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Other OS Any other OS such as Microsoft Windows, BeOS, Plan9, Syllable, and whatnot.

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Old 4th September 2008
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Default The man from Microsoft.

I had an issue with Windows (surprise). It was one of those issues that unfortunately was uncommon or at least undocumented.

Being a valuable MS consumer I decided to escalate my issue to some personal help. After all, I paid about $150 for this CD and have only been using it for about 6 years. :]

I remember when "Windows Updates" kicked off. A revolution in Microsoft world. Over the years whilst for the majority of folks it has gotten easier and easier - intravenous patching by default - for us folks who go to the trouble of hardening Windows and IE, the Microsoft spoonful of sugar approach becomes harder and harder. The more services and the more browser goop needed to use WU means time spent by me unhardening - to access a site in order to patch. Kind of a paradox.

It has gotten worse. At first it was ActiveX. Then it was the new "Automatic Updates" service. That requires many other services.
Have a look:
http://img152.imageshack.us/my.php?image=wuep3.png
Recently I found I could not get a list of WU's. I tried many times to access the updates. I relaxed security incredibly and enabled all kinds of processes and widgets to no avail. So for the last six months or so I have had no WU fix.
In the back of my mind I figured some day I would contact MS. I put it off knowing that with my well used, well app'd install it would be a large flowchart. Of course I could get another hard drive and do a vanilla install.

Yesterday was that day.
I installed Windows 2000 and Service Pack 4 (from a MS Security CD).
Went to the Windows Update site and was asked to install IE6 and the Automatic Update service which I did. Still no updates.
I rang Microsoft.

To cut a very long story short, I rang the local call number for Microsoft Australia, listed on their webpage. It took about a minute to lodge a ticket.
Three questions - name (I gave my first name only), phone number, email address (which I did not give). I was given a ticket and put on hold pending transfer to "tech support".
Within a few minutes I was chatting happily with the man from Microsoft.
Over the course of about two hours on the phone more than once he went off to "confer with colleagues". The tech was very polite, patient but unfortunately unhelpful. We had tried all the usual suspects (things which I had tried myself). He suggested we call it a day. He checked my phone number and gave me his call back time.

He rang today, early. He sent me a file, we tried some other stuff and after about half an hour we (he) found the problem.

LESSONS LEARNED.

It doesn't surprise me that a vanilla install of Windows should not be able to access the major Microsoft support site. I might raise an eyebrow, that's about it. They are renowned for their love of widgets and proprietary protocols and curious combinations.
That I should be able to access it all is unexpected, especially since 2K is EOL. So, I suspect is IE6 for that matter.
Still, MS keep on pumping out the patches and provide free support for all WU issues. That's right folks. Now that is surprising.

The WU site spat an error code at me. It seems that no-one at MS had bothered to put it in their database. Two and a half hours on the phone could have been a few minutes. Better yet I would have found it on the net.

It is to be expected that during a support call with MS that following instructions will give a demonstration of a popular flaw.
I rebooted my machine and was greeted with an advertising pop up.

Microsoft have some of the best IP addresses on the web.

Best wishes.

Last edited by diw; 4th September 2008 at 05:25 AM.
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Old 4th September 2008
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roflmfao!!!


Hey at least he spoke a language you could understand ^_^
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Old 4th September 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryP View Post
roflmfao!!!


Hey at least he spoke a language you could understand ^_^
He did at that.
Not only english but also human.
He was a nice guy.
So apparently is Billy.
Nobody knows what Ballmer's problem is. We all see the symptoms ...

Apart from footing the bill for the extensive international phone calls (of course they pay rock bottom) they also sent me a free, complimentary email.

-----------------------------<snip>------------------------------------

Hello David,

I hope your experience working with Microsoft Technical Support on your issue with windows update has been a valuable experience.

Our main objective is to ensure that your issue is resolved with the upmost professionalism. Based on our last conversation it appears that this case is ready to be closed as resolved.
If this is premature, please update me, otherwise this case will be archived at the end of the day.

Thank you for contacting Microsoft Technical Support.



Sincerely,

-----------------------------</snip>-----------------------------------

How nice is that?
It seems all their budget goes to HR and marketing ...

-----------------------------<snip>------------------------------------

Dear Kuhanesan.

I am extremely satisfied with your service.
You may notice I have CC to ausadmin@.

Not only were you polite and well spoken, I quite enjoyed discussing
diverse issues during reboots.
It is pleasant to receive knowledgeable assistance to computer issues.
When it is partnered with patience and earnestness I say "good show".

Although you are working towards that MCP, you have the most important
bit of being a "professional" worked out - choosing to relate to the
amateur.

Yes, this ticket is closed.
Keep up the good work and have fun.

Best wishes,

-----------------------------</snip>-----------------------------------

It is amazing. For all the money they make out of me.
So there it is. For Windows Update issues, don't waste time at microsoft.com, get on the horn.

Best wishes.

Threats and Countermeasures Guide:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...6-f93a4081eea8
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Old 4th September 2008
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A number of years ago, I had an issue with Windows98 and went through the same as you ut they charged me $100 for the privilege.
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Old 9th September 2008
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Funny, I'm having the same problem with a Home XP installation- despite enabling every single service possible (normally I disable every single service possible) I still can't get the SP3 installation to work. The error is, of course, undocumented on the web.

I just can't believe that I'm going to have to call them. sigh. If I didn't have a work requirement to keep XP (and a few cool games not covered by WINE) XP would've been out of the house eons ago.
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Old 9th September 2008
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I had two clients this week with the same problem, installation of XP3 just takes forever (freezes), and on the next reboot it restores the previous files that were backed up.

Advice I gave: Save everyone time and money and just don't install SP3.
I searched on the web, it would seem that there are numerous people with this problem, but I was unable to find any clear-cut answer.
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Old 9th September 2008
drhowarddrfine drhowarddrfine is offline
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I have SP3 on my one and only Windows box. Since I installed it, it really seems to bog down. Like it hangs for a while or does mysterious disk accesses for no reason. It's trying to update my wife's work computer with it but I won't let it.

I, too, noticed a lot of problems brought up around the net involving sp3.
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Old 9th September 2008
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I installed SP3 on my home desktop system a few days ago (Like ai-danno, only for game use), I didn't have any problems with the installation or afterwards ... Everything works flawlessly (*knocks*).
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Old 9th September 2008
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Same with me, CS. I've installed SP3 on two computers without issue. I have three to go. I didn't notice any major differences in performance, but the computers that have been upgraded I don't know that well.
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Old 9th September 2008
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XP.SP3 has been _the_ most painless upgrade I've had since OpenBSD 4.3 was released.
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Old 10th September 2008
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Carpetsmoker,
First you said sp3 was a pain then you said it's no problem. Which is it?
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Old 10th September 2008
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I have been doing sp3 upgrades as a matter of course for some time now. If a system comes across my desk, it gets an update from my c't update disk before it leaves it. No issues yet.
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Old 10th September 2008
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Quote:
Carpetsmoker,
First you said sp3 was a pain then you said it's no problem. Which is it?
Both.

Some machines, no problem, other machines, it simply refuses to install with no clear reason.
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Old 15th October 2008
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Wow diw. Are you sure that you were really calling the MS tech support? Your story just doesn't match the experiences I have heard about in my college.
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Old 15th October 2008
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Default Possible clues

Where some of the problem lies is what updates have been installed prior to attempting to install sp3. With a clean install of XP, if one first updates to IE6 and then does a Windows update it usually goes painlessly. Ditto for a machine that has been kept up to date as the updates became available. On the other hand, if a system has a few missing updates sp3 either chokes or updates (which one depends on factors that I am unaware of right now). If it successfully updates the problems are not over. Subsequent Windows update scans detects the previously mentioned missing (uninstalled) updates and downloads them. When an attempt to install them is made they show up as a failed update. The reason being is that they were included in sp3. The most irritating part of all this is the repeated reminder that "software is ready to be installed on your computer", which are the updates mentioned above and therefore will not install.
These are things I figured out when installing XP (with Boot Camp) on an iMac as well as on my multi-purpose box where Windows/FreeBSD and Solaris happily co-exist.
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