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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Thu, 21 Jul 2011

Windows Update doesn't like my Linux-Windows dual-boot system

Just when I'm thinking, "Windows sucks less than it used to," here I am with my dual-boot system - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit on one partition, Debian Squeeze 64-bit in LVM (with encrypted swap and home partitions) on another.

Everything has worked well until the arrival of Service Pack 1.

It just won't install. It won't install via the Windows Update mechanism. It won't install after downloading a 900 MB file.

A 900 MB file. For a service pack. Let's ponder that for a minute.

So the error message, 0x800F0A12 (rendered in hexadecimal — geek points for Microsoft) led me to the following Microsoft web page:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/windows-7-windows-server-2008-r2-service-pack-1-sp1-installation-error-0x800F0A12

Here's the meat of the matter (emphasis mine):

Partition created using a program from another software manufacturer

If a disk management tool from another software manufacturer was used to copy (sometimes called clone) disks or partitions on your computer, the SP1 installer might not be able to identify the correct system files.

Turn off your computer and physically disconnect any external disks or drives that aren’t required for starting Windows.

Turn on your computer, and then try installing SP1 again.

If removing all external devices doesn’t help, the disk management tool that was used might’ve designated a hard disk partition other than the Windows system partition as active. The active partition is where your computer looks for the files it uses to start an operating system.

The Windows system partition needs to be the only active partition in order to install SP1. For more information on identifying active and system partitions, see What are system partitions and boot partitions? For information on how to make the Windows system partition active, see Mark a partition as active.

So I need to make my Linux partitions "inactive" for this to work?

Bit of a deal-breaker, wouldn't you think?

If anybody knows more about this than I do (and, my friends, that would be neither difficult nor unusual), let me know via e-mail (pending the arrival of Disqus comments in this blog): steven (at) stevenrosenberg dot org (yes, org).

So what am I going to do? This is as good a time as any to restrict my Windows usage to watching Silverlight video from Netflix. Hey! I'm already doing that.

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