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Thread: Software Distribution Service 3.0 (KB943460)

  1. #16
    Harry Johnston [MVP] Guest

    Re: Software Distribution Service 3.0 (KB943460)

    There isn't "a" solution because there isn't "a" problem. All you've told us so
    far is that you've lost internet access after installing a set of updates; this
    could be caused by any number of different things. If you'll start a new thread
    and describe your problem in detail - including which operating system you are
    running and what service pack level you are at, as well as the history of the
    problem - we may be able to help.

    Note that Software Distribution Service isn't actually a separate product or
    component on your computer. It's just the name that Windows Update puts on the
    restore points it creates. No, I don't know why it doesn't put Windows Update;
    it's just one of those things.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "uninstalling SDS"; could you expand on this,
    please? There shouldn't have been anything in Add/Remove Programs called
    Software Distribution Service, unless it's an unrelated third-party product.

    It would be unwise to stop installing Microsoft updates. However malicious you
    may feel Microsoft is being, I assure you there are far worse people on the
    internet who will take advantage of machines with missing security patches.

    It is likely that your problem is not really quite the same as the original
    posters, no matter how similar the symptoms may appear.

    From your earlier post:

    You'll be thinking of the fuss about the last update to the Automatic Updates
    service itself. This class of update installs automatically, ignoring the
    "notify but don't download" or "download but don't install" options - but it
    cannot install if you turn Automatic Updates off altogether.

  2. #17
    BrianAllgar Guest

    Re: Software Distribution Service 3.0 (KB943460)

    Thank you for your helpful and informative reply. When I have a bit
    more time, I will indeed try to start a new thread describing my exact
    circumstances. In the meantime, here are a few final comments on this

    I should have said that I uninstalled not "SDS 3.0" but "Service Pack
    3", which does of course appear on the "Uninstall" list.

    I had created quite a number of restore points, including one at a
    point in time before IE 8 - which also caused me a handful of problems
    that I won't go into here - installed itself. The last straw was
    discovering, on the morning of August 1st, that all my restore points
    had somehow been deleted during the night, even though I had by now
    switched off automatic updating. (Others have complained of the same
    thing happening to them in a similar context.)

    Well, if I were a camel, my back would now be thoroughly broken. At
    that point, I switched to Firefox, and everything now works fine, just
    as it used to. Among other problems, in the last few days the "Delete"
    and "Backspace" buttons on my keyboard had stopped working. I had
    attributed this to a keyboard malfunction, but no - once I had chucked
    Internet Explorer out of the Window (so to speak), the problem

    Of course, I'll keep an eye from time to time on Microsoft updates just
    in case they come up with something that does NOT behave like a
    destructive virus, but no more Automatic Installation!

  3. #18
    Harry Johnston [MVP] Guest

    Re: Software Distribution Service 3.0 (KB943460)

    OK. Be aware that SP2 is nearing end-of-life, so you'll need to reinstall SP3
    before too much longer.

    I'm not familiar enough with restore point technology to comment on this one.

    Firefox is my own preference too. :-)

    Since IE8 installed automatically, your security software would have been
    active, so that would be my best guess as to why things went wrong. Still, at
    this point, you might as well leave IE8 out of the picture for now.

    I generally recommend automatically downloading but manual installation, as this
    allows you to sift out things like IE8 that you may not want.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Unless you mean that the rest of the posting is nonsense, then
    "nonsense" seems indeed a bit rude under the circumstances.

    Microsoft obfuscates their obligatory contact information for support relating to failures in their software that clearly, are known issues and ought to be offered freely and without the deliberate misrepresentation that a user should expect to pay for the help... Even the support link you posted clearly insists that the user will be charged and the phone number... Whether one ends up paying for support depends a great deal on whether the tech you get agrees that this is a M$ problem. In what way is this different from a protection racket?

    Is it "nonesense" that people are shamelessly upset, even enraged by finding only at-cost solutions when they search?

    These updates are offered with an urgency that they must be installed or evil people will damage your machine... I run hardware, and software firewalls, and a very nice AV. Hackers and viruses aren't a major issue for me.

    Update has done more damage to me just this month than malware has done in 10 years. My system is less than a month old and has been crippled 3 times in 20 days by "updates."

    Only an insane person continues to pursue a repeated course of action expecting the results to change. M$ windows has never been well written, and I'd be an idiot to expect that they are somehow going to become a quality software overnight, or within my lifetime.

    I've spent more time using this system to track down fixes for updates than I have for productive purposes.

    I think I may have finally found a single solution to all of these problems which involves not continuing to repeat the same mistakes.
    It's called Linux and I downloaded Mandriva for free. If it fails to perform, then it will have cost me nothing.

    And an update...

    I received an email from Imran in which I'm offered free support by posting the problem in this senseless miasma... or to pay for being told how to unbreak it.

    Where again is this free support?.

    Is it just that the URL you're posting is free?
    I doesn't cost me anything to go read about the help I can get at cost? Is that it?

    In the email I received from the link you posted... oh screw it... here is the email. Lets take it apart piece at a time and find this free Update help for an issue that Google says is notorious.

    When I hit this site, and get halfway through typing "software" into the Bing search line I see that an option is offered "software distribution service 3.0 system restore problem."
    Obviously someone before me did a similar search. I would have to assume that it was not a random selection of words... so like the 31,800 hits I get in Google, Bing records a history of this problem associated with something called Software Distribution Service 3.0... a hotfix that I did not explicitly load. I allowed a patch to run for EI 7. This tagged along.

    When I select this option exactly two links are offered.
    " How to disable the Autorun functionality in Windows"
    " List of updates in Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2"
    for XP64... not a whisper.

    Following this link returns:

    Your query for "software distribution service 3.0" did not return results.

    The following may help you find the results you were looking for:

    * Check your spelling.
    * Enter a term or phrase that's less specific.
    * Try different phrasing.
    * Try fewer words.
    This issue is referred to in Google hits going back to 2007 at the very least.
    Perhaps Microsoft is just waiting for the issue to "age" a bit before they address it.

    Microsoft offers no-charge support for issues related to post-installation of Windows XP updates. You may also work with a Microsoft Windows XP Support Professional via e-mail, telephone, and for some products, chat to resolve your issue:
    This link leads back to the exact same form that caused good old Imran here to send me this pleasantly worded verbal hamster cage to run around in. I sent them a request for help for a known issue, and the free help they send is a link to the form to request help?

    Kevin, you may select your appropriate edition of your Microsoft Windows XP from the above link to contact our support professional

    If you have any feedback about your Online Customer Service experience, please send it to my manager, Anil Kumar, by clicking the link below. Please be sure to include the name of my manager in the subject field.
    I'm guessing that If I send Anil Kumar a feedback form... that someone in India wins a pool to see how many hoops I'm willing to jump through.

    After following the help link in the help email and finding that it is the exact same link that I followed in order to receive this email... I'm guessing that I can get another email sent to me that tells me totally for free that they hope I figure it out soon by myself.

    Already been into the Help articles... and I can indeed get patches for the patch if my system were 32 bit XP.

    Good thing I can type here for free because this right here seems to be what Microsoft means when they insist they offer free support for Update problems. The rest of the song and dance leads right back here... or to exorbitant at cost help. Why should I pay you to fix what you broke?

    Basically you have once again confirmed that the limit of Microsoft's model for customer service is to run people around in a loop looking for Microsoft to actually deliver this imaginary free help for what they broke.

    DO WHILE (customer.satisfaction)>0

    I call BS.
    Microsoft has you folks propped up like shills to keep repeating that you have free help for things you break... all this free help consists of is a loop to the email form to request help.

    Perhaps you'll make the observation to the next person that makes this observation that even though this looks a great deal like extortion, that just because they were offered non-help or help at cost to fix a known issue that was caused by an Update hotfix, that we can't jump to any conclusions about it really being extortion... it could be so many other things... like complete incompetence.

    Google shows 31,800 hits, Bing also shows that this is a known issue.
    Statistically, one person in 6000 goes to the effort of posting a complaint.
    ...but no, we shouldn't jump to any hasty conclusions.

    You are correct that I need not attribute to malice that which incompetence satisfactorily explains...

    Attributing it to incompetence is not much comfort when I have things to do other than searching the forums for help every time Update breaks something.

    You might have a point.
    I usually buy AMD...
    This round I bought an Intel motherboard and processor.
    Before I even had the the thing completely set up I discovered that the Sonic Focus audio driver that came with it had been discontinued due to the driver conflicting base memory address with XP-64...
    I should have taken it as an omen.

    I guess it just goes to show that buying the upper end priced hardware with the Windows sticker doesn't necessarily mean that its a quality product.

    I think I'll stick with smaller vendors with good reps and attentive tech support, and open source OS... at least that way when something breaks I have the chance to see what broke without playing "Where's Waldo?"

    Nothing from the "free support" form I sent to Microsoft yet other than a link back to the same free support form and a polite and heart-felt "hope you figure it out yourself..." Well at least it was indeed free.

    Perhaps your point is equally well applied to choices in primary software.

  5. #20
    Harry Johnston [MVP] Guest

    Re: Software Distribution Service 3.0 (KB943460)

    1) When I followed PA Bear's link I got a page that asked whether my use of the
    product was personal or commercial, then one that asked me to accept a licensing
    agreement for the web site; once I'd done that, the next page made it very clear
    that the support was free of charge - see screenshot here, if you like:


    What did you see?

    2) Pretending to not have the benefit of the direct link, I started at
    Microsoft's home page. This led me to the Help and Support home page.
    Selecting "Get Help Now" took me to the "Online Assisted Support Options" page,
    which has an icon for "No-Charge Virus and Security-Related Support" which took
    me to a very similar page - including the phrase "No charge" perfectly clearly
    on each of the main support options offered.

    Alternatively, instead of selecting "No-Charge Virus and Security-Related
    Support" you could select your version of Windows. I selected Windows Vista
    Home Basic as a trial case and was asked to choose a support topic. One of the
    options was Windows Update. Again, this took me to a page prominently featuring
    the expression "No charge" on each of the options offered.

    ... on the other hand this stuff looks new to me. I'm fairly sure that the
    last time I looked it wasn't this easy.

    3) To the best of my knowledge, this *isn't* a known problem. It's a set of
    otherwise unrelated problems which have similar symptoms. There is no magic
    bullet that will fix all possible problems that could cause internet access to
    be lost after installing updates. (For a start, note that it's usually a
    different set of updates each time.)

    Note that none of these will protect you from malicious web content taking
    advantage of vulnerabilities that can be exploited via your browser. (On the
    other hand, if you use a third-party browser, very few MS updates will be
    applicable. Then again, I'm not sure how easy it is to distinguish the exceptions.)

    Not quite nothing - your time, plus you could lose data if something goes
    seriously wrong. I have no particular reason to think that it might, mind you,
    so if it suits your needs then best of luck to you.

    Remember, however, that Mandriva will still need to be updated regularly. Using
    Linux isn't a magic bullet, either.

  6. #21
    Harry Johnston [MVP] Guest

    Software Distribution Service 3.0 (KB943460)

    Software Distribution Service 3.0 is just another name for the Windows Update
    Agent, the underlying technology behind Windows Update, Microsoft Update and
    Automatic Updates. It isn't an update, it's the software that's installing the
    update. (So, not a useful search term. The best place to start would probably
    be to identify which particular update caused the problem, if possible, or at
    least narrow down the options.)

    What did you select last time? Sounds like what he means is that your case is
    in the wrong queue ... I suppose this is a Windows XP issue rather than a
    Windows Update issue ... although I'd have hoped Imran could have
    transferred your case rather than getting you to open a new one.

    To be fair, I don't think anybody said the free support service was very good,
    just that it existed. :-(

    Once again, it *isn't* a known issue, because the symptoms in question don't
    have a single cause, or even a most common cause. Would you consider "my
    computer doesn't work any more" to be a known issue? The symptoms being
    described are very nearly as vague!

    "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence."

    ... heck, it isn't even as if Microsoft is particularly unusual in this
    regard. From what I've heard, most US phone support is poor nowadays; this is
    usually attributed to outsourcing.

  7. #22
    Harry Johnston [MVP] Guest

    Re: Software Distribution Service 3.0 (KB943460)

    For what little it's worth, I don't think I've ever had MS updates cause a
    problem, and I suspect this is due to judicious choices of hardware and
    third-party software. Of course that's anecdotal evidence at best.

  8. #23
    Harry Johnston [MVP] Guest

    Re: Software Distribution Service 3.0 (KB943460)

    My own recommendation for hardware is to go with larger companies who sell
    predesigned systems, such as Dell (my personal favorite). By the time they
    start selling a model they've done lots of testing that the various components
    work properly together, and there are going to be lots of other people who have
    bought the same model.

    Smaller vendors typically buy motherboards, CPUs, cases, etc., and put them all
    together for you. They don't have the resources to do the same sort of testing;
    also, they can't always continue buying the exact same parts for extended
    periods so the design changes more rapidly, and they sell fewer units per day,
    so the net effect is that there are far fewer people out there with the same
    combination of hardware as you. (Often, but not always, the components are also
    significantly newer, i.e., less well tested in the field.)

    I don't pretend to be an expert in this area, but anecdotally I've worked with
    lots of computers and we've always have far more issues with the ones from
    smaller vendors. (On the other hand, it's a real pain when a particular model
    *does* have a serious issue and you've got two hundred of them!)

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