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Windows Vista update 'kills' USB devices

As SP1 automatic download goes MIA

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Updated Microsoft has admitted it is investigating reports that a recent Windows Vista security update causes havoc with some USB devices, but the software giant has yet to provide a fix for the cock-up.

The Windows Vista SP1 pre-requisite KB938371 update was released last week, but some unfortunate Vista customers have claimed that their USB mice and keyboards - among other devices - refuse to work after the update is installed.

One reader told The Register that he gave up after several frustrating attempts to remove the erroneous update.

The company said in a statement today:

“We are aware of concerns that a recent Microsoft update may be causing problems with USB devices. We are investigating the matter, and at this time, do not have any information to share.”

Yesterday, meanwhile, Microsoft finally pumped out Vista service pack one (SP1) in the remaining 31 languages available as a manual download via its Windows Update site.

However, the automatic version of the download remains missing in action. Redmond had chalked mid-April as the date when SP1 would start downloading onto computers across the world.

Now Microsoft has been forced to admit that it has once again missed a crucial service pack deadline.

The real trouble fun will start when computers begin receiving the automatic SP1 update, so why is Microsoft delaying getting the party started?

A spokesman told El Reg: “Microsoft wants to ensure customers have the best possible experience with Windows Vista, including installing SP1; this has always been the priority. Until SP1 is automatically distributed via Windows Update, consumers are able to download SP1 manually using Windows Update.”

Elsewhere in Microsoft land, rumours are wildly scurrying through the interweb suggesting that Windows XP SP3 could throw its anchor overboard with a release to manufacturers on 21 April followed by a general release a week later.

That's news that is likely to satisfy plenty of people who have decided to swerve Vista and soldier on with XP until Windows 7; the momentous occasion which some, including BillyG himself, hint could come as early as the second half of next year. ®

Update

Microsoft contacted El Reg late Thursday to point out that the Windows update currently playing havoc with a number of USB devices was in fact Vista SP1 pre-requisite, KB938371 and not an update for its spyware blocker Windows Defender.

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