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For additional information on handling corruption, see the BC expert notes on corruption and see MOSC Note 1088018.1 - Handling Oracle Database Corruption Issues.

Windows Patches causing server corruption

In an earlier Oracle News alert, we noted that Microsoft patches are very different than UNIX patches, and they often cannot be backed-out after “automatic update” application:

I sent my PC to a shop that specialized in such matters and I was told that many others had experienced the same problem and they were making significant revenue from the poorly implemented Windows patches.  I was told:

·         Unlike UNIX and Linux patches, there is no mechanism to back-up and recover from “bad” patches.  It’s a one-way trip to a server outage, with no safety net.

·         They would not be able to salvage my Windows registry entries or my integrations with other products, and I need to start over, almost from scratch.

Here we see another example of a Windows patch that crippled an Oracle database:

I have an Oracle Database installed in a Windows 2000 server, in last days I loaded down some patches from windows to inprove security in the server but after this the Data base is wrong, I can´t log in at it. The nex is the error that it generates in the log archive.

Errors in file D:\Oracle\admin\migra\bdump\migraSMON.TRC:
ORA-00600: internal error code, arguments: [ktfdfinsert1], [4], [41042], [], [], [], [], []

SMON: terminating instance due to error 600
Instance terminated by SMON, pid = 1300

According to this ZDNet January 2005 article, Windows patches are causing problems in all areas of IT management:

That's despite the fact that patches have frequently caused additional problems within corporate networks by turning off needed functions, or because the fixes themselves have had flaws.

Back in 2004, Todd Towles, a network systems analyst for a medium-size retail chain, was overseeing 40 Windows NT workstations that were a low patching priority, since most security threats focused on Windows XP 2000. One time, he patched the systems before fully testing the fix and immediately encountered problems.

"Five of them blue-screened on reboot, which didn't go over well with the professionals who were using them," Towles said.

In this February 2005 article, the author notes that his Windows machine was “crippled” by a Microsoft patch.

Timeline to Disaster

Day 1: Yippee! The download was successful. I rebooted and after a slow boot I was informed that SP2 was now all mine and I let it get on with its updating. After which, I rebooted, and yet again it was slow but I put it all down to part of the updating process.

Day 2: Suspicion, coupled with furrowed brow, was my response on the morning of day two. My PC was really slow in booting up but again I thought it's probably just some 'update' thing. Hell, I had a muffin, I was happy – what the hell?

Day 3: My PC was greeted by flying spittle and a colourful montage of expletives involving anatomy, maternal figures and copulation.

Day 4-14: Every day since then has been one of resignation that my PC has bypassed middle age and gone straight to prehistoric.


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