Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


Auto-updated Windows, now it crashes all the time?

Let me tell you about my experience about the Windows XP Crash Update after the 12th of April 2005

  • First I had just installed windows xp sp2, and installing all my drivers.
  • Installed McAfee? anti virus and firewall plus updated them, where I have a DSL net link
  • Then I went to windows automatic update doing all the update,
  • After the windows has finished downloading all the updates, I shut down to make all the updates effective on my next restart
  • The windows never started again in any mode even safe mode the only thing it did is keeping restarting the computer, after giving a blue screen. With some login module problem
  • I could not do any thing but formatting the drive and redoing the previous steps again, where I thought there was a virus what did that.
  • But each time I got windows to update to the last update; it crashes with the same symptoms.
  • The next few days I have learned the many of my friends have suffered from the same problem, after Auto updating there windows.
  • Can you tell us what the hell Microsoft is doing?!

Till then i have disabled my windows ubdate till i find out which update # from Microsoft that does this crash, then i will bypass it.

Now what??

Phew! This does not sound like a good experience!

As far as I can glean, this appears to be an issue with the Data Execution Prevention (DEP) feature provided with Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. The solution lies in editing the text file boot.ini on the main partition.

Boot.ini is a hidden file, though, so you need to go through a little work to make it accessible. To un-hide this file, use the command

attrib -r -h -s boot.ini

Look for a switch named /noexecute and change the value to AlwaysOff

Then try your install / update of Windows again.

There's much more comprehensive information available at these two Microsoft pages too:

Knowledge Base article #875352

Security Backgrounder

That should get you fixed up!