Is Windows Update breaking XP?
April 12, 2014 2:46 AM   Subscribe

I thought it was just me the first time it happened, which was a day or so after the penultimate Windows Update for XP installed. My computer went into an endless reboot cycle. It would not boot to Safe Mode, so I could not roll back the registry to a previous state. After a lot of anguish, I was able to get it to boot in Mini PE using a CD I was given. Even that took several tries. In Mini PE, I could roll back the registry, and everything worked fine. Then, it happened again today. The final Windows Update for XP installed a couple of days ago. I fixed it as before, and searched. I found this. It's not just me.

I am not asking if this is deliberate sabotage. I assume it's a product of disinterest on the part of the MS people who do updates, and who know they're moving to something else now. I want to know: 1) Is this really a widespread problem? 2) Is there a fix that allows me to get whatever benefits are in those last two updates while being able to actually use my computer?
posted by Kirth Gerson to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I can't say how widespread, but it happened to me. My computer is endlessly rebooting as described in the article you linked. Thanks for this question; I assumed it was something else I had done.
posted by werkzeuger at 4:53 AM on April 12, 2014

Thinking further... there is probably no good solution to this. MS isn't going to devote too many resources to this. The fixes all involve relatively complex registry fixes. It feels like one last fuck you to XP users. I was able to boot a live CD for puppylinux and recover my stuff. Good luck to anybody in the same boat!
posted by werkzeuger at 6:03 AM on April 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the tip. We have a seldom-used laptop running XP. I will NOT run the latest update. It is a bit late to install Windows 7, and we do not want Windows 8.
/Waiting to see Windows 9
posted by Cranberry at 12:40 PM on April 12, 2014

This is not all that unusual with Windows Updates.

1. It's probably not a widespread problem in terms of percentage of total users. It might be a widespread problem in sheer numbers, because even 0.1% of XP users is a huge number of people.
2. You'd probably have to format and reinstall your laptop, installing all updates first, to get them to install correctly.

Your OS is going to be unsafe to use on a network sometime soon. It's best to start planning for alternatives now.
posted by cnc at 8:14 PM on April 12, 2014

Is there a way to shut off any further updates from Microsoft to XP?

When MS periodically wants to update, it advises many times that it's ready to update but if I ignore it, it will eventually just do it anyway. I'd like to prevent this last update that it wants to do now because I can't afford to upgrade for the next couple of months, but I don't know if it's possible to stop it.

I know I'll have to let go of my XP, but my computer is so old and my internet connection so slow anyway that a new Windows will not do anything except make it all worthless, so I'll undoubtedly have to get a new used computer to keep iin the game at all. But - that will be a couple of months. I really don't want to lose the function of my computer in the meantime, and it really, really grates to know it's just one more slap in the face to those who can't afford the best.

Anyway, if anyone knows how to put a cold hard stop to this final update, I'd sure appreciate it. I know I'll be in jeopardy of a viral disaster, but that's always been vaguely manageable in the past - getting sabotaged from MS is another deal entirely.
posted by aryma at 9:06 PM on April 12, 2014

Response by poster: aryma, you can theoretically turn off updates in the Control Panel:

Start > Control Panel > Automatic Updates > Turn off Automatic Updates

If you already have that chosen, and it updates anyway, I guess you have to be vigilant and roll-back the registry using System Restore, as soon as it's done
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:18 AM on April 13, 2014

Thank you, Kirth! You are much appreciated!
posted by aryma at 12:55 AM on April 14, 2014

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