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Windows Server Patch fails to apply: Microsoft charges for support

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 12-May-2006 11:27

A few Linux people here will probably comment on the lines of "You should be running Linux". But the reality is I feel comfortable with Microsoft Windows Server 2003. Or used to.

You see, in one of the last Automatic Updates one specific patch, classified as "High Priority Security Update" failed to install. I tried to manually download the patch and apply and it again failed to install.

Looking at the logs, what do I see?

2.547: 2006/05/10 11:56:51.859 (local)
2.547: \43f998869285ff556064\update\update.exe (version
2.547: Hotfix started with following command line:
2.594: Microsoft Windows is Not Present
2.594: Condition Check for Line 1 of PreRequisite returned FALSE
2.594: ReadStringFromInf: UpdSpGetLineText failed: 0xe0000102
2.594: KB908981 Setup encountered an error:  Setup cannot continue because one or more prerequisites required to install KB908981 failed. For More details check the Log File
2.609: ReadStringFromInf: UpdSpGetLineText failed: 0xe0000102

Oh, yes. A pre-requisite to install this patch is to have Windows Server running. It looks like the patch doesn't think I have a Windows Server running, right?

Next I tried to apply for e-mail support. Easy, go to Microsoft Support, and start entering the details for e-mail support. When it asked if this is the server where the problem is happening, I click yes and it can not identify the Product ID. No problem, I can manually enter it, but wait there's more:

The Microsoft PSS site tells me that my Product ID, which I copied from the System Properties is not that of a Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition, but of a Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition.

So I am stuck and can't use the on-line support.

Next I try calling Microsoft PSS, and after answering a few questions I am set back with the following:

- We have to charge you $350 for this call.
- But this is a high priority security update that failed to install!
- Yes, but Windows Server is a business software and there's no free support for it.

No wonder there are insecure servers connected to the Internet and being used around the world. Microsoft fails to deliver the patches and then try charging for a fix!

UPDATE: As you may see in the comments I was contacted by someone in the Windows Server team through this blog entry. I also received an e-mail from other team member. I got a confirmation that PSS should not have indicated this would be a charged support service since this is a security patch, regardless of being home or commercial use. Currently I have someone from Microsoft looking at this problem but since it is already Satudary here in New Zealand I will not expect a status update until Monday at least.

UPDATE: The Microsoft rep had visited my server, confirmed it is a Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition and confirmed the patch fails to install. He's looking into the patch configuration now.


2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server
Extensions\5.0\Setup Packages
3. Created a new String Value of "Microsoft Windows" and set the
Data Value as

Other related posts:
Windows 8 Mail app not hyperlinking emails
Are we seeing the death of Windows RT?
Windows 8 Consumer Preview

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Mauricio Freitas
New Zealand

I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

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