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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

Microsoft Connect (Wellington) 2006

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-May-2006 08:17

Last night we had dinner at the Intercontinental Hotel with some Microsoft folks, MSDN Connection Platinum members and Microsoft MVPs.

After dinner some of the guys had to stay here for a reharsal of their presentations and demos for the Mirosoft Connect event.

The technical part is happening today from 9am and one of the tracks will cover how to prepare the IT infrastructure for the deployment of Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007. The other track covers development under this new framework.

I will be here at the Intercontinental Hotel for the day, so if you are here too come and greet me!

PS: Posted from my Pocket PC...

PPS: At the start of the "Microsoft Office 2007 Deployment" session the audience was asked how many are runnng the Office 2007 Beta. Out of 100 and some IT professionals here, only one hand: mine...

Microsoft Windows Vista Lab - Asia Edition

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-May-2006 23:33

I just received the e-mail with an invitation to participate in the Windows Vista Lab happening in Singapore, 26 - 27 May 2006. I hope to stop in Melbourne for the Microsoft Australia MEDC 2006 (Mobile and Embedded Developers Conference).

The Vista Lab will be a two day, full on contact with the Microsoft Windows Vista Team. It's part of the Microsoft MVP programme and The Hive community initiatives. The Hive is a Microsoft sponsored community for website owners.

I've been to Redmond and Las Vegas (CES) before with The Hive, but this is the first time coming to Singapore.

By the way, according to Darryl, participating in the MEDC 2006 has some benefits too: if you are enrolled in the Windows Mobile track you will receive an i-mate SP5 Windows Mobile Smartphone, and if enrolled in the Windows CE track you will get a Via EPIA CN13000 computer.

I just have to see if I can arrange some good flight schedules - it's going to be full steam for three days.

Guy Kawasaki's Art of Start video

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 9-May-2006 12:04

Found this video snippet on YouTube today, through Guy Kawasaki's post .
The Art of Innovation is a speech for any stage of company that is trying to create and marketing innovative products and services. The Art of the Start is for the startup stage--but for anyone starting anything.
You can watch the full speech on-line, recorded at the UCLA Tech Coast Angels, January 2006.

UMPC (Origami): Too early, too late

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-May-2006 15:58

I am sorry to disapoint my fellow Tablet PC MVPs, and some of my Microsoft friends. I am usually one to be on the "early adopters" crowd, but not with the Origami. I agree with Chris Pirillo on the Origami platform:

The Origami project is happening either (a) too late or (b) too early, depending on how you look at it. We have Windows Vista shipping in less than a year, and yet these ~$500 devices aren't being bulit to support the new OS!

They're going after the consumer crowd, not the prosumer - so many geeks are going to be disappointed with what they see. It's Microsoft's chance to prove to themselves (and to the OEMs) that Lifestyle PCs can be bulit for around $500 apiece. Of course, you don't get much for $500 in a portable machine of that size - but Microsoft is hoping that soccer mom's won't mind at all.

The items in project Origami are largely going to be lackluster, the hardware will be mediocre (at best), and the general idea for Origami is nowhere near the PSP or an iPod - not even in the same ballpark. They did well in building the buzz, but the products are probably going to generate more jeers than cheers. This feeling will be magnified, as the buzz will not equal the bang of Origami.

I will keep my Windows Mobile Pocket PCs in the pocket (where they fit well, unlike some UMPCs which will need a bag to carry). I can access Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G networks with my small devices. And did I say the battery life on Windows Mobile is much better than the expected 3 hour in the first generation UMPC?

And not only that, the new devices are way more expensive than the promised US$500 each unit...

Reinstalling Sprite Backup on Windows Mobile 5

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-May-2006 17:48

You should (in theory) have no problems reinstalling any software on your Windows Mobile Pocket PC or Smartphone. But as it happens, this is not always true.

I tried to install Sprite Backup 5.1 on both my TNZ Apache and i-mate Jasjar, both of which had Sprite Backup 5.0 previously installed. While it worked fine on my TNZ Apache, it didn't work quite well on the i-mate Jasjar.

It seems that Windows Mobile 5.0 has a bad habit of sometimes failing to remove some software. It happened to me a couple of times: tap to remove a program, the uninstall starts on the device, but stops with a message stating "it was impossible to remove the software".

I tried manually removing Sprite Backup 5.0 from my i-mate Jasjar and encountered this error. And from that moment I couldn't install the new version:

After a couple of e-mails with Kevin at Sprite Software, he called me here at the Geekzone HQ to guide me through some stuff to clean up the failed uninstall. A few minutes later I had Sprite Backup 5.1 installed:

If you don't know, Sprite Software is based in Auckland, New Zealand. As far as I know, they are the same folks who originally developed Ghost, later sold to Symantec and branded as Norton Ghost. So they know a thing or two about backup...

For the record, make sure that after removing the program through the Remove Program applet you don't have any Sprite folder under \Program Files and \Storage Card\Program Files. Also, remove any sprite file (including spriteinit.exe) from \Windows. And last but the most important part, remove the HKLM\Software\Sprite
Software key.

This software is highly recommended...

IT Admins: prepare for Microsoft Exchange automatic update this May

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-May-2006 09:56

Microsoft will introduce a security update to Exchange Server 2003 that will change its behaviour. If you are an IT admin, and have one or more Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 on your domain, please go and read this knowledge base article:

This is a change in the mailbox access security. This may affect users running RIM BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) or Technology's GoodLink Wireless Messaging service.

Be warned!

Mobility Guys Podcast

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-May-2006 09:38

A few fellow Microsoft MVP (and friends) have just introduced a project that was under wrpas but in development for some time: the Mobility Guys podcast.

Chris Leckness (, Don Sorcinelli (, Jack Cook (, and Steven Hughes ( are now producing a podcast program about mobility, and Windows Mobile specifically.

I chat with Chris almost every week through Skype, and the project sounded really good when I was told about it. In one of the last calls he was testing the recording gear during our call and that was fun.

I might appear in the show later, but nothing is scheduled - so you have to subscribe to their RSS feed.

Do you have a Windows Media Center PC at home?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-May-2006 22:24

If you have a Windows Media Center PC at home, please leave a comment here... I might have something for you...

One entry only please. I will conduct a draw Monday (8 May) and contact the winner via e-mail...

Geekzone moving house

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 1-May-2006 21:20

I have been pretty quiet in the Geekzone front in the last three days. We have just moved houses amd I have not had the chance to work during this time. Moving houses and having a two week old baby is not easy!

I really have to say thanks to a few friends who showed up (or offered help). First of all Hadley, who came from Taupo with his wife Heather, to help us. She was great, helping clean the new house, and driving back by herself on Sunday evening. Hadley stayed here until Monday evening, helping coordinate the movers in the old house, assembling desks, bed, moving things, arranging food when me and my wife were too tired to do something, then flying back home.

Also helping us we had Peter and Letizia, who spent Saturday and Sunday packing for us. And Sue Mitchell who showed up on Sunday and worked through the kitchen, packing glasses, plates, etc.

Darryl offered to help, but we had enough people around.

Big thanks to all! Next is waiting for TelstraClear to show up, connect the cable modem and my e-mail server, desktop, wireless network and other infrastrucutre will be available, so I can come back in full force.

freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
New Zealand

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

I'm the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums. Also worth visiting is TravelTalk NZ, a community for travelers!

Subscribe now to my blog RSS feed or the Geekzone RSS feed.

If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me Note this email is not for technical support. I don't give technical support. You can use our Geekzone Forums for community discussions on technical issues.

Here's is my full disclosure post.

A couple of blog posts you should read:

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