SOURCE: Windows Secrets

September 27, 2007 03:15 ET

Microsoft's 'Silent Install' Harms PCs, Says Windows Secrets

Stealth Update Prevents Patch Installation

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - September 27, 2007) - In this week's Windows Secrets Newsletter, writer Scott Dunn reveals that files recently installed quietly on Windows PCs by the Microsoft Corporation are causing serious problems. The stealthy updates, he says, prevent Windows XP users who run a built-in "repair" function from installing the latest security patches from Microsoft.

"We have tested and confirmed that the silent updates actually prevent a repaired copy of Windows XP from loading the latest patches," asserts Dunn, Windows Secrets' associate editor. "We initially thought Microsoft's stealth update, though unwise, was harmless. But that is not the case, because it cripples the updating process on XP after the repair option is used." The repair function rolls Windows back to its original state if a PC cannot boot up for whatever reason.

A few users of the repair option relayed their problems to Windows Secrets after the newsletter on September 13 revealed "silent installs" by Microsoft. The files that were quietly installed interfere with Windows loading the 80 most recent patches from Microsoft if XP has been repaired, Dunn says. The complete story can be found at

"Windows users need to know how to work around this problem," says Brian Livingston, editorial director of "Microsoft needs to fix it immediately and make sure it never happens again." Dunn's article includes commands PC users can enter to regain normalcy.

About Windows Secrets is a Web site that publishes a weekly e-mail newsletter with more than 270,000 subscribers. Published since 2003, the newsletter sends its subscribers tips and tricks to get the most out of Microsoft Windows. For more information, visit

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