Thanks Microsoft!

So there I was sitting at my PC last night when the auto-update feature of Windows alerted me that I had an update. To be specific, it was Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. Well, I’d heard a rant about SP2 from Rob Rosenberger at and how the “fix” in SP2 should be done at the router level. It made sense to me, but would that negatively affect my PC? I didn’t think so.

So I allow Microsoft to do its thing. However, on the reboot, my PC wouldn’t come up. Instead, I got an blue screen error telling me that Ntfs.sys is missing or corrupt. What? Great. Thankfully I still have an old laptop and a router, so off to the Internet I went to fix this problem. I discover that I’m not the first poor sap who’s had their Ntfs.sys file hosed by SP2.

Fortunately, it was a pretty simple fix. All I had to do was place my WinXP CD into the CD drive, then boot from the CD and hit “R” to enter recovery mode. From there, I could copy Ntfs.sys from the CD to my HD.

“No problem”, I think and I do this. Now for the reboot.

Well, if I don’t get another blue screen error. This time it was a SESSION5_INITIALIZATION_ERROR.


OK, it is back to the Internet on the old laptop to discover the problem here. Again, this error is a result of SP2. Really? I would have never guessed (though I’m glad it confirmed what I knew).

So, the fix is to remove SP2. Unfortunately, the only way to do this is from the recovery session of XP. I follow the instructions, remove the bloody crap from my PC, then reboot. Guess what? I get another blue screen error, this time saying that WINSRV was not found.

Obviously at this point, I’m not a happy camper. I’d been planning a relaxing evening watching “Farscape: Peacekeeper Wars” and now I’m having to try to fix my PC.

Now it is back to the Internet and yet another search. Yep, SP2 is the problem. I go through the process of removing SP2 again because obviously something didn’t go right the first time. This time, I manage to get my PC up in Safe Mode. YATTA! That’s Japanese for “It’s about smegging time!”*

I still had work to do to fix my registry and other stuff, but I won’t bore you with those details. All I know is that it took over two hours to fix the mess Microsoft put me in. After I got my PC up, I restored it back to Saturday’s check point. That way, I was sure to not have SP2 on my machine. Of course that means that Microsoft is insisting that I install SP2 on my machine now. Yeah, that’s SO not going to happen!

Don’t get me wrong, I believe Microsoft products should be more secure. However, screwing the customer isn’t the way to go. There’s a huge list of products that most likely won’t work with SP2. I have a popup blocker, so I don’t need Microsoft’s. I have a firewall, so I don’t need Microsoft’s. I run a tight machine free of viruses and spyware, so I don’t need Microsoft acting like an over-protective parent and ramming things at me when I already have superior versions of what they are ramming at me.

So maybe it is time for me to seriously look into getting a Linux OS.

*Actually, “yatta” is a Japanese word which means “hooray” or something along those lines.

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