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The Broken Design of Microsoft's "Fix it" Tool

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the teething-problems dept.

Windows 165

$luggo writes "Curious about MS Fix It, I recently went hunting in the MS knowledge base for articles that provide the new EZ-button. After locating on few, I decided to click the button to download the Microsoft Installer package containing the executable and/or files that automatically enable the DVD Library feature in Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate — on my XP Media Center. 'Surely, MS will use some scripting, HTTP User-Agent sniffing, or even Genuine Windows validation to verify that I am running Vista,' I thought. It did not and I canceled the download when I received the prompt to save the file. So, I wonder: is there a Fix-it for Fix it? Because I can easily imagine someone doing what I did without scrolling to the bottom of the KB article and verifying that the article applies to their OS/version. This is a great example poor design. Why not simply use the download approach that other articles / fixes / service packs use, whereby the user must select the appropriate OS?"

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fail (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26753983)

did you try running it?

Re:fail (1, Insightful)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754591)

I think the point is that they should catch this error as early as possible (i.e. before the download starts) rather than after you've gone to the trouble of downloading and trying to install it.

Re:fail (4, Interesting)

Lostlander (1219708) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754701)

And if your error is ie related and ie won't for example open new tabs properly AND doesn't report the correct OS version? Not reporting the correct OS version from a hidden string is not something many users would be aware of. For them the link would just not work and keep telling them they have the wrong version. Not to mention if you wanted to download it for a pc that can't or doesn't get on the internet.

Oh please! The Story "Fails". (5, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754791)

It's an "error" to be able to download an application package? Maybe users might want to download it to deploy accross a network (God forbid), and they happen to be surfing MS on XP? There could be many reasons to download it on XP. It's not a fuck-up until a Vista-only MS app installs on XP. Until then, it's just some guy downloading a file on XP.

Re:Oh please! The Story "Fails". (2, Insightful)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755355)

Far be it from me to defend Microsoft here, but this tool is clearly not meant for network deployment. There are other, more robust tools for doing just that...WSUS comes to mind.

Still, I think this is a tool bound to fail. MS has this nasty habit of changing their KB page locations, which could make it interesting. Also, is this what MS thought OneCare could be (if I'm remembering the name right)?

Re:Oh please! The Story "Fails". (2, Insightful)

Ralish (775196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755535)

I agree this clearly isn't a tool for network deployment, but that doesn't get past the fact that it might be downloaded on one machine for use on another. The sample KB he used was for fixing a fairly mundane problem, but there may well be other problems this tool would be used for that are more severe, severe enough that the use of a different machine to retrieve the tool may be required. Not to mention the possibility of the affected machine simply not having an active internet connection.

As for KB articles, to my knowledge they only changed things once, when they moved to the KB naming scheme from the Q naming scheme, and that was a long time ago. They may have changed DNS addresses or something, but even when they moved to the KB system, the actual article number didn't change, just the prefix.

Re:Oh please! The Story "Fails". (5, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755899)

Simple scenario, your Vista machine is hosed and can't get online properly so you download the fix tool on your Mac or Linux PC. That took .1 seconds to come up with.

Re:Oh please! The Story "Fails". (3, Interesting)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755849)

There could be many reasons to download it on XP. It's not a fuck-up until a Vista-only MS app installs on XP. Until then, it's just some guy downloading a file on XP.

Reminds of what I went through recently. Lured by all the hype about the new Consolas font (yeah, I get excited about such things), I decided to go download it from Microsoft and have a look. The font is there by default for Vista users, but what the hell, we're all running Windows right, and I don't recall Microsoft ever charging extra for their fonts.

The download went fine. The installation routine, however, required Visual Studio 2005 to be preinstalled so it quit with its error message. Not one to be turned away so easily, I discovered that the font is included with the (free) PowerPoint viewer. Downloaded that, installed it, made a backup of the newly-installed fonts, and uninstalled PowerPoint.

The font, I discovered, is unimpressive.

The moral of the story? Stupid is as stupid does. Self respect comes at a price, and a sane environment (something not available with Windows) is preferrable to chasing the promises of the new.

Re:Oh please! The Story "Fails". (4, Insightful)

tbannist (230135) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755985)

The "error" isn't that you can download the application package. The "error" is that many users are likely to mistakenly download the package when it doesn't apply to them. In this case it would be appropriate to check the system setting and say "Microsoft has detected that your current operating system is . This package is for systems , , ... . Click 'Continue' to download anyway, click 'Cancel' to return to the previous page, or click ' Version' to get this file for operating system ."

That's the right way to do it. Check because you can, let the user override if they want to, and provide a link to what you think the proper file should be (if there is one, otherwise say it doesn't exist), and a way to return to the page they were reading.

Why do so many people assume that things are either all right or all wrong?

Re:fail (3, Funny)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754801)

Why? If it installs and breaks the system then the user may have no choice but to go and get a new computer with vista on it.

If they had kept up to date like good little users then they wouldn't of had this problem so it isn't MS's fault.

Re:fail (5, Insightful)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754965)

I think the point is that they should catch this error as early as possible (i.e. before the download starts) rather than after you've gone to the trouble of downloading and trying to install it.

Please don't. I spend 95% of my time in Gentoo, but I have my ntfs-3g drive mounted. There are plenty of occasions where I'll run into some little Windows program that looks interesting, so I'll download it straight to my "installx0r" folder on Windows. What you're proposing is that I reboot into Windows, attempt to find the site I was on, and download it then? That'll just about guarantee I never use your program.

Now, certain sites (cnet? Nvidia? Can't remember...) will have a suggestion for versions: "oh, it looks like you're running Opera on Linux - try this file," and that can be fine as long as they have a direct chooser for some other OS if that's not what I want.

Summary: I'm with everybody else. Non-issue; OP is an idiot. kdawson too, but we knew that already.

Re:fail (4, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755115)

No, you should be able to download anything. If the executable does anything that is OS-specific, then it should do an OS check when it begins executing. Any doofus can use Vista to download to a network drive, then execute it on a non-Vista machine. A download check does nothing to prevent this.

Re:fail (4, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755121)

And it's entirely unpossible I want to download the file on my Mac, and run it on my Windows box? Maybe the problem it's freakin' solving relates to the Windows computer's network card or web browser?

This article is retarded. Anybody who thought about this "problem" for longer than 20 milliseconds would realize that MS is doing things the right way here.

Re:fail (1, Redundant)

techprophet (1281752) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755973)

You are totally right. Besides this:

...it's entirely unpossible...

I suppose unpossible could be a word, un- being the prefix for opposite, but i think you meant impossible. Now I've had my grammar-naziing for the day. I'm good. The other 211 spelling errors on this page can go unnoticed by me.

Re:fail (1, Redundant)

Asgerix (1035824) | more than 5 years ago | (#26756069)

"Unpossible" is a perfectly cromulent word!

Re:fail (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755323)

What if you're downloading it on one computer to install on another?

Re:fail (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754739)

did you try running it?

Why try running it when you can write a snippy anti-MS screed at Slashdot that will be embraced and accepted as more evidence of MS incompetence?

As for me, I can't imagine wanting to install this thing even if I had Vista. I mean, this from the people that brought us Bob and Clippy? Dinking with my system settings? I don't think so.

Not going to bother understanding (1)

Devir (671031) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755711)

This slashdot post is just too full of errors it never should have been posted in the first place.
Wolf, boy, cry or something on that line.

Maybe it does (3, Insightful)

The Salamander (56587) | more than 5 years ago | (#26753995)

How do you know it doesn't change that when you run it?

Re:Maybe it does (1)

fo0bar (261207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754195)

How do you know it doesn't change that when you run it?

Considering the registry change to enable "DVD Library" is the same in XP MCE as it is in Vista (except it's called something different, "My DVD Movies" I believe, but the registry key is the same name), I'm guessing he didn't.

Re:Maybe it does (-1, Troll)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754439)

Well, Salamander, you lil' scamp, let us not forget computers *are* wonderful tools but for most subjects, students learn at that point in their lives (middle/high school in the US), computers aren't necessary. [zoy.org] Think about your breathing the primary subjects - Math, Science, and Literature/Writing - where do you see the benefits in using computers? Obviously for English classes, having access to computers to type papers is handy, but it's hardly necessary unlike your breathing. Computers can be used in math to help illustrate concepts, but you don't want the students using computers to do their work, otherwise they won't know how to do it without them. And much of science is math - again, not something you want students using computers for.

=Smidge=

Re:Maybe it does (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26754583)

Well, Salamander, you lil' scamp, let us not forget computers *are* wonderful tools but for most subjects, students learn at that point in their lives (middle/high school in the US), computers aren't necessary. [zoy.org] Think about your breathing the primary subjects - Math, Science, and Literature/Writing - where do you see the benefits in using computers? Obviously for English classes, having access to computers to type papers is handy, but it's hardly necessary unlike your breathing. Computers can be used in math to help illustrate concepts, but you don't want the students using computers to do their work, otherwise they won't know how to do it without them. And much of science is math - again, not something you want students using computers for.

=Smidge=

This is such a low-quality post that I have to wonder if you're not really a person at all but someone's failed idea of a Turing test. Really, it's not even worth modding down.

Re:Maybe it does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26755155)

He appears to be a name troll.

Re:Maybe it does (3, Informative)

wastedlife (1319259) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755511)

This guy mostly just posts somewhat relevant copy pasta with links to zoy.org(don't click the link unless you like your browser flooded with gay porn pop-ups, if you do like that kind of thing, have fun!).

Re:Maybe it does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26755885)

This guy mostly just posts somewhat relevant copy pasta with links to zoy.org(don't click the link unless you like your browser flooded with gay porn pop-ups, if you do like that kind of thing, have fun!).

Mmmmm, copy pasta... CTRL-C-licious.

Re:Maybe it does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26756139)

Actually, it downloads videos of it. The new popup blockers that everything has prevent popups. But it does take killer aim to hit the close button on the now-bouncing-like-a-dick-rider window.

Not post worthy... (5, Insightful)

Trracer (210292) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754011)

I haven't tried just this specific "fix", but the MSI the OP almost downloaded can check the installed OS version... so this is not news-worthy.

It gets worse. (4, Insightful)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755067)

Not only are you correct, but the OP is an idiot, and further, Microsoft's employees are simply not that stupid. [tinypic.com]

I submit that we tag this article as "Troll" and force the submitter to hand over both his geek card and his right to flame Microsoft.

Wrong link in summary? (4, Informative)

PotatoFarmer (1250696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754021)

Link in summary takes me to an XP Service Pack 3 page, not a DVD library support thingy.

Re:Wrong link in summary? (3, Funny)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755765)

You actually tried to RTFA? Guards!

What? (5, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754039)

After locating on few, I decided to click the button to download the Microsoft Installer package containing the executable and/or files that automatically enable the DVD Library feature in Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate -- on my XP Media Center. 'Surely, MS will use some scripting, HTTP User-Agent sniffing, or even Genuine Windows validation to verify that I am running Vista,' I thought. It did not and I canceled the download when I received the prompt to save the file.

Is this guy really that big of a dumb-ass? Does he really think that Microsoft should forbid the *downloading* -- not running, downloading -- of a file because of the operating system string?

Maybe, just maybe, I might want to download a file on a DIFFERENT computer and transfer it to my broken computer.

How did this article make the front page?

Re:What? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26754083)

Mod parent up. This is not news.

Re:What? (2, Interesting)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754099)

Aren't the Knowledge Base articles usually specific to a particular OS anyway? I suppose an end user can stumble across a KB article that describes a similar problem, but on a different operating system version, download the file, and find out that it's the wrong one.

Certainly you wouldn't want to prevent someone from downloading a patch because they're not currently using the OS the patch applies to. It's a little silly to present you with a "Pick the OS" selector when there would only be a single choice.

Re:What? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754673)

Aren't the Knowledge Base articles usually specific to a particular OS anyway?

I don't know, I was searching for problems with WPA on XP and one of the articles that came up said it was for Vista. RL intruded and I didn't look any further, but if it was for both it wasn't at all obvious.

Certainly you wouldn't want to prevent someone from downloading a patch because they're not currently using the OS the patch applies to.

I've had that happen. Was after XP SP2, tried to download it at work for obvious reasons and it refused - win2k at work.

Re:What? (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755015)

They generally specify the versions they apply to. They can be as specific as a single version or as general as pretty much all of them. It says in the article which versions it applies to.

Oh, wait no (0, Offtopic)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754115)

Ignore that.

Re:Oh, wait no (This Is Possibly Offtopic) (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755785)

Ignore that.

May I ask why you changed your mind? I question the necessity of asking if the guy is a "dumbass" because smart people can have lapses in judgment too, but otherwise I think you had a good point.

Re:What? (0, Flamebait)

RaceProUK (1137575) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754121)

It's yet another example of this site's anti-MS bias. True, it's at least partly deserved, but that doesn't mean everything that MS does has to be torn apart as yet another failure.

Re:What? (4, Insightful)

esocid (946821) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754219)

I'm also following your line of thinking. Why should it automatically detect your OS. I could be downloading from Fedora laptop to give to Win desktop b/c my network drivers are fried.
If it really isn't for your OS version, it won't work, end of story.

Why is this on the front page? The link isn't even the correct one...and unless I'm not reading this all correctly, it seems like someone is searching for a problem, rather than presenting an obvious one.

Re:What? (4, Informative)

esocid (946821) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754375)

It took 1s to find the correct link fix-it [microsoft.com] .

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26756197)

To bad neither the submitter nor the slashdot "editors" bothered. Why should we?

Re:What? (2, Interesting)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755431)

I'm also following your line of thinking. Why should it automatically detect your OS. I could be downloading from Fedora laptop to give to Win desktop b/c my network drivers are fried. If it really isn't for your OS version, it won't work, end of story. Why is this on the front page? The link isn't even the correct one...and unless I'm not reading this all correctly, it seems like someone is searching for a problem, rather than presenting an obvious one.

Yeah, that's exactly what bothers me about this posting.

There are legitimate grievances against Microsoft, concerning both their business practices and their products, to where there is no need to grasp at straws like this. For the purposes of this post I'll define "grievance" as "anything you dislike badly enough to refuse to do business with them". Maybe you really don't like Windows, maybe you see that they were convicted of monopolistic or anti-competitive practices in several countries and don't care to reward them with your patronage, or maybe you're just cheap and don't want to pay for a Windows license (and don't want to infringe anyone's copyrights) when free OSes of high quality are readily available.

My point is that if you want to criticize Microsoft or Windows and related products, this is one of the more counterproductive ways to do it. I should make one thing known: I do not like Microsoft or Windows at all and I have reasons for that, but I recognize that plenty of other people do like them. To those folks, a half-assed criticism like this looks like you're coming from a position of weakness. It looks like you have some kind of religious crusade or personal agenda and generally something other than facts and reasoning to back up your position. The fact is that if you use too many tactics like this and destroy your own credibility, your audience probably won't take you seriously again. Not only that, they will often ignore anyone who sounds too much like you even if that person does come up with facts and reasoning.

Silly tactics like "clutching at straws" and "making much ado about nothing" in matters that are usually handled by facts and logic (we're talking about computing here, not creative writing) are a good way to harm your own credibility, at least in the eyes of a savvy audience. It's primitive, but if you must imagine some huge contest between Windows and $ALTERNATIVE then think of it this way: the "other side" has their shills and their religious crusaders and their frothing-at-the-mouth irrational people, too. This is a great way to give (figurative, of course) ammunition to them. If you must believe this is a contest, some kind of glorious battle for domination of the desktop, think of this as arming your enemy. You don't win a contest by doing that.

Re:What? (3, Informative)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754455)

Then there is the title- broken design? Wtf does the downloader have to do with the design of the tool itself? He didn't even run the tool! This editor needs to go...

Re:What? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26754485)

How did this article make the front page?

It's simple really: MS-bashing + kdawson = front page

Note that in this formula, facts and intelligence are strictly optional.

Re:What? (1)

Lostlander (1219708) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754487)

Not to mention if the user has a corrupted user/system string in addition to whatever he's downloading a fix for...

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26754819)

How did this article make the front page?

We seem to have gone into a panic MS bashing frenzy mode, even for Slashdot standards, after Win7 beta got a positive reception and might point towards a sane OS release from MS. Seems like we don't know what to do with that :) Like the UAC story a few stories down, putting a negative spin on MS responding with changes because of user feedback on a beta.. yeah.. that is bad..

Re:What? (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26756161)

It's nearly as amusing as all the McCain campaign trail videos with his supporters denouncing Obama as a terrorist Muslim. Just goes to show that the self-style "intellectual elite" are as stupidly human as everybody else (particularly those they deride) and turn to lies when they feel cornered.

The broken brain of $luggo (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26754905)

$luggo I hope you are sat at your computer with cheeks burning from embarrasment. You fuckwit.

I'll be the first to agree the MS download site is not always the easiest to navigate and find the downloads you want, but come on man, have you never installed anything that doesn't do the system checks when run? You tit.

Re:What? (1)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755171)

I can already imagine the slashdot story: I tried to download a fix-it patch on my Ubuntu box and it failed. What if I wanted to copy it to the Windows machine on a USB key!?!? This is a broken design!!! Windoze sucks!!!

Re:What? (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755327)

sure, that reasonable, but this is still probably not the best way to design this.

Would it be so hard for them to pop up a dialog that says "hey, your about to download an installer for a different version of the OS than what you are running. This installer wont work on your computer. OK, cancel, download the correct installer."

This is supposed to be a resource for people who are not particularly computer literate. Its usually a better idea to force the knowledgeable folks to click an extra box and make it easy for the people who don't know what their doing, rather than the other way around.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26755751)

You have to actually look at the page in question to understand his comment - it is not your usual hotfix download, it's some kind of web-based script.

Nice idea, but... (-1, Troll)

nicc777 (614519) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754091)

...can you seriously just trust a script to change stuff on your production box?

Re:Nice idea, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26754659)

umm, sure, I write scripts for my production boxen all the time and trust them. This is the OS DEVELOPER providing the script, while it should go through at least as much testing as my scripts go through I'm more likely to trust a MS script on a MS server than a random script off the interwebs to it, even if both have had the same level of testing in my environments.

wtf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26754101)

You don't even know. You didn't even test it. Editor must be asleep on this early friday morning.

Re:wtf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26754397)

You don't even know. You didn't even test it. Editor must be asleep on this early friday morning.

"Editor"? This is posted by kdawson, not an editor.

The right tool for the job (1)

Covert Penguin (1094443) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754119)

I find it humorous that Microsoft releases Windows Defender for spyware and Windows LIVE for antivirus when it would benefit them much more to integrate the, albeit limited, protection provided by these clients directly into Windows.

In other words, fix the problems with Windows directly instead of pretending to be the valiant solution provider in offering add-on products to fix the problems they originally created.

Re:The right tool for the job (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26754273)

Yes, because if there's one thing everyone wants, its not just to have an antivirus/spyware program that doesn't work properly (windows defender/live are nigh useless), but it's to have it possibly forced to be running at all times as a system component.

I'm not trying to be ad hominem, but that would be a Very Bad Idea. Not to mention it could create new antitrust/bundling issues.

I would compare this to forcing someone who buys a bugatti to bundle in a yugo.

Re:The right tool for the job (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754371)

Just give the Yugo to Jeremy Clarkson, along with the keys to a tank.

Re:The right tool for the job (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754297)

They could, but then providers of anti-spyware/malware software would sue. Just like what happened in Europe. MS are damned if they do, and damned if they don't.

Re:The right tool for the job (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754629)

As much as that is 100% accurate, they have nobody to blame but themselves.

Like people said before, just make a wubi fix-it button, and we're all set.

User-Agent "sniffing" (5, Informative)

nlewis (1168711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754153)

User-Agent "sniffing" is a bad approach under any circumstances - it's too easy, not to mention common, to fake. And since all script-based approaches I am aware of rely on User-Agent detection, they would be effectively broken as well.

If I were doing it, I would put the OS detection in the setup EXE itself. That way, the setup program could *authoritatively* determine what OS was in use, and block installation onto any invalid systems. But we may never know since you didn't finish the download and give it a shot. ;)

Re:User-Agent "sniffing" (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754395)

It IS in the setup EXE itself. Setup executables, at least Microsoft's .msi ones, check the OS version and CPU architecture to make sure they are compatible.

Re:User-Agent "sniffing" (0, Redundant)

nlewis (1168711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754537)

Semantics, semantics. My point was that User-Agent detection is *not* the right way to handle the problem.

As long as the setup program (EXE, MSI or otherwise) handles the detection prior to installation, it meets the requirement I stated: "That way, the setup program could *authoritatively* determine what OS was in use, and block installation onto any invalid systems".

Re:User-Agent "sniffing" (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755271)

I was just saying that it's not just a good idea, it's implemented. :)

But yes, user-agent detection is definitely the stupid, cheap web-monkey way to do it... hehe

So, um... (5, Insightful)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754171)

'Surely, MS will use some scripting, HTTP User-Agent sniffing, or even Genuine Windows validation to verify that I am running Vista,' I thought. It did not and I canceled the download when I received the prompt to save the file. So, I wonder: is there a Fix-it for Fix it? Because I can easily imagine someone doing what I did

Yeah. It would be terrible if someone could do what you did: Download a patch and then throw it away. If you wanted to be scared, why not actually run it and see what happens? That's the right time for it to check your operating system.

Here's something to think about. What if the file you were trying to download was the one you needed to fix your network connection? Wouldn't you want to do exactly what you said you did, and download it on another computer first? Or do I need to make a car analogy about how your BMW keys don't prevent you from sitting in the back of a Ford Crown Victoria?

Re:So, um... (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754235)

It's Slashdot. The car analogy is mandatory. You have 30 seconds to comply.

Re:So, um... (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754345)

(Based on a true story)
Say my car's silencer falls off. I can't really drive it any more, but it doesn't stop me getting in a colleague's car to get to and from the office.

Re:So, um... (1)

SBrach (1073190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755761)

Say my car's silencer falls off. I can't really drive it any more

Sure you could. You just need some rims and an enormous spoiler.

Re:So, um... (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755971)

I will admit, the burbling sound was pretty nice. But it was backed up by a 1.2 8v 4-pot, which is less nice. Plus everyone would have thought I was a chav.

Re:So, um... (3, Funny)

cephus (1471105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755361)

If you are going to make a car analogy, do it right!

This is like when my BMW broke down and I drove my wife's Honda to the auto parts store:

Me: I need a starter motor for a 2005 BMW 325i

Clerk: I'm sorry sir, I can't sell you that part

Me: Why not?

Clerk: You are driving a 1998 Honda

Me: Yes, but I need a starter motor for a 2005 BMW

Clerk: Sir, I clearly saw you drive up in a 1998 Honda Accord

Me: Of course you did. I couldn't drive my BMW because the starter motor is dead!

Clerk: It's not dead, it's just pining for the fjords

How did I get the Microsoft editon of slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26754181)

I needz to knowz

Wow. (1, Troll)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754183)

You guys are really hitting the bottom of the barrel in the MS jihad movement, aren't you?

You mean MS lets you download a patch even though it doesn't apply to the machine you download from?! CRAZY!?!

What next, going to claim Bill Gates is the antichrist and is just trying to somehow make money off of giving away most of his money to charity? Oh...wait, you already do that. Ahahaha. Jackasses.

As someone who HAS used the tool (4, Informative)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754211)

I know, using a Microsoft automated support tool is an instant deduction on my geek points. However, I had a registry issue caused by a botched Office update, and the tool automated a bunch of registry edits and menu navigating, and it actually worked.

I've also had a few friends (of course, I do the PC repair for them) use it with positive results.

One of the first things that it asks you is if you're using it on the PC that is having the issue. If you hit "a different PC", it asks you to run it on the other PC, or it gives you step-by-step manual directions.

Having a friend with an inverse situation (Vista issue, XP fix-it - network related, if I recall correctly), he ran the fix-it tool and hit "problem on this PC"- and it refused to run (wrong OS error).

The Fix-it tool can fix a lot of errors that would prevent proper internet access too- and not every Windows PC has internet.

Since the submitter never even tried to run the file (because someone running Ubuntu, or even XP would never need to download a Vista fix-it for his friend), this is really a nonstory.

OK- it's changed somewhat (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754407)

This new iteration of the tool is somewhat different; however, most of what I said is relevant.

On most issues, it doesn't seem to do anything manually anymore. I tried a Fix-it for a job stuck in a print queue (a network printer on a different network) for XP- it worked fine. I tried a Vista fix-it regarding log files: Open it, it opens a dialog that says "This fix-it does not apply to your system" and closes.

The page even says:

Note If you are not on the computer that has the problem, you can save the automatic fix to a flash drive or to a CD, and then you can run it on the computer that has the problem.

It doesn't ask you if the PC with the issue is the one you're on anymore; however, if the Fix-it is for a different OS, it won't run at all.

Re:As someone who HAS used the tool (1)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755595)

The sad thing is that there is no Linux equivalent, which seems to be the sole reason for all the criticism. :/ My Ubuntu has been broken for months because PulseAudio butchered the sound system. For some reason, the Ubuntu team has not been able to push an update through the update manager to fix it, despite this being a "Long Term" release. Possibly, the fix involves editing configuration files which is hard to automate using the apt system. For situations like these, a FixIt script written in bash or something would be perfect.

And there are millions of how to guides on Linux. How to fix nvidia drivers, proprietary network drives, Compiz, installing windows fonts, repairing broken file systems etc. All contain dozens of shell commands that has to be typed in by the reader. FixIt would be very useful for those occasions.

Something simillar happened to me (0, Troll)

CoolCat (594452) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754213)

I was testing ubuntu and accidentally I typed sudo rm -rf / and woosh! everything broke!

This is unbearable!

They're simple. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26754259)

"Why not simply use the download approach that other articles / fixes / service packs use, whereby the user must select the appropriate OS?"

Well, that's kind of like saying "Why not make the Hummer with better gas mileage?"

Windows is relatively stupid, it's used by relatively stupid people, and MS knows their main userbase is relatively too stupid to make a choice, so they don't give 'em one.

Doesn't do anything if it's not for your OS... (1)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754303)

While you can download the FixIt on any OS (after all you may be grabbing it on a different machine, at work, at a library or so if your internet at home is down because of a problem you're trying to FixIt) if you run the FixIt application you got on the wrong OS.. it simply tells you the Fix is not meant for you. If it's already applied it silently churns away says, the fix is done and doesn't change a thing.

Sniffing for user agents basically means you're restricting your fixes to systems which accurately report their OS to the webpage, which may not be true from another system, through certain proxies, using another web browser than IE, etc.

Here, let me put this in perspective (5, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754427)

I tried to download a Linux program to my Windows box and it let me. This is obviously a bug in the Linux program.

Re:Here, let me put this in perspective (1)

Lostlander (1219708) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754619)

I think this is probably the most correct analogy in the set. OS validation at download time is tricky at best and rarely if ever reliable.

Brain Repair (5, Funny)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754531)

Curious about Brain-Repair, I recently went hunting in the Slashdot Brain Repository for summaries that provide the new brain-repair-button. After locating on few [sic], I decided to click the button to download the Slashdot package to automatically enable the the Consider Actions feature in Idiot OS - on my brain.

"Surely, Slashdot will use some pupil dilation measurements, phrenology, or even invasive surgery to verify that I do in fact have a brain," I thought. It did not and I stopped in my tracks when I received the prompt to read the study materials into my brain myself.

So, I wonder: is there a repair button for Brain-Repair? Because I can easily imagine someone doing what I did without scrolling to the bottom of the Slashdot Brain Repository and verifying that the Consider Actions package applies to their brain. This is a great example poor design. [sic] Why not simply use the Brain Preview Jar approach that other Repositories use, whereby the user must select the appropriate brain?

Re:Brain Repair (1)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755199)

Just imagine the chaos that would ensue if by chance a right-brained person accidentally clicked on the left-brained-repair-button? We might need to bootstrap a live distro alternate reality recovery module to help us restore the original image before it does permanent damage to the hardware. Better prepare those WinBrainPE(tm) disks in advance just in case.

Article Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26754539)

The Broken Logic of Luggo's "Slashdot" Tool

Let me guess. Yep, kdawson. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26754543)

Slashdot, I've loved you for a long time. However, over the past couple of years you've really started to veer off-course. You can find all the rants elsewhere, so I'll just get to the point: either Idle and kdawson go, or I do.

Sincerely yours,
Loyal Slashdot readers everywhere

Re:Let me guess. Yep, kdawson. (1)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26756185)

Agreed. When I was younger it seemed Slashdot was a home to experts and intellectuals of all fields (some beyond me), but lately I've noticed a lot of sensationalism and immaturity in the post quality. Either I'm getting smarter as I age, or the bar has been lowered.

So basically you'r telling us (5, Insightful)

jernejk (984031) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754677)

you had a headache (your original problem), went to a drugstore and saw an menstrual pain reliever, which neither applies to your (male) platform nor describe your symptoms on the package, you bought the menstrual pain reliever anyway and now you're ranting that clerk didn't ask you if you were buying it for yourself. With all due respect, sir, basically you're telling us you're an idiot.

Re:So basically you'r telling us (1)

Markimedes (1292762) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755249)

Bad analogy. Midol works for headaches.

Re:So basically you'r telling us (1)

wastedlife (1319259) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755627)

That looks like it might be a good analogy, does it come in cars?

Yes, prevent me from doing what I want (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754693)

What a great idea that would be.

Because no one ever downloads things on their work machine and takes them home to their own machine on a ucb thumb drive thing. Or have network issues and want to download something on their laptop and copy it to their desktop machine (say the router died and they have a cell phone network internet pc card on their laptop). Or just plain old happen to be using the XP machine to download something they are going to run on the 3 vista machines.

No much better that the web site checks and doesn't let you download the file you know you want.

This is one of the most retarded "articles" I've seen on slashdot, and obviously that is saying a lot.

Seize every little opportunity (4, Insightful)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26754923)

From TFA:

This is a great example poor design.

Seriously, get the fuck off of yourself. People in this community will use any, any excuse to bash Microsoft, citing "bad design" when there are... I don't know, millions of software download sites that don't check details about your computer.

"Bad design" would be if the software itself didn't first check important details about the system before making any serious changes to it. And it appears to me that this Fix-It program was well-designed to take these things into consideration.

Valid arguments about how MS may do something poorly is one thing. Extremely common around here. But nitpicking an "issue" as stupid and trivial as this made the main site is just pathetic.

Re:Seize every little opportunity (1)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755129)

No kidding. The OP is now asking for traps to prevent you from downloading tools for OS's that you don't have? That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. I can download Linux tools on Windows, Windows tools on Mac's, Beos tools on OS/2... this isn't an issue!!! The OP should be moderated troll.

One Word: Kdawsonfud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26755705)

Seriously, kdawson's legendary hate for anything microsoft is getting a little old.

I know every website likes to have a mascot or quirky editor or whatever, but please, get someone with a brain for a change, not some ideologe.

Can I have... (3, Insightful)

jason.sweet (1272826) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755013)

the last 90 seconds of my life back, please?

Working as intended... (4, Funny)

Ironica (124657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755123)

I'm sure that what happens is you download it, run it, it says, "Oh, I detect that you're not running Windows Vista! Let me FIX that for you!...There, $104.99 has been charged to your credit card. Where else do you want to go today?"

81 posts so far (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755183)

81 posts so far, and none mention "fucks it". Slashdot ain't what it used to be.

Fix your Expectations (2, Insightful)

Conficio (832978) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755645)

Isn't this a case of Fix-Your-Expectations?

First to say, I'm oblivious to what the Fix-It tool is.

But I'd think I can download a fix, onto a machine that is not the target machine I want to fix. The tool itself should safely check if the fix is applicable, not the download.

Curious? (2, Funny)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755721)

Curious about Ms Fix It

Not after what Ms. Pac Man did to me!

So is this a new Twitter dupe? (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26755961)

I realize that other posters on here can be that stupid, but this has a certain odor about it.

Also, kdawson sucks. He needs to go wherever Zonk went.

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