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Windows Update Error - Vista

Last week I came to work and one of my desktops had a black screen with just a mouse cursor.  I wasn't able to do CTRL-ALT-DELETE but I could move my mouse and the keyboard lights were responsive.  I rebooted, login to Windows, and got the same thing.  Went into safe mode and had the curer, safe mode labels, and nothing else.  Finally was able to do a system restore in command prompt and it worked again.

I was finally able to trace it down to a Windows Update that came out last week.  I loaded each one one by one and when I loaded KB952004, it did the same thing again.  Does anyone know why this update would cause this type of problem and can I do anything about it besides not loading the update.  
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drivinbrad
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drivinbrad
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Gregg DesElmsCommented:
This is obviously a troublesome update, or Microsoft wouldn't be offering free support for it; and wouldn't have devoted the beginning of the announcement about it to how easily one can get support.

       SEE:  http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/952004

You could probably get help there fairly quickly since it's all set up to help people quickly.... when I clicked on a couple of those links, it took me straight into a chat session where I can get help from someone at Microsoft.  So, again, this one is obviously troublesome.

The security updates involved are:

" MS09-009 - addresses a vulnerability in Microsoft Office (KB 968557)
 
" MS09-010 - addresses a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office (KB 960477)
 
" MS09-011 - addresses a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows (KB 961373)
 
" MS09-012 - addresses a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows (KB 959454)
 
" MS09-013 - addresses a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows (KB 960803)
 
" MS09-014 - addresses a vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer (KB 963027)
 
" MS09-015 - addresses a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows (KB 959426)
 
" MS09-016 - addresses a vulnerability in Microsoft ISA Server (KB 961759)
 
And who knows (yet) which of those is the culprit... or which combination of any two or more of them does something uniquely weird on just that one machine.

You've got the kind of problem everone hates because it seems to have worked okay on other of your machines...

...except that one.  Ugh.

De-install KB952004, and then try loading each of the updates within it (that are listed above) until you hit the one that caused the error.  Then de-install all that you installed up to that point, and only install the one that seemed to cause the error.  If it doesn't err again, then it's a situation wherein that update, coupled with one of the others, is the culprit... which is the worst possible situation because then you have to figure out what the combination is...

...and by the time you do all that, it might hit you that doing the following might make more sense (in terms of time and aggravation):

Verify that you have all the installation CDs (or downloaded files) and registration numbers for all applications installed on the machine.

Backup all end-user data and emails and graphics and whatever else.

Wipe the machine and re-install Windows; then get it as up-to-date (via Windows updates) as any Windows machine has ever in the history of Windows machines has ever been.  Make sure that every last driver for each device installed on it is also as up-to-date as can be.  And make sure, above all, the KB952004 is installed and that it doesn't crash the machine.  Get that machine, sans applications and end-user data, so that it's the most up-to-date Windows machine on the planet.

Then go find a free disk imaging program (or use Acronis TrueImage or something) and make a pristine image of the hard drive to an external/USB-connected hard drive.  Make a second image to a set of DVDs just for good measure, so that you can by-golly restore that machine to a point where it is after you've done what I describe in the preceding paragraph.

Then re-install all applications; and restore all end-user data.

I could be wrong, but I'll bet it all works at that point...

...and as much work as that all seems, I'll bet it'll go faster and be more fun (if "fun" is even a word that could be applied) than trying to figure out what part of KB952004 is causing the problem, and then remediating it.

Or at least that's what I would consider doing... but that's just me.
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Gregg DesElmsCommented:
And I should have added that that would be what I would consider doing, even though I'm on record, over the years, here and elsewhere, saying that there's nearly NEVER a good reason to wipe a drive and re-install Windows; that that method is the tool of the lazy; and that there's virtually nothing which can't be hunted-down and fixed if one knows what one is doing.

And that's true, here, too.  It can be found... and fixed... but at what cost in terms of your time and energy which could be spend more usefully doing something else.

Whenever that's the situation (and I'm not saying for sure that it's the situtation here... but I'm worried that it might be), even I am willing to throw-in the towel and start over.  

The only thing is, though, I've learned that whenever one does start over -- on the extraordinarily rare occasions when even I start over -- the absolute key to success is getting the machine absolutely the most current it can be at the OS level before introducing third-party stuff.  Nothing other than absolutely essential hardware drivers should be installed until Windows is so current and up-to-date and secure that even Bill Gates himself would say, "Wow.  Not THAT is an up-to-date Windows machine!"

Then image it... so it can be brought back to that point if anything subsequent goofs things up.

Only then should any third-party anything-other-than-earlier-mentioned-drivers be introduced... and only after that should both Microsoft and third party applications be re-installed... and only after that should end-user data be restored...

...all in that order, and that order only.

For whatever all that's worth.
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