How to Install Service Packs and Hotfixes When Windows Is Running in Safe Mode

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Article ID: 818460 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

This article describes how to best install and remove service packs and hotfix updates on Windows-based computers that are running in Safe mode.

MORE INFORMATION

Typically, the installation of service packs and hotfix updates is performed when Windows is running normally. You can start your Windows-based computer in Safe mode to help you diagnose problems. Microsoft has the following recommendations for the installation of service packs and hotfixes when your computer does not function in normal mode:

Installing Service Packs and Hotfixes

Microsoft recommends that you do not install Windows service packs or hotfix updates when Windows is running in Safe mode.

When you install a service pack or hotfix, the Setup program determines which devices are installed in the computer and which Windows components are enabled. Because certain drivers and components are unavailable when Windows runs in Safe mode, the service pack or update Setup program may incorrectly calculate the components that require updating. If you install a service pack or update while Windows runs in Safe mode, and then you restart Windows normally, you may experience intermittent file errors or registry errors. Additionally, when you try to install a service pack or hotfix update while Windows is running in Safe mode, you may receive an error message similar to the following:
ERROR_INSTALL_SERVICE_FAILURE
1601 The Windows Installer service could not be accessed.
Contact your support personnel to verify that the Windows
Installer service is properly registered.


Because of this, Microsoft recommends that you do not install service packs or updates when Windows is running in Safe mode unless you cannot start Windows normally.

Important If you do install a service pack or update while Windows is running in Safe mode, immediately reinstall it after you start Windows normally.

Removing Service Packs and Hotfixes

Microsoft recommends that you do not remove Windows service packs or hotfix updates when Windows is running in Safe mode.

Because the removal (uninstall) program for a service pack or hotfix update only restores settings (file replacements and registry changes) that it previously changed, and because the removal program maintains a record of these changes, no problems are expected to occur when you remove a service pack or hotfix when Windows is running in Safe mode. However, Microsoft recommends that you remove a service pack or hotfix while Windows is running in normal mode, where possible.

Properties

Article ID: 818460 - Last Review: December 3, 2007 - Revision: 3.4
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard Edition
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