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Tech: Windows Update problems

Tattie Bogle 29 Sep 06 - 10:32 AM
MMario 29 Sep 06 - 10:33 AM
mack/misophist 29 Sep 06 - 10:56 AM
Geoff the Duck 29 Sep 06 - 10:58 AM
MMario 29 Sep 06 - 11:06 AM
nutty 29 Sep 06 - 12:05 PM
Nick 29 Sep 06 - 12:16 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Sep 06 - 01:51 PM
JohnInKansas 29 Sep 06 - 04:24 PM
GUEST 01 Oct 06 - 03:54 PM
JohnInKansas 01 Oct 06 - 10:08 PM
John O'L 01 Oct 06 - 10:35 PM
John O'L 01 Oct 06 - 11:05 PM
JohnInKansas 01 Oct 06 - 11:23 PM
John O'L 01 Oct 06 - 11:46 PM
JohnInKansas 02 Oct 06 - 02:13 AM
GUEST,Bleebobob 02 Oct 06 - 02:27 PM
Uncle_DaveO 02 Oct 06 - 07:26 PM
Acme 28 Oct 08 - 11:53 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 28 Oct 08 - 12:45 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Oct 08 - 01:59 PM
Acme 28 Oct 08 - 02:40 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Oct 08 - 02:56 PM
Acme 28 Oct 08 - 03:06 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Oct 08 - 03:40 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 29 Oct 08 - 04:59 AM
MartinRyan 29 Oct 08 - 05:15 AM
steve in ottawa 29 Oct 08 - 09:36 AM
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Subject: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 10:32 AM

Just had both of our well-functioning PCs rendered rubbish by the the most recent Windows update (both computers being set to accept updates automatically.) The update itself caused a crash at turn off - I.E computer DIDN'T turn off. Thereafter we've had multple crashes, numerous error messages, changes in appearance of taskbar, loss of "welcome" and "goodbye" on AOL - if I can get into it at all, and general slowing-down of start-up. Having reported the errors repeatedly, we got a link to "Microsoft Online Crash Analysis" on one of the affected computers, with a patch to download. I've done this, and it's fixed some, but not all. of the problems. I've been to Microsoft Support sef-help and forums, but it's all far too technical for me! Anyone had the same experience, and any ideas - in VERY simple language - how to fix it?
TB


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: MMario
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 10:33 AM

turn off auto updates.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: mack/misophist
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 10:56 AM

When you MANUALLY check the updates, avoid WGA and be cautious of what they're doing to Media Player. MS is currently insisting that there's no problem, so don't hold your breath.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 10:58 AM

Have you any variety of Backup pre-dating the autoinstall?
If so, revert to an earlier set-up and then manually download and install (or decline) your updates.
If not you could reinstal windoze (or restore oem setup) but that takes a lot of stuff back to basics. It is, however, often worth starting from scratch and just installing what you know you need, leaving out as much of the crud you acquire accidentally and don't realise how much junk you have accumulated.
If you don't have backup options available you can sometimes uninstall Windoze updates (Some it will not allow once installed).
If you don't have backups get organised so that in future you get some. I use Acronis True Image and it is very useful.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: MMario
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 11:06 AM

the autoupdates will also try to install google toolbar - which if you are on AOL can mess you up.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: nutty
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 12:05 PM

are you running Windows98?

Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows98 and the windows update will no longer work.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: Nick
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 12:16 PM

Absolutely. Google toolbar caused me various problems until I took it out of Start up so it may be the culprit (Start - Run - msconfig and remove the tick next to it from Start Up)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 01:51 PM

I turn off automatic u[pdate on principal - but I've no clear idea of what to look out for and to avoid when I install updates manually. Suggestions welcome.

With Windows XP Google toolbar works well with my new computer (and is great fun), but I wouldn't fancy it on my old one, which has a much older and smaller processor.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 04:24 PM

In order to receive automatic updates from Microsoft you must be running WinXP SP1 or, I believe, Win2K SP4. There are a couple of "Interprise/Server" and x64 versions that also qualify, but I'll assume you don't have one of them.

It should be noted that AUTOMATIC UPDATES FOR WINXP SP1 WILL END AFTER THE SCHEDULED OCTOBER 10 2006 UPDATE, so getting to SP2 is recommended.

Since I've had the Google Toolbar almost since it came out, I might not have seen anything related to it during my Microsoft updates, but I'm extremely dubious that Microsoft would offer it in Windows or Office updates, since they are extremely wary of affecting any third-party programs. ALL knowledge base articles that make any reference to Google refer the user to Google for any updates and/or support.

If you have installed the Google Toolbar, one of the defaults is to receive updates from Google and such attempts to update might be mistaken for something coming from Microsoft(?). It's possible that the Google Automatic Update might persist even if you've done an incomplete removal of a previously installed Toolbar.

There are "third-pary" sites that offer "Windows updates" for people who run uncertified copies of Microsoft software, and one might be offered almost anything – including, according to reports, malware - at any one of these places(?).

FIRST POSSIBILITY: When any significant changes are made to programs on your computer, it is almost certain that new Registry entries will be part of the change. Registry changes are not permanently entered in the Registry files until the next reboot. In some cases it is necessary to reboot immediately, but in many cases you can continue to use the computer and the permanent Registry entries will be made the next time you shut down.

If a lot of changes have been made, but are "pending" with respect to being recorded in the Registry, Windows can take an unusually long - sometimes very long - time to shut down. If power is shut off before the shutdown is completed, the Registry entries may be incomplete and you are almost certain to experience problems.

If you have had System Restore turned on, usually Windows will find the major problems at the next reboot and will attempt to automatically correct them to a workable condition using the System Restore backups.

You can check to see whether Sysem Restore is turned on at Start|Settings|Control Panel. In Control Panel, double click on System. Click the System Restore tab and see whether the check box for "Do Not Use System Restor" has a check in it.

a. If there is a check in the box, you have no Registry backups for Windows to use to try to fix things for you.

b. If you add a check in the box, ALL EXISTING BACKUPS WILL BE DELETED, so it's suggested you DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES HERE at least until you get things straightened out.

c. Every time you reboot, if any changes have been made, a new System Restore Registry backup is added and an old one gets pushed out. Only about 4 or 5 copies are retained, so if Windows is trying to fix things each reboot will result in a change that will push the oldest (and possibly last good) copy out of storage. (If you've rebooted more than 4 or 5 times, and Windows hasn't "healed itself," it's unlikely you'd be able to do much with the earlier copies, so this isn't really a disaster.)

SECOND POSSIBILITY: There has been quite a lot of web discussion about a recently appearing exploit (called the VMX exploit) and many people think that Microsoft has downplayed this and has been slow to respond. Several third-party sources have posted their own "fixes," and if you installed one of them the "fix" may have prevented proper installation of the Microsoft patch that was released recently.

The most commonly reported exploits using this exploit have been faked as AOL messages, so if you use AOL you might be more likely to have "responded" to a phish and could have been infected. Opening the phishing email in html can result in infection, although it's unlikely if you're using Outlook or Outlook Express with default settings from recent other Microsoft updates.. To be infected via web browsing it is necessary that you be persuaded to click on a link, and again the default settings from recent other Microsoft IE updates provide some protection. (Certain plugins for other browsers may increase the likelihood of infection, by permitting things blocked by the default IE settings, but the listing of specific plugins is vague at this point.)

If you've picked up this malware, it gives the malware distributor full control of your computer anytime it's turned on, initially at whatever level of authority you were using at the time of original infection (i.e. probably as Administrator?) and it's impossible to guess what additional malware may have been installed. Presence of the infection on your machine may "break everything" when the patch to block receiving the malware is installed. Other malware installed after the original infection may also be attempting to use features turned off by the patch, and/or your machine may be unresponsive to your inputs because it's "busy" doing things for the malware operators.

The Microsoft patch was released "out of sequence" on September 26, so if your problems started on that date or later they may be related to this patch. This patch can be uninstalled if you're really sure it was the cause of the problem. Go to Start|Settings|Control Panel. Double Click Add or Remove Programs. Put a check mark in the box for "Show Updates." Go to the entry for your version of Windows, and click on KB925486. Follow instructions to remove the update.

The kinds of malware installed by those using the VXD loophole are not fully reported as yet, but steps you should take (and should be doing anyway) include:

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO DO

Go to Microsoft and get and run the Microsoft Malware Remover. (Free for qualified Win versions, and may already be included in your Auto updates.)

Run a full scan with your AntiVirus program of choice after getting the most recently available AV updates

Run a full scan with Ad-Aware after getting the most recently available AdAware updates (Free download of the basic version.)

Run a full scan with Spybot S&D after getting the most recently available Spybot updates (Free download of the basic version.)

It will take me a while to look up links for the above free programs, so let us know if you don't have them.

Because of the variety of different malware that the VXD operators have been known to install, it's impossible to say that the above standard programs will find and correct everything, but they're a start to eliminate other problems.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Oct 06 - 03:54 PM

I've had this same experience. Uninstall doesn't seem to fix it. I found that certain program (specifically wallmaster http://www.tropicalwares.com/download.html 2.4e version) make it crash on install, opening, listing the directory that contains it even. This patch really did something bizarre to the system. Now on random occasion it reboot.
I'd say that its specific to my machine except my daughters is doing the exact same thing, different hardware.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Oct 06 - 10:08 PM

GUEST -

Although one might question why you need wallmaster, since you can easily put up virtually any image as wallpaper (and any folder as screen saver) using the controls built into WinXP and other Windows versions elligible for recent updates, some of the image types that wallmaster lists may include vector graphic data. The most recent Windows Security patch essentially disables the VXD "language" used to embed vector graphics in html pages. If wallmaster is in your startup folder, it could interfere with completing the boot if it tries to load VXD functions that have been removed.

Just a guess, of course, without more info about how many other toys you (and your daughter) have installed...

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: John O'L
Date: 01 Oct 06 - 10:35 PM

There has recently been a lot of communication between Google and my Google toolbar, since which everything has been noticeably slower. This, as far as I'm aware, has had nothing to do with Microsoft.

I am going to try what Nick suggested. I'll get back to you.
(Assuming I can of course.)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: John O'L
Date: 01 Oct 06 - 11:05 PM

Well on first inspection it seems to be faster than it's been for ages. I'm thinking seriously of uninstalling the toolbar. If I've got Google as a home page why do I need the toolbar? Maybe the popup blocker, but IE has one of them anyway.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Oct 06 - 11:23 PM

While the original Google Toolbar clipped into your browser and was only active while the browser was open, Google has come out with bunches and gobs of "desktop" utilities that are supposed to be a great help on your local machine. Unless you've added one or more of these local-machine utilities there'd be no real reason to have Google in Startup. It doesn't show up in my msconfig stuff, but I've never gone (updated) past the Google Search Toolbar.

If you have added other "freebies" from Google (and elsewhere), the current trends in rate of proliferation of these goodies suggests one should start keeping lists of what's there and where it came from. It may not help solve the problems, but it's important to blame the right people isn't it? ... or not.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: John O'L
Date: 01 Oct 06 - 11:46 PM

I've never thought any of those optional extras would be of any use to me, and I never use any of the gadgets on the toolbar either, so I think I'll ditch it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 02 Oct 06 - 02:13 AM

I find the Google Search Toolbar handy on occasions, and haven't seen any negative effect on performance; but most of the other "desktop" stuff doesn't impress me much. There's also quite a lot of the other Google stuff that requires - or really needs - a high speed connection, and I'm still limping along with dialup.

Along the same lines, an extremely favorable review tricked me into installing the "Microsoft Desktop Search" (beta) gimmick. It took over 9 hours to "index" everything on my machine, but when I tried to search for one of my own documents all it would tell me was that I could get football scores from MSN and offered me five different places where I could buy (or rent) rap recordings. When I also found that it completely disabled Windows Explorer Search, thus making it impossible to find anything on my own computer, it took about 3 minutes to uninstall. (It took about a half hour to deliver my comments to Microsoft.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: GUEST,Bleebobob
Date: 02 Oct 06 - 02:27 PM

Is 'windows update problems' a song? If not, what's it doing on this section of Mudcat?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 02 Oct 06 - 07:26 PM

GUEST, Bleebobob:

"UPSTAIRS" (which this is), while primarily for musical stuff, is also intended for HELP, TECH, and so forth. Those are prefix choices offered in "Start a New Thread".

"DOWNSTAIRS" is for BS (politely referred to as "breeze shooting").

TECH is perfectly proper upstairs.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: Acme
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 11:53 AM

Fast forward to 2008 and Windows updates are being sent out quite often. I started a thread on Microsoft's current vulnerability, but I'll post these remarks here also because it might come up in a couple of different contexts.

With a download that came from Windows today was a new program called Windows Search. Several of my monitoring programs told me there was a change but I clicked it through, figuring IE and such were updated.

There was a new program, one called Windows Search, that launched itself first in my task bar. I clicked to close it, and it wouldn't go away. I opened my Control Panel and opened up Mike Lin's little Start-up program and unchecked the line for Windows Search, but nothing popped up (WinPatrol usually asks me if I want to make this registry change).

I restarted the computer, and there is was again. I opened up Start-up and it was still unchecked, but clearly using this to get it out of that lineup wasn't working this time. When I moused over Windows Search it gives me various choices, including "index now." And when you open the program it offers to look for stuff in your computer. But Windows Explorer does that, and there is already a Search option when you open the Start menu on the lower left.

It has been my experience that when programs that want to "index" the contents of your computer come on board that they are oppressive and slow. I updated my Nero software from 6 to 8 a year ago or so and it slowed a lot. I searched around and found that not only had it changed how some programs worked (they didn't) it slowed everything as it watched were everything was in case I might decide to run a search for something so it could go to work. I uninstalled the Nero 8 and reinstalled Nero 6.

Makes no sense to put this in, so I went into Control Panel and uninstalled that little number. I'll be interested to hear if any of the rest of you encounter this little "update" that isn't really an update.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 12:45 PM

It was in my last set of updates a day or two ago, but my updates are configured to tell me they're there and let me choose. I always select Custom and look at what's there and the descriptions. I read the search info and it's intent to index everything and decided to ignore it for that very reason (I set it to not display again - one of only 2 things I've ever done that with, the other is Silverlight which my hardware won't support, so there's no point in seeing it everytime!).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 01:59 PM

I just saw late last night that the "new Windows Search" was being included in an XP update. I tried it, on WinXP, as a beta a couple of years ago. It took about five hours to install and complete "indexing." Once installed and indexed, the previous Search in Win Explorer was gone.

Several attempts to find files failed completely.

Several attempts using filenames and/or text copied and pasted into "Search" failed to find the files known and confirmed to be present.

Since it was a "beta" version, it uninstalled easily - then. That may not be the case with this "final" version.

I also noted, late last night, that an updated "Windows Search" is included in the Vista update for this week. In this case, I'll gladly let it install, since search in Vista is so useless that I don't see a way it can be much harmed by anything that makes it "different" than the original.

For the Windows XP beta Windows Search, a simple "diagnostic" to determine if you've been gifted with this p.o.s. was that in Windows Explorer the two boxes on the top tool bar that let you switch between "Folder" and "Search" views disappeared. (They also are not present in Vista Windows Explorer.)

On the unconfirmed assumption that the "new Windows Search" is like "Vista Search," a few things I've learned "since Vista:"

1. The default search looks only at the index.

2. Indexing may continue in background for up to a week or so before the "index" is finished compiling itself.

3. In default configuration, only "My Documents" and "media folders" are indexed, so if you put files elsewhere they cannot be found.

4. You can use an "Advanced" button in "Advanced Search" or in Properties for a folder you can click to have other drives/folders be indexed.

5. In "Advanced Search" you can tell it to search files and folders that are not indexed. This takes, on my machine, about four times as long to process a search of an unindexed folder as with the older WinXP search. The difference is that this search doesn't find anything useful.

6. You cannot use any search mode other than the index anywhere in a folder for which an index exists. The only option is to "search in unindexed places," which adds to places searched, but does not "ignore the index" in indexed folders or do any additional "search" in them.

7. You cannot ever find anything remotely resembling what you asked "Search" to find in any search result.

(In one test, I searched for a short text string copied from a file in the folder to be searched. Search reported 157 "results." The search string, or any identifiable part of the text in it, did not appear in any filename in the results. Most of the results were .doc files, and I opened each and every one of them and used Word Search on each document. The search string did not appear anywhere in any document (of 134 .doc files) in the search results. The "search" ran for a little over 2 hours to come up with this non-result.)

8. You will need to become accustomed to seeing "There are too many results for Search to list them all."

8.a None of the results listed will be what you thought you told Search to find for you.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: Acme
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 02:40 PM

I also have the updates set so I'm notified they're ready to download. There appeared only to be one critical update and for some reason I didn't catch onto this Windows Search program when I looked at my options. When I came into the room later the various screens from WinPatrol were seeking confirmation and I assumed there was another update to IE. My bad, making this assumption.

Windows Search didn't get rid of my Windows Explorer. I didn't even try it out, I just didn't want to fool with it. I uninstalled it easily and I hope that's the end of it.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 02:56 PM

Stilly -

Windows Explorer should still be there. It was only the "Search" vs "Folders" view selection boxes on its toolbar that disappeared with the beta Windows Search.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: Acme
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 03:06 PM

They're still there. Evidently the beta version revealed this problem before they launched it this time.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Oct 08 - 03:40 PM

Stilly -

Now you're suggesting that I should get all excited while I wait to see if the new Vista update actually lets me find something on my computer.

I'll try to keep from holding my breath. I'll still need a clear mind to remember where all the 2,185,423 documents are on my computer until they fix it for me. (I can look at the previews of the 850,000 or so .jpg files to find what I want there - and can look at them all in about the time it takes Vista to search and not find one of them.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 04:59 AM

Service Pack 3 for XP automatically installed itself on my PC a couple of weeks ago, and completely trashed my PC - no mouse, internet, CD drives or USB ports. After much messing about I've managed to get the mouse and CD drives back, but still no internet or USBs. I've spent a lot of time on the phone to Microsoft Helpdesk, who have tried to be helpful (while denying that the failure of the internet could be anything to do with the software) but who have on several occasions failed to call me at the promised time. I'm expecting a call this evening, and also expecting that the remedy will be a complete re-install of the OS. Needless to say, I'm not impressed.

If some spotty youth had hacked in and made my PC unusable it would be a criminal offence. Why is Microsoft any different?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: MartinRyan
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 05:15 AM

My woes are minor by comparison. SP3 decided that a number of my Microsoft products were not the genuine, kosher article - despite the fact that previous validations were always (correctly) clear. So it pestered me with reminders for a while - then gave up again. I've a feling it's gone off to sulk in a corner and will come back to haunt me again...

Regards


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows Update problems
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 29 Oct 08 - 09:36 AM

Microsoft has specifically designed IE to be more friendly to web site creators than to surfers. Use Firefox.

Similarly MS has designed Windows to be more friendly to software writers, particularly MS itself, than to software users. For this reason MS has quite consciously left out proper backup software within Windows. Millions of hours of time have been lost because MS doesn't include software capable of backing up and restoring Windows. EVERYONE I know that uses Windows has had it their operating system go wonky on them at least once in the last ten years.

Ever since I got proper backup software about four years ago, my life with Windows has been easier. I use Acronis True Image Home Edition, but Norton Ghost works just as well. There may be freeware that will work on your system. In general, it's an incredibly good idea to backup your entire system partition. Regularly. Particularly before trying huge "update" files like SP3 for Windows XP. (And yes, I too discovered SP3 was not compatible with one of my computers until new video drivers came out a month or so later.)

Sometimes uninstall works cleanly. Sometimes it doesn't. So long as your hardware is working, restoring your system partition from backup ALWAYS works. I feel pretty good knowing that no update or malicious code can take my computer down for more than a few hours. My only real software worry these days is newly deployed key-loggers.


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