A Windows Update Screen You Don’t Want To See

I saw this screen when provisioning an x64 Vista box at SATV today.  The failed update was Windows Powershell 1.0 for Vista x64, with an error code of 0x80004002.

This post on the TechNet forums suggest a problem with Windows Update DLL’s not being updated properly.

However, that update was the only failed one, and subsequently, I ran Windows Update again, and the update installed successfully.  So it was a transient error.  I’ve never seen that happen with Vista.

But everything was normal when I left the machine so I may never know what happened.  I didn’t take any action other than to let Windows Update re-detect and run again.


SBS Pieces coming together for Windows 7…Almost!

SBS shops are awaiting Windows 7—and several other components needed by SBS 2008 before it can accept Windows 7 clients.

First of these is Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Service Pack 2It will be out on Automatic Update this Tuesday the 25th.  I’ve been running this in the beta for six months with no incidents.  This update is needed for Windows 7 clients to see the WSUS server.

The second update is Small Business Server 2008 Update Rollup 3.  This updates the Connect Computer wizard so that Windows 7 is recognized as a valid client.  (It also changes the WMI filters in Group Policy.)

The latter update is not listed to be out on the 25th.  As many partners have SBS shops, a number of them will try to join their new Windows 7 box to their SBS network and fail.

The Official SBS Blog has a workaround for the Windows 7 beta that should still work with the release version.  It’s the manual version of the rollup patch minus the other fixes.

UPDATE:  Update Rollup 3 has been released after all:

For me, Windows 7 is five three days and counting…

Migrating to Windows 7: Snags

I’ve been making plans to migrate to Windows 7 ever since final plans were announced.  I’m nearly ready.  Windows 7 was released to Action Pack subscribers late last week, a few days earlier than scheduled, and I wanted to try putting it on a memory stick so it would go fast when time comes to install.  I followed these excellent instructions from Intowindows.com.

The above message is what I got for my troubles.

I’m currently running Vista Business 32-bit.  I am late to the 64-bit party, even though my machine has a 64-bit processor, the driver situation was not a good one for nVidia chips (my chipset and video card both.)

I chose my one license of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, since virtually every peripheral I have has 64-bit drivers.  Therein lies the problem.

I had wanted to do two things:

  1. Run the BOOTSECT command from my emulated DVD to put the bootsector on the USB stick.  (I use the excellent VirtualCloneDrive to mount ISO images.)
  2. Run the Easy File Transfer tool (MigWiz) and store a copy on the USB disk to run on the “old” OS first before starting installation (which amounts to swapping disks as I will install 7 on a brand new HD.)

No go. 

You cannot run Migwiz or any of the support programs (including Bootsect) on a 32-bit system from a 64-bit disk.

There are a number of inventive ways around this, including finding a 64-bit Vista machine to run on (it just so happened I put several new Vista boxes in service at SATV and I chose 64-bit.), or running a 64-bit instance in Virtualbox.

But most people that go from 32-bit Vista (or XP) to 64-bit Seven will need to use the 32-bit media to run the Easy Transfer tools and put a bootsector on a USB stick (if they choose to go that far.)

It’s still worth doing for me as it will dramatically speed up installation and give me more time with the stack of disks I need to reinstall all the other apps I depend on.

UPDATE:  Microsoft has sidestepped this problem by offering the Easy Transfer Wizard for XP (Vista includes the transfer wizard already.)  There was also a USB/DVD installation tool, but it’s no longer on the Microsoft site.  Ed Bott points out that the license for Seven includes both 32 and 64-bit install disks, so that will work.   In the end, I had no problems installing Seven.

OMG! The Plaid Screen of Death is real!


I loved making this joke, but I found a true plaid screen of death from Lyllybell!

plaid screen of death

That is a seriously, seriously messed up video card!  A fault that would affect real-mode graphics like that indicates a bad video card or just one that is seriously incompatible.  The poster says it’s a new server. 

Bug in nVidia 3D Stereoscopic Glasses support

Heads up from Within Windows:  If you are running nVidia video drivers in Vista or Windows 7, you may see this problem.  A handle leak in nvSCPAPISvr.exe, the nVidia Stereoscopic 3D Driver Service, may cause performance problems.

In my case, it also kept me from installing a new copy of VirtualBox on my Vista machine;  the install would fail.  Process Monitor showed sharing violations whenever the VirtualBox driver installer tried to access INF files.  Running Handle on the INF file being blocked showed it was held by nvSCPAPISvr.

I didn’t connect it to the stereoscopic display service until I saw Rafael’s post.  His use of Process Explorer to find the leak and his disassembly of the service code is a quintessential example of problem diagnosis worthy of Russinovich.

This bug can result in over 100,000 handles being leaked:  I think I have the record—I have 148,420 handles leaked by that service, as you can see in the screenshot above.

Some have reported performance problems.  I didn’t notice anything.  But if you install new drivers for unrelated devices on your machine, the installs may fail, possibly catastrophically as one commenter in Rafael’s blog noted.

Workaround:  Stop and disable the Stereo Service.  I have 20/200 vision in my left eye so I have very poor depth perception and 3D displays are useless to me.  I won’t miss it.

UPDATE:  nVidia has fixed this.