First of all I want to tell that this blog post is not really a rant against an OS or software vendor but I wanted to share my latest “bad luck” to create “awareness” regarding auto-update features…
My main computer at Home is a Windows 7 64bits machine (no bad joke already please…) that is really running well… until 3 weeks ago: on this PC, I installed a mandatory anti-virus, lots of Adobe software and development tools, some games, a huge photo library (about 8000) etc… nothing bad at all you would say, but one day my wife was just opening Skype when some nasty messages started to pop-up.
“COM Surrogate has stopped working”
“Access violation …. in module ntdll.dll ….”
“Program X has stopped working”
My first reaction was WTF!?! Then I started to try to understand what was happening exactly, which program could cause the trouble…but messages were so explicit, and I had no luck with Google this time, that I finally gave up and decided to go for a fresh install.
During my re-installation process, the problem happened again (Oh my…) but this time, as there were less programs installed and I had a better luck with Google, I found out that it was the latest update of my anti-virus that was causing the problem That piece of software was running fine for years until that damned auto-update! I was very disappointed, frustrated and about to uninstall this program forever.
But thinking twice, I remembered that such problems had happened already several times (maybe not that bad…), with several different software and different OS (maybe some of you remember my MacOS X failure in a middle of a talk…).
Moral of the story: Consumers, beware auto-updates – Vendors, please try to better test your updates before pushing them live to avoid dramatic situation.
PS: for the record, my anti-virus is Avast and their latest update (5.1.899) seems to break some Win 7 64bits machine but not all of them. A workaround is to disable the behavior shield which seems to be the faulty part.