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Microsoft has suspended distribution of one of the updates required for Vista service pack one (SP1), after customers complained that their PCs wouldn’t boot up properly once KB937287 had been applied.

The servicing stack update, which was pushed out to the Windows Update site last week, is an essential part of the Vista SP1 puzzle - without it, the operating system’s full service pack can’t be installed.

Despite Microsoft’s decision to hold the update back until its engineers fix the PC reboot error, Redmond insists that Vista SP1, which was released to manufacturing on 4 February and is already available to MSDN subscribers, will still be available for general consumption in mid-March as planned.

Microsoft product manager Nick White said last week that the pre-SP1 release of two final prerequisite updates, which included KB937287 and multi-component update KB938371, were "just one more example of how we're continuing to actively invest in improving the Windows Vista experience through Windows Update".

BUT yesterday - following the spillage of plenty of blood in the TechNet forums - he scaled back that somewhat optimistic claim.

"So far, we've been able to determine that this problem only affects a small number of customers in unique circumstances," White said. "We are working to identify possible solutions and will make the update available again shortly after we address the issue." He did not, though, indicate exactly how many customers had actually experienced the error.

White said that any Vista customers who have been hit by the problem should either call Microsoft or use System Restore to fix the problem.

The Vista team had already admitted that it's been wrangling with driver failure problems during installation of SP1. This latest issue raises the stakes ahead of the planned mass-release in March. ®

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