Windows Update Shows Its Quirky Side

I run Windows Update manually and in doing so today, on an XP system, noticed a few quirks.

While installing the updates, my firewall asked about allowing outbound access to a program running from the E disk, an external hard drive. This was the first time I've seen Windows Update stomp on anything outside of the C disk. The computer had other hard disk partitions with higher letters of the alphabet, so my guess is that it chose the E disk because it had the most available hard disk space.

Now, I know to disconnect any external hard drives before running Windows Update.

The program that the firewall warned about was part of the .NET framework version 3.5. Installing this update created a folder on the E disk with a long numeric name. Fortunately, the folder was gone by the time Windows Update completed.

But another folder, also with a long numeric name remained on the E disk even after the post-update reboot. The folder name was 9de190620700a03eba26b0fd6f60 and it was about 6 megabytes. Apparently Windows Update doesn't always clean up after itself.

Too often, I've seen Windows Update install buggy software.

So, after it does its thing, I reboot and run it again. Sure enough, it installed buggy software this time too. As the screen shot below shows, two more patches were needed, a Security Update for Microsoft XML Core Services 6.0 Service Pack 2 and the February 2007 CardSpace Update for Windows XP.

Managing the dependencies when installing software can be difficult. So, any time Windows Update installs a bug fix, I suggest rebooting and running it again until it comes up empty.

This story, "Windows Update Shows Its Quirky Side" was originally published by Computerworld.

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