Saturday, April 05, 2008


Oh, but not as angry as me. My installation of Vista Ultimate on my MacBook is FUCKED. Microsoft's 'Frankenbuild' update (kb929391) seems to be the culprit: the Software Licensing Service won't start (error 0xc004d103), so the Control Panel is empty (reduced functionality?) as in my previous post. I have enabled all services - even the obviously stupid ones like "Tablet PC" (yes, Windows can't tell if it's running on a tablet and start the service itself manually) - and rebooted. Nothing, nada, nil.

This isn't so bad, I can still get to the Control Panel applets by expanding the dropdown in My Computer, but after a few times you can tell when things are going bad in Windows. Incidentally, a Google search for 'empty control panel vista' (without the quotes) gets 1,680,000 results so it's not just me.

The only thing I have done recently was to try to start Vista via "My Boot Camp" in Parallels (which lets you run Windows as a virtual machine in OSX). It failed (it always fails for me) and the next time I booted into Vista it installed "something" and demanded an immediate reboot. Maybe it was KB929391, maybe it was a Parallels something, maybe Parallels messed with Windows and made Vista angry. Parallels asked for Admin permissions before trying to start Vista, which I thought was odd, but hey, I'm just a user, why tell me what's going on.

Still, I was thinking about sticking the Windows Server 2008 64 bit version on it anyway, like this guy has. Bearing in mind that my copy of Vista is from my MSDN subscription and my employer pays a couple of thousand pounds per year for it, I think I will raise a support incident with Microsoft about it first, as I really don't want to have to spend the time reinstalling when I could be working. (Edit: I can't be arsed to call Microsoft, they make it very hard to do deliberately)

I tried to like Vista, I really did. My new app looks great in it, I like some of the things they have done 'under the hood' like ASLR - but for sure it doesn't like me. It's fast and super-slick on my MacBook, and up till now everything worked. Well, that's Windows for you: fine until it goes wrong, then you're in a world of pain..

Edit: Now Windows Update fails with error code 80070426. Apple Software Update (for Windows) fails with a "Out Of Memory" error.

I'm downloading WS2008 x64 (via Virtual PC on my G4 as ever.) - nothing to lose if it doesn't work right (except my time) as Vista obviously needs reinstalling, unless my commenter Richard can save the day :)


Richard said...

Hi there,

I'm in exactly the same boat this morning. As far as I'm aware I had no pending updates to be installed, and had rebooted without issues since that KB929391 update.
Like you, the only thing I had done was to unsuccessfully try and boot my Vista Boot Camp partition in Parallels. This failed, I believe, because of a known issue with the latest OS X 10.5.2 security update and Parallels (
When this boot failed, it seems to have broken something in Vista. Could be a red herring, but I'm going to follow it as a lead. If I find out how to sort this I'll share the solution with you!



大门 said...

Hi, I came across the exact same problem as you guys. I wonder if you can give me a solution. What's going on afterward? Thanks. My email is

Richard said...

Hi 大门,

Sorry - I didn't get a solution to this. Microsoft would not help me, so in the end I removed Vista from my MacBook, never to return!


Stuart Dunkeld said...

Me neither - I did put Windows Server 2008 on it in the end. I suggest reinstalling Vista..