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July 13, 2010 will bring with it the death of Windows XP Service Pack 2, a landmark upgrade in the history of Windows, of a magnitude that will probably never be reached again by any service pack. Essentially, when Microsoft released Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) on April 21, 2008, it also signed the death sentence for its predecessor.

Per the Windows lifecycle, all service packs reach end of support within 12 or 24 months after a new service pack is offered. This, however, has no bearing on the overall support commitment for XP. This means that customers currently running Windows XP will be able to continue doing so provided that they upgrade to the latest service pack, revealed Eric Ligman, Global Partner Experience Lead Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group.

“The terms of the Service Pack Support policy do not impact the Mainstream Support phase or Extended Support phase dates for Windows XP as a product. Windows XP transitioned from the Mainstream Support phase to the Extended Support phase on April 14, 2009,” Ligman said. “During the Extended Support phase for Windows XP (April 14, 2009 – April 8, 2014), Microsoft will continue to provide paid support and security updates at no additional charge. More »

Microsoft has worked to allow customers running Windows 7’s predecessor to resolve issues that caused backups to fail via a fix offered for download. According to the Redmond company, users of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 can experience failures of the backing up process and the logging of Event ID 12293 on their computers. The software giant did not explain the source of the problems or offer any details beyond describing the issue itself; however, it did confirm that Service Pack 1 and SP2 releases of both Vista and Windows Server 2008 could experience backup glitches.

“You try to perform a backup on a computer that is running Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008. However, the backup stops immediately after it starts. Additionally, the following event is logged in the Application log: Event ID: 12293; Source: VSS; Message: Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Error calling a routine on a Shadow Copy Provider,” read the symptoms offered by Microsoft.

While an update is not available to resolve the problem, Microsoft is indeed offering end users a resource designed to prevent further failed backups. In this regard, a hotfix can be grabbed from Microsoft Support that will help customers deal with the issue at hand. As is the case with all Windows hotfixes, the company is emphasizing that the fix is designed to resolve exclusively the problem described above and that unaffected customers need not apply the resolve. More »

Microsoft has made available for download a reliability refresh designed to resolve issues affecting Windows Vista, including platforms upgraded to Service Pack 2, in Bluetooth pairing scenarios. According to the Redmond company, Bluetooth pairing issues affect only Windows Vista, and not customers running Windows XP or the latest version of the Windows client, Windows 7. Customers can now grab an update from the Microsoft Download Center, set up to resolve reliability issues associated with Windows Portable Devices (WPD).

“You try to pair a Bluetooth device with a computer that is running Windows Vista. When you initiate Bluetooth pairing from the Bluetooth device, the Bluetooth services on the Bluetooth device are not enabled automatically. You have to manually enable the services,” the software giant explained. “This issue does not occur when you initiate Bluetooth pairing from the computer. In this situation, the Bluetooth device’s services are turned on automatically.”

Microsoft is offering the Vista SP2 Bluetooth pairing reliability update for both the 32-bit (x86) and the 64-bit (x64) versions of the operating system. “To apply this update, you must have hotfix 971514 installed on a computer that is running Windows Vista Service Pack 2,” the company informed. More »

With the advent of Windows Vista, Microsoft praised the boost in energy consumption efficiency in comparison with Windows XP. Still, there are exceptions to every rule. And while Vista indeed uses less energy over XP, users of the operating system can still experience excessive power use. One such example involves Vista SP2 and earlier during sleep or hibernation, and the HD audio controller, the Redmond-based company explained. The software giant has noted that there are two scenarios in which Vista SP2 sucks more power than it should.

“If you put the computer to sleep or into hibernation when it is running on AC power, the high definition (HD) audio controller continues to use power. Additionally, even after the computer transitions to DC power while the computer is asleep or in hibernation, the HD audio controller still uses power. This behavior persists even though you disable the ‘Allow this device to wake the computer’ option in the HD audio controller properties,” Microsoft explained.

In addition, the company has revealed that there is also an issue associated with the Wake on Ring properties not responding to the configuration introduced by users. “After you disable the ‘Allow this device to wake the computer’ option in the HD audio controller properties, the Wake on Ring feature still wakes the computer from sleep or hibernation,” Microsoft stated. More »