Problems updating XP x64: BSOD

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Jonathan Bones

Baseband Member
So, I just recently got my new (used) computer. I was somewhat apprehensive about using x64, but it's been good to me so far. So, I have Windows Update set to "notify, but do not install". Last night, the little box pops up, telling me there are new updates to install. So, I go to Windows Update. There are 8 security updates. So, I get to downloading. When it comes time for them to be installed, I get "failed" after each update.

And first I figure, "No problem. I'll just restart and try again." So I restart. I can't load Windows! I get a blue error screen each time! I start to panic. I try to load last known configuration. I pop in the installation CD looking for answers. Nothing works. Finally, I try to login in safe mode. It works! I restore to an earlier point, and everything's fine. Well, it's like 2:45 a.m. at this point, and about my bedtime. So I pack it in for the night.

So I'm thinking, what could have gone wrong? It hits me: I just installed the Tiny Firewall Pro trial the other day. It's won't let anything run without permission, let alone access the internet. It was asking for permissions all through the Windows Update process. That must have been it! So, I disable Tiny (and enable Windows Personal Firewall, because I'm having trouble with my router right now, and have to dial my ISP through it). And I go to Windows Update again.

Hmm, I notice that the updates are already downloaded (from last night), and it wants to just run the installations again. I check add/remove programs. Sure enough, all updates are reported installed. So, I uninstall them one by one, and restart. I go back to Windows Update, and let it attempt to re-install the already downloaded updates. Everything fails again, despite there being no Tiny.

I immediately restore to a restore point I created after I uninstalled the updates just moments before. Windows restarts. Blue error screen! Darn it! I restored so I wouldn't have to deal with this again. Well, I go into safe mode. And up pops System Restore, telling me that it couldn't complete the restoration process. Well, that explains it. But why? Maybe because Windows was trying to apply the failed updates and restore all in the same restart? I don't know.

Anyway, I successfully restore to a restore point I created before I started the whole process today. Good thing I had the foresight to create it. But what the heck is going on? And what do I do now? I'm obviously not trying to update again. But obviously, I'm going to need to eventually.

Some thoughts:

- Perhaps the downloads are borked for some reason. Where can I go to delete them, and have Windows Update download them fresh?

- I didn't get a good look at the blue error screens either time, as the system auto-rebooted. If it happens again, I want to see if I can hit the pause key to get a better look at what's going on.

- I did add another couple of sticks of RAM yesterday, but I don't suspect this is an issue. I've had no trouble with it whatsoever. This error is only occurring when I attempt to restart after an unsuccessful restart. So it seems unlikely the RAM would have anything to do with it unless Windows just has a problem with its configuration, and this is the first way in which it's cropping up.

Any ideas? Thank you very much!
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