We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Microsoft kills Vista SP1 update

Service Pack files cause endless reboots

The Windows Vista SP1 update designed to prepare PCs for the imminent release of the service pack has been pulled by Microsoft, following reports that it endlessly rebooted Vista PCs.

Although the update - actually a pair of prerequisite files that modify Vista's install components - has been temporarily pulled from Windows Update, Microsoft has not yet produced a fix for users whose machines either won't boot or reboot constantly.

"Immediately after receiving reports of this error, we made the decision to temporarily suspend automatic distribution of the update to avoid further customer impact while we investigate possible causes," said Nick White, a Vista programme manager, in a post to the company's blog.

See also:

Update: How to fix Vista SP1 reboots

Windows Vista SP1 review

FAQ: Vista Service Pack 1 beta

Final Vista SP1 code released to techies

White downplayed the problem. "So far, we've been able to determine that this problem only affects a small number of customers in unique circumstances. We are working to identify possible solutions and will make the update available again shortly after we address the issue."

According to White, Update 937287 was the cause of the problem. In a support document, Microsoft describes that update as one for Vista's installation software, "the component that handles the installation and the removal of software updates, language packs, optional Windows features and service packs".

Along with a companion update pushed to users starting February 12 and another that was offered to machines running Vista Ultimate and Vista Business in January, the guilty update is required before Vista can be upgraded to Service Pack 1 (SP1).

Shortly after the two prerequisites hit Windows Update last week, users began reporting problems on Microsoft's support newsgroups. Most said that the update hung as the message "Configuring Updates Step 3 of 3 - 0% Complete" appeared on the screen. When users rebooted hoping to clear the error, their PCs went into an endless cycle of reboots. A smaller number of users said that their computers refused to boot normally.

Some users have been able to regain control by booting from a Vista install DVD and selecting the "Restore from a previous restore point" option.

It's uncertain whether Microsoft knows exactly why Update 937287 is hammering Vista PCs. Even after White posted the company statement to the Vista blog, Darrell Gorter, a Microsoft employee, was asking users to send him system logs. "I still need more log files for the investigations that we are doing," Gorter said in a message on the support newsgroup. Late last week, Gorter made a similar request on the same message board.


IDG UK Sites

Windows 9 release date, price, features: Windows 9 beta leaked ahead of 30 September unveiling

IDG UK Sites

Is Apple losing confidence in itself?

IDG UK Sites

How a London VFX studio is ditching desktop workstations for cloud-based creative power

IDG UK Sites

How (and where) to buy an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus in the UK. Plus: How to buy an iPhone 6 today