Microsoft began shipping Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) late last month, but while the vast majority of users appear to be having a successful experience putting the update in place, some subset of users is encountering fatal errors or other installation glitches instead.

The release of the first service pack for virtually any Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) operating system has traditionally been considered the release that many corporate IT organizations wait for as the fully patched version.


While that does not appear to have been the case for Windows 7 -- which originally shipped in October 2009 -- for some, the experience has been frustrating.

After beta testing SP1 since last July, Microsoft released the final code to PC OEMs on February 22.

According to posts on Microsoft's Windows 7 forums, some users have experienced installation failures that generate a fatal error.

"Your computer may freeze or restart to a black screen that has a '0xc0000034' error message after you install Windows 7 Service Pack 1," said the message that accompanies one error.

Another error yields an "Error C000009A applying update operation 119595 of 334565 (\Registry\...) when loading SP1," message, according to forum posts.

"Windows update was stopping at that error and it wouldn't say to continue," said a post from one user with the screen name "gnucleargnat" on Microsoft's forum.

While gnucleargnat found a successful resolution, that hasn't always been the case.

"[This has been] two OS service packs 1 screw-ups in a row [counting] Vista SP1," complained a user with the screen name "submarineshooter." "MS needs new management," the post said.

In fact, for the number of licenses sold, Windows 7 has done phenomenally. In late January, Microsoft revealed it had already sold more than 300 million units in just over a year on the market.

Additionally, by then 90 percent of enterprises had already begun the migration to Windows 7, even though SP1 was still a month away.

With that many copies in use, a month into distribution of Windows 7 SP1, more glitches might be expected to have shown up by now.

Indeed, many of the users on Microsoft's forums seem to have found one way or another to overcome roadblocks to successful installation.

In addition, Microsoft has published a pair of knowledge base articles presenting ways to overcome some of the problems.

A Microsoft spokesperson was not able to respond in time for publication.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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