2013-01-21 12:58:29 PM
My old vista computer, my son's current computer, can't install SP1 even when i had it brand farking new. Formatted it recently and am now having to manually install SP1 again because automatic update fails every farking time
 
2013-01-21 01:09:11 PM
I just keep mine at notify. If it's a critical patch, I'll install it. Any other patches, not so much. Most of them are either for things I never use, or things that are not broken (at least for me).
 
2013-01-21 01:09:43 PM

macadamnut: 5

...and that's where I stopped reading.


You made it that far? The whole article was pretty derped up from #1
 
2013-01-21 01:15:59 PM
I speak from experience:

All in all, Auto updates are much better than no updates. ( and if you don't lie to yourself, those are your choices.)

(OK, OK an MY machine I use "Auto with manual confirm:" but I actually DO that, you wouldn't.
 
2013-01-21 01:40:30 PM
How exactly does an update failing to install fall into the definition of Catastrophic? Every once in a blue moon I'll get a message that will say an update failed to install, I just click OK and go about my business.

I've had exactly one issue that could be attributed to an update, and that was sometime back in 05/06 and I honestly can't remember what it was anymore. It's a pretty simple matter to check and see if an update is causing a problem then uninstall it.
 
2013-01-21 01:47:43 PM

Dufus: I just get annoyed that after every update I have to restart about three times to get my volume control icon back in the notification area. Yeas, I know about properties>notification area. check volume. It disappears there, too.

A few restarts and it finally shows back up in that menu and I can adjust speaker volume without going 7 layers deep into the control panel.

Oh yeah, that volume control on the keyboard? the updates defeat that at the same time.


Something is wrong with either your sound card or the audio device you have plugged into your sound card.

Either:
A.) Windows isn't detecting the sound card, which is why you have to restart to get it back. If it's an add-in card (PCI/PCI-e) try re-seating the card and updating/re-installing drivers. If it's on-board, it might just be dying on you.
B.) Windows isn't detecting the device plugged into the sound card and is hiding the volume control panel until something is plugged in. My work laptop does this sometimes. Try wiggling the 1/8" jack to see if the panel comes back or try different headphones/speakers.
 
2013-01-21 02:04:55 PM
How exactly does an update failing to install fall into the definition of Catastrophic? Every once in a blue moon I'll get a message that will say an update failed to install, I just click OK and go about my business.

THIS
The author here is quite the drama queen.

1) Just before tax day, Microsoft released a botched security patch (MS12-025/KB 2653638) that kept many TurboTax users from printing their tax forms.

So don't wait till the last minute to do your taxes and software glitches won't be a problem. If you do wait, and they are a problem, file for an extension. This is the closest to catastrophic as the whole list gets and it is easily avoided by not doing things at the vary last minute.

2 &3) failed to install on many Windows XP and Server 2013 systems

So hit OK and move on - not catastrophic

4) Windows 8 patches are documented with knowledge base articles, and security patches receive Microsoft numbers, as we're accustomed to. The problem is that there is very little documentation about what has been done to the other components. There's no change log for Metro apps -- even key apps. The RT firmware patches are basically undocumented, aside from very broad statements from Microsoft.

Not too many people use W8 and only a tiny percent of those read the patch documentation, and of those only a few know what they are looking at and are reading it for a reason. So this whole complaint boils down to 6 people were inconvenienced!

5) The patch was supposed to fix a security hole that allowed hacked TrueType or OTF fonts to take over your computer. The next day, CorelDraw customers started complaining that many large-size fonts wouldn't render correctly.

I suppose this could be a problem for graphic designers, but most people didn't notice, so Catastrophic? Hardly
 
2013-01-21 02:13:24 PM

UberDave: then they should re-write the system.


That's a good idea. There's only one flaw: "Who's going to pay for it?"

For those of us that work in large corporations building and supporting inhouse software, that dreaded question torpedoes any hope of rewriting anything, which is why I still sometimes have to support code written in Classic ASP, and worse- VB6. Our customer cares about one thing, and one thing only: can they ship widgets? If they can ship widgets, then they will not spend any money on fixing what isn't broken. And if you try and tell them that it actually is broken, then they know you're just trying to upsell them on internal billing so that your numbers look good. They're onto your game, mister, and they're not going to play along with that.

I don't know if that represents OP's problem, but it's a problem I deal with all the time.

theurge14: release good code


I can pretty much guarantee that's never going to happen.
 
2013-01-21 02:26:01 PM

t3knomanser: UberDave: then they should re-write the system.

That's a good idea. There's only one flaw: "Who's going to pay for it?"

For those of us that work in large corporations building and supporting inhouse software, that dreaded question torpedoes any hope of rewriting anything, which is why I still sometimes have to support code written in Classic ASP, and worse- VB6. Our customer cares about one thing, and one thing only: can they ship widgets? If they can ship widgets, then they will not spend any money on fixing what isn't broken. And if you try and tell them that it actually is broken, then they know you're just trying to upsell them on internal billing so that your numbers look good. They're onto your game, mister, and they're not going to play along with that.

I don't know if that represents OP's problem, but it's a problem I deal with all the time.



Are you one of my clients?! :)

I work for a software vendor.  Our intricate piece of mostly data handling software is mostly in VB6....mostly.  I'm busting my anus to code it in C# (a pain because it is rather large...the software, not my anus).

I do feel the hurt.  I have a multi-site client that needed something changed/added in our primary application.  This is no problem but I had that app in dev with paid enhancements I was adding for another client.  Again, no problem but when they get the update they have to add the database changes that were a result of the other enhancements...simple field additions and a few stored procedures that had new arguments for the new fields. They said that each of their sites would cost $30K for having to test the DB changes.  I had to rip a pre-enhancement backup out of storage, add their changes, compile and deliver, and then add their changes to the enhanced dev version.  Got to love it.
 
2013-01-21 02:27:52 PM

RaceBoatDriver: UberDave: MadSkillz: ahh yes... .net updates that can't complete. Our accounting software at work has .net 1.0 parts to it that its nearly impossible to get functioning again because of this.

I don't know the software code at your work but has anyone explained why a recompile (and cleanup) with a later version of VS doesn't work or have they even tried it (I've seen it be *that* simple)?

You make "cleanup" sound like it's a day of chasing down squiggly lines. There is some of that for compile time errors. But then there are things you just won't find until run time.

Here's one from DataTable... "In V1.1 if remove is called on rows that are not in the deleted state they get removed; however calling remove on rows that are in the deleted state doesn't remove them. If a user calls Remove(row) then the row should get removed regardless of the state it is in."

That's jacked up, requires kickass qa department.


Our system is a ghetto pos that has many of its forms and reports in Access 2002. I can't actually modify the reports because I have Access 2010 and they cannot run concurrently. (A registry fix is required to make one run, and then happens again when you run the other, and the runtime needs to be active to run the software, and you must be logged into the software to modify forms.) I farking hate it.
 
2013-01-21 02:31:08 PM
Since Dec updates have killed my Win7 system. Have to use restore points to recover. Did it in Jan too. Absolutely no way to figure out which one(s) are doing it...
 
2013-01-21 02:42:32 PM
Yes, of course, of all the amateurs touching, modifying and using your busted-ass computer you have tucked underneath your desk where the dog can get it, infested with porn and available for any loser that needs to check his or her email, MICROSOFT UPDATES are the problem.

/seems unlikely
 
2013-01-21 02:48:42 PM
Whoa, lots of Windows apologists in the thread today.
Guess the hipster Apple crowd isn't awake yet.
 
2013-01-21 02:52:29 PM
Did anyone else go to the link and get a click-through advertisement from Microsoft?
 
2013-01-21 02:53:16 PM

impaler: If you're savvy enough to be reading this rant

Yes, the ability to read English makes one so savvy.


¿qué?
 
2013-01-21 02:58:22 PM

MadSkillz: I can't actually modify the reports because I have Access 2010 and they cannot run concurrently.


XP Mode is free if you have Windows 7 Pro, Enterprise or Ultimate. Presumably someone somewhere in your organization can come up with either an Office XP license or downgrade rights from Office 2010. Apps installed under XP mode appear to be local and can access any resources available to the host computer.
This is not really very much of a problem.
 
2013-01-21 03:08:46 PM

ThatGuyGreg: So what InfoWorld is telling us is.... don't patch?

Well, OK then.


No, InfoWorld is telling us "you're not remaining angry enough at Windows 8 for us to sell advertising - so, we're going to drag a few automatic updates that didn't go smoothly, for everything from Windows XP to Windows 8, into a slide show so we can continue to wring a few more ad dollars from the outrage we tried to drum up against Windows 8."

I mean:
Slide 1: Pointless page for ads, along with a little rant.
Slide 2: A single third-party software program broke because a .NET Framework 4 patch closed up a security hole. Even though there was an easy workaround published by Microsoft, and even though Intuit published a corrective update to fix their implementation, Microsoft pulled the patch temporarily so folks could use the third-party software during a time-critical period. We believe you should be outraged that this, so here it is.
Slide 3: Folks that couldn't follow instructions regarding a known issue prior to implementing a large update got dinged. Microsoft constructed a FixIt that even performed the instructions for you. Your anger should be palpable.
Slide 4: Some folks - running Windows XP and Server 2013 - received unnecessary alerts because someone at Microsoft pulled a patch off the update queue. At best, a minor irritation, especially as Microsoft fixed the problem within a couple of days. Other than minor inconvenience, because the patches could be simply ignored, no harm occurred. Irritating, but that's about it.
Slide 5: Nothing happened. Seriously. No issues, no errors, no nada - just a whiny little rant about how Windows 8 is actively testing & patching everything, in a very responsive and rapid manner. THEY'RE DOING THEIR JOBS - YOU SHOULD BE OUTRAGED!
Slide 6: This is the only slide that actually has something which should cause irritation - a botched patch screwed up font rendering for large-scale fonts. Microsoft investigated and fixed it. Other than minor inconvenience, because the patch could be backed out, no harm occurred. Irritating, but that's about it.
Slide 7: Pointless page for ads.

So, there you go - two pages of ads, one page of whining about Windows 8's successes at ensuring customers are updated rapidly, three pages of whining because hands weren't held, and one page involving an actual, irritating, but easily resolved issue.

That's their idea of "hell"? Really? Friggin' nancy-boys.
 
2013-01-21 03:10:21 PM
MadSkillz:

Our system is a ghetto pos that has many of its forms and reports in Access 2002. I can't actually modify the reports because I have Access 2010 and they cannot run concurrently. (A registry fix is required to make one run, and then happens again when you run the other, and the runtime needs to be active to run the software, and you must be logged into the software to modify forms.) I farking hate it.


That a little strange.  I wonder how they built the reports.  If the reports are firing from the apps, and it kind of sounds like they are, there has to be a location where you can edit the form permanently as long as you don't take away the references the app needs.

They should have at least used MS Word or Excel to generate the reports or the report information.  If this is an older software system then it is probably using the MS Office COM library.  They came out with that in the 90s and *never* updated it.  It has had different bugs from one version of office to the next.  For .NET, there are third party tools that work nicely (say if you want to create an MS Word template with tags and then generating a report from an application using the template and replacing the tags).  That's for the programmers but if the end user wants to modify the template to get the report to look different, it isn't a problem.

If anyone does reports in Access, it should be managed independently of the software you are using.  If they wanted the software to initiate reports, it should have used something other than Access.  I have some apps that must use local MS Access but that is not for reports and only when the local machine loses the database (Oracle or SQL Server) connection...it can go into a local mode.  I would like to use XML instead but the local data subset can be huge.
 
2013-01-21 03:14:26 PM
I have my main desktop set to update automatically, as well as shut down at night and boot up in the morning automatically. This allows my computer to be completely up to date (with no issues) without ever even seeing Windows Update running or needing a reboot, because it's done every night automatically.
 
2013-01-21 03:16:55 PM

leviosaurus: Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. When a critical patch comes in, whether it;s OOB or not, install that sucker right farking now. When they list a patch as critical, they aren't kidding.


Seriously. When Nimda hit in 2001, it brought entire networks to their knees, including our campus mailservers. Messed up a lot of shiat.

My office PC? Totally immune, because I had automatic updates on it, and the patch to fix the hole on Win2k had come out a week or two previously. Updates are vital.

I just REALLY WISH that Windows wouldn't automatically restart for updates without at least checking to see if the user was running a fullscreen app like a game or a video player. I've been kicked out of stuff I was doing multiple times without so much as a little box popping up warning me of impending restarts.
 
2013-01-21 03:51:47 PM

Begoggle: Whoa, lots of Windows apologists in the thread today.
Guess the hipster Apple crowd isn't awake yet.


oh they're up. Just still in line at Starbucks for a tall latte before they sit down to use the free wi-fi to run their "business"
I kid, I kid.
 
2013-01-21 04:09:02 PM

likefunbutnot: MadSkillz: I can't actually modify the reports because I have Access 2010 and they cannot run concurrently.

XP Mode is free if you have Windows 7 Pro, Enterprise or Ultimate. Presumably someone somewhere in your organization can come up with either an Office XP license or downgrade rights from Office 2010. Apps installed under XP mode appear to be local and can access any resources available to the host computer.
This is not really very much of a problem.


No downgrade rights exist. Xperia mode can't access the SQL server without the parameters being changed, and no documentation exists for this software, requiring a consultant.
 
2013-01-21 04:21:36 PM

MadSkillz: No downgrade rights exist.


If your organization is large enough to have volume licensing for Windows and Office, you most certainly can downgrade a license. Office 2010 Pro Plus will go all the way down to Office 4.3 if you need it to.


MadSkillz: Xperia mode can't access the SQL server without the parameters being changed, and no documentation exists for this software, requiring a consultant.


So the problem isn't that you don't have the right version of Access but rather you don't have some source code?

Still, if you can get it working on an arbitrary system with Access 2002, you can make it go in an XP VM without changing anything on your actual local machine.

FWIW, in my classrooms, I've had to support multiple Office installs in VMs for years because Microsoft steadfastly refuses to TEST systems with multiple versions of Office installed, and it turns out that having, say, Office 2003 and Office 2010 on the same machine breaks tiny little crap all over the place, even setting aside the issues with only being able to have one Outlook and one Access at a time.
 
2013-01-21 04:22:50 PM
I wouldn't know. My Mac never needs updates.

/Let's get this started, people
 
2013-01-21 04:37:57 PM

t3knomanser: ReverendJasen: Sounds like it requires hiring new devs. :)

Not really, there are some very serious differences between .NET 1.0 and 1.1, and then 1.1 and 2.0. There are a lot of features that were fundamentally changed and can completely break applications. From 2.0 forward, you can generally up-compile to new versions of the framework without anything breaking.

This is the punishment for being early adopters.


There really is no excuse for a major software company to have any components in current release software (especially important software) using a codebase replaced getting on 10 years ago. On many many platforms there would be no possibility to run software that old, windows is pretty generous in this matter. The question is for the developer, why have you not replaced this years ago?

I do work for a tiny dev studio. We have one remaining website running on 1.1, and we declared that in 'maintain only' mode about 2 years ago, but the client is too tight to pay for it to be replaced.
 
2013-01-21 04:48:31 PM

Ed Finnerty: I wouldn't know. My Mac never needs updates.

/Let's get this started, people


You must have a different Mac then me.
 
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