×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Failed Win XP Upgrade Wipes Out UK Government Agency

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the automatic-upgrades-deemed-harmful dept.

Windows 731

Lurker McLurker writes "The BBC and the Register report that the UK Government's Department for Work and Pensions attempted to upgrade seven PCs from Windows 2000 to Windows XP, and ended up with BSODs on over 60,000 machines. I wonder if the National Health Service is regretting awarding Microsoft a £500 million contract now." The Guardian also has a good story.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

731 comments

The reason for the upgrade (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10924662)

They wanted that new version of Internet Explorer with the fancy built-in pop-up blocker.

Re:The reason for the upgrade (0, Troll)

Not_Wiggins (686627) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924847)

They wanted that new version of Internet Explorer with the fancy built-in pop-up blocker.

Looks like they got a deal; they got the version that also blocks viruses, worms, and abuse of Solitaire! ;)

Re:The reason for the upgrade (5, Funny)

phaln (579585) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924898)

In other news, productivity is UP 64% since the day before the crash!

Typical (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10924668)

Typical M$$$$ BS.

Uh-oh... (5, Interesting)

Dynamoo (527749) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924671)

You know that sinking feeling when you've just pressed the wrong button...

..of course, it seems to be our friends EDS behind it, who are just great at making a mess of government contracts.. and then, the government just gives them another one.

This is typical of our government. (5, Insightful)

bairy (755347) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924676)

If something is actually working right (and it's rare), change it!
I can imagine it now
Intern: "Sir, Microsoft have bought out Windows XP Service Pack 2. It's had numerous bug reports of dying pcs and software not working anymore. THIS is the time to upgrade to Windows XP, then upgrade to SP2 because windowsupdate won't stop bugging the hell out of us until we do!"
Boss: "You mean we could cock something up, and it might not even be our fault for a change?! Lets pay someone vast amounts of money to do it!"

The Gaurdian reports it was a week long outage. Now, I may be completely wrong here, but surely all they had to do was restore those pcs back to their previous Windows 2000 state using the daily backups they do... I mean, it's only common sense to do backups on such a critical syst...oh, wait, nevermind.

</cynical>

TCO costs rise scarily with Windows XP failures? (4, Interesting)

hattig (47930) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924801)

So ... 5 working days, 60,000 PCs (= 60,000 employees?)

Assume £8/hr employee. 40 hours of work a week. 60,000 unusable systems.

=> TCO increased by £19.2m for the 8 PCs they upgraded (before costs incurred fixing the problem)! £2m TCO per system for Windows XP eh? A clear example that Windows TCO can increase rather horribly if something goes wrong, and this was a standard upgrade. It's £320 per PC if you count all 60,000 systems - that's still horrendous.

big surprise? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10924679)

Now you wonder why corportations do not want to upgrade to WIN XP..

Another nail? (1, Interesting)

Justin205 (662116) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924680)

Hopefully just another nail in Microsoft's coffin...

When a government ends up with BSODs on 60000 computers, it can't be good for Microsoft.

On another note, How did upgrading seven machines to XP BSOD 60000?

Re:Another nail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10924752)

From the Fing Article

"EDS were going to apply a patch to these [7 machines], unfortunately the request was made to apply it live and it was rolled out across the estate, which hit around 80 per cent of the Win2k desktops."

I've heard of this happening several times in UK local government (friends work for a small software house that supplies local government offices). Always mount a scratch monkey!

Re:Another nail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10924756)

You don't work for a large organization, do you? ;)

In short, any large org (gov, corp, edu, whatever) will sweep such incedents under the rug and continue to use whatever they had that caused the problem (thereby insuring they'll have similar problems in the future). Genius, of course, but business as usuall.

[/cynicism]

Re:Another nail? (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924865)


lol, you *must* work for a govt. agency, perhaps education ?

incedents : incidents

insuring : ensuring

usuall : usual

Not a nail for Microsoft. (5, Interesting)

alistair (31390) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924773)

"On another note, How did upgrading seven machines to XP BSOD 60000"

If you read the register article, it says that they were attempting to only push the update out to 7 PCs, but it actually went to all 60,000.

I would imagine they were using something like Microsofts SMS services or Bigfix to push out packages, and simply selected push out to all instead of a test community.

I don't think this is a nail in Microsofts coffin, I have seen similar things happen in the mainframe world where patches intended for dev hit live production systems with similar bad consequences. It has to count as a bad day at the office for the person pushing the button though.

It also highlights the difficulty in pushing out big updates to major networks of PCs, be they running Windows or Linux. The complexity of moving from Win NT to XP has proved so complex in my organisation that for the future Longhorn upgarde and beyond we are now looking to Citrix to allow the migrations of applications across servers and essentially use the PC as a thin client for all but core office and email apps.

Re:Not a nail for Microsoft. (1)

Apathetic1 (631198) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924860)

I would imagine they were using something like Microsofts SMS services or Bigfix to push out packages, and simply selected push out to all instead of a test community.

At the EDS site where I worked they use Tivoli to push out patches and applications.

Re:Not a nail for Microsoft. (4, Insightful)

bentcd (690786) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924870)

If anything, this is the world crying out "what were you _thinking_ having a 60,000 unit network all running the same system???" and perhaps the world will wake up and realize that it _might_ be a good idea to mix systems a bit so that whatever happens to one system, you still have some significant percentage of the network still running.
Doesn't anyone do risk analysis anymore?

Re:Not a nail for Microsoft. (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924902)


if it was Linux / Unix the sensible thing would be boot via PXE

rolling back would then be a relatively simple process

oh yea (3, Funny)

Llevar (788850) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924779)

Hopefully just another nail in Microsoft's coffin...

When a government ends up with BSODs on 60000 computers, it can't be good for Microsoft.

Yea, I can just see them going bankrupt over this. Their coffin was half closed before, but now they're bound to be pennystock.

Re:Another nail? (1)

Firehawke (50498) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924800)

It's in the article. Quoting from the Register [theregister.co.uk] article:

"According to staff reports the outage occurred on Monday afternoon, disconnecting staff email, benefits processing and Internet and intranet connectivity. According to one, a limited network upgrade from Windows 2000 to Windows XP was taking place, but instead of this taking place on only a small number of the target machines, all the clients connected to the network received a partial, but fatal, 'upgrade.'"

More fun with patches.. puts any trouble you're having at work today into perspective, doesn't it?

Re:Another nail? (1, Flamebait)

turgid (580780) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924828)

Hopefully just another nail in Microsoft's coffin...

No it won't :-(

They will be impressed my Microsoft's "comittment to customer service" by having flown out high-ranking people from all over Europe to attend to it.

They are already to stupid and lazy to see through it all. That's why they chose Microsoft and EDS in the first place.

BTW I once had an interview with EDS to work on one of these government jobs. They wanted me to cut off all of my hair and go to their corporate boot camp to learn COBOL and IBM S/360 assembler. This was in 1996.

Re:Another nail? (3, Interesting)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924864)

and you missed out big time. 4 years later you could have been naming your own price for Y2k fixes.

You'd probably be retired now! Pity you chose long hair, and have another 40 years of work to go.

Re:Another nail? (4, Funny)

Amiga Trombone (592952) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924845)

When a government ends up with BSODs on 60000 computers, it can't be good for Microsoft.

No, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's bad for the rest of us!

Let's hope Congress plans to upgrade soon!

See? Even Microsoft is good for something!

oh hey what's going on with this upgrade (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10924683)

OH SHI-

Too slow. (4, Informative)

Lostie (772712) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924684)

If only they had reached the conclusion hinted at in this BBC News article [bbc.co.uk] a year or two ago, this would not have happened.

It's certainly bad PR for Microsoft though, perhaps this will serve as a wake-up call to other governments that "other options" are out there.

Re:Too slow. (5, Insightful)

Apathetic1 (631198) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924803)

It was EDS that screwed it up. I can't say I'm surprised. For once I find it hard to blame Microsoft - rolling an XP patch out onto a Windows 2000 machine (or 60000) will have the predictable effect of hosing the system. Given what I know about EDS (I worked there for two summers) I don't think running Linux would have helped.

Re:Too slow. (5, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924894)

Actually, I tend to see this as potentially an opportunity for Microsoft to gain some excellent, and totally undeserved, *good* PR. The root cause of the problem seems to be that EDS erroneously pushed a Windows XP update out to Windows 2K desktops - hardly Microsoft's fault. Having got completely out of their depth (which isn't especially far out of the shallows given EDS' track record to date) EDS decided that it couldn't fix the problem and called in Microsoft.

Now, assume Microsoft bails EDS out, and there is no reason why not, because you can bet they'll send a bunch of temps to every DWP office at EDS' expense if they have too. In a nutshell, Microsoft gets a PR coup: "We've just bailed out out a leading *cough* solution provider! Now imagine that had been, say, a Linux deployment... Who could EDS have called then?" Given the excellent grasp of PR, spin and FUD Microsoft has, I don't think this is going to help break the Microsoft stranglehold at all.

Take back Bill Gate's knighhood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10924686)

Such wonderful software

I think they should take back Bills knighthood

EDS again (5, Informative)

Hieronymus Howard (215725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924694)

Every time I hear about a big government IT fuck-up it seems to be caused by EDS. Yet the government keep awarding them contracts. Why?

Re:EDS again (5, Interesting)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924804)

Yet the government keep awarding them [EDS] contracts. Why?

I don't know, but I do recall an article about IBM refusing to tender for UK.gov contracts: apparently it was too costly, and too risky - you could spend millions only to not get the tender, and IBM felt that the chance of getting the tender awarded to IBM was too small. So... I'd suggest either it's too costly to play so players are dropping out (the reasonably answer), or someone in government really loves EDS, and IBM know it (the tinfoil hat answer).

Living in the UK, I'm minded to go for option 2.

Re:EDS again (1)

Leonig Mig (695104) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924813)

being a british taxapyer I sent them a message to cease and desist:

It seems your firm is costing the British tax payer enormous quantities of cash, predominently through incompetence. Please take any drastic steps necessary to prevent any further IT disasters and consider if your firm deserves the billions of consulting dollars it has already banked.

Yours,

Jim.

anyone else can too:

https://www.eds.com/ssl/forms/contact/index.aspx/ [eds.com]

Re:EDS again (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924901)

Brilliant! hopefully we can sue these people and recover some of the money they wasted then put it into a project that actually has a clue?

Re:EDS again (4, Insightful)

supersnail (106701) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924832)


Because Accenture is the other choice!

This sort of cockup would have been impossable with the ex Arther Anderson crowd. They would still be struggling to get the shrink wrap off the CDs without wrinkling thier suits.

Seriously the problem is government procurement procedures. The contract goes to the lowest bidder and a record of past f****ups is not taken into account.

Re:EDS again (4, Interesting)

justanyone (308934) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924834)

EDS is one of very few companies that will accept government contracts. US Gov'mt accounting requirements are onerous (hard to comply with) by any standard, so in order to compete for the contract, you have to have a huge team of accountants that know how to produce the kind of records and reports that the Government accounting office(s) expect.

There is a huge hue and cry (outrageous exclamation of disgust and anger) over mismanagment and eggregious spending in government contracts. Having worked in the sector, I'm somewhat familiar. The contractor I worked for made sure there was no waste, fraud, or abuse. However, it spent 10 times as much as the job required, just to do this. The obvious choice for our firm was it would have been far cheaper to run things by GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices)(the private sector accounting standards), and have both a nice large internal audit division and "internal affairs" watchdog enforcement. Alas, most governments are not run this way, and if they are, they devolve into the current format due to political expediency.

I have friends that work for EDS and they comment on the kinds of hoops they have to jump through just to do simple stuff. They've built up a rather large experience pool in doing this hoop-jumping, so they can do contracts cheaper than some other companies.

EDS also tends to run things according to CMM levels whenever they're developing things, so at least if there's a mess-up (as there obviously was here), there will be some kind of follow-through to improve the process of doing this kind of work. EDS's management doesn't want the black eye any more than the government or Microsoft do, but they'll spend the money to make sure it doesn't happen the same way again. There is, after all, no way to prevent all errors, but I give them credit for trying most of the time.

Re:EDS again (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10924835)

Because, like an old Dilbert strip, it's all down to experience. The government puts the jobs out to tender, they get the tenders in and only EDS have any experience of large goverment IT projects and therefore are the only qualifying tender.

Re:EDS again (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924852)

I used to work for a UK-government-owned company. They're all the same. They are completely stupid and suicidal when it comes to dealing with contractors of any sort, but especially IT ones. It's a combination of laziness, stupidity, ignorance and herd mentality. It if ain't M$ they don't want to know about it, unless they can use it to negotiate lower prices from M$.

*sigh* (2, Insightful)

turgid (580780) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924697)

The thing is, this sort of thing is expected and accepted by the UK public sector. They'll just find a scapegoat and keep on buying Microsoft. The sad thing is, that's my tax money.

Re:*sigh* (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10924823)

Here, in Canada, we don't have that kind of problems, as they spend the money on importing cocaine, censoring radio stations, funding lefty newspaper that help them spread the haterd of jews and americans, spreading cash around healthcare but not making the personel wash their hands (resulting in hundreds of deaths from infection), hiring lawyers to keep the mouths of people who had infected blood transfered to them shut and helping pedophiles reintegrate society instead of buying Microsoft stuff

Re:*sigh* (1)

OwlWhacker (758974) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924872)

The thing is, this sort of thing is expected and accepted by the UK public sector.

Just like the virus/security problem is expected and accepted.

Well, everybody trusts Microsoft, what with being a big company, and having all that cash behind it.

that's my tax money

Mine too.

But am I bitter?

HELL YEAH!

Come on now (5, Insightful)

Mick Ohrberg (744441) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924704)

Incompentent admins can turn any minor upgrade to a catastrophic failure. Don't blame M$ for this one unless there are irrefutable proof that the admins did everything by the numbers.

Re:Come on now (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10924820)

How come an XP update can be pushed into a win2k box in the first place? Shouldnt there be some basic checks in place?

This just shouldn't happen (1)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924866)

This is the kind of result that you should have to be trying to achieve for it to happen.

No, this is the kind of result that you should not be able to achieve, no matter how bad a sysadmin you are and how little you try, or no matter how good you are and no matter how hard you try.

Re:Come on now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10924875)

Incompetent Microsoft programmers can turn any service pack to a catastrophic failure. Don't blame the government for blue screens of death unless there are irrefutable proof that Microsoft did everything by the numbers.

And repeat after me, it is "in-com-pe-tent".

Re:Come on now (1)

_bug_ (112702) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924918)

Incompentent admins can turn any minor upgrade to a catastrophic failure. Don't blame M$ for this one unless there are irrefutable proof that the admins did everything by the numbers.

The articles are a bit skimpy on details, so don't blame, or clear of blame, anybody.

Although I'd like to know why the XP upgrades went, apparently, half way? If the upgrade starts, why not either let it complete even after figuring out your mistake and at least keep the systems in a bootable state (admin at fault) or why isn't there a way to back out of the upgrade if you realize you don't want it to be performed (microsoft's fault)?

What should be done first... (1, Flamebait)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924705)

...is to fire the IT manager, or whoever sanctioned this method of implementation. How do you fall into such a trap?

Next, they should setup a similar Linux environment and see how a similar upgrade would have gone. This should be done before the Linux zealots declare that theirs would have been any better.

In the meantime, let M$ and its cronnies be prepared for the wrath of Linux promoters.

Cb..

EDS now stands for... (5, Funny)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924708)

Every Desktop Shutdown.

Re:EDS now stands for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10924896)

We prefer to refer to them as "End of Dependable Service", but yours works too :)

We're stuck with the stupid bastards (I work for GM) and they fuck up on a regular basis and on an impressive scale.

We had our own IT department that worked extremely well (for the most part), when ISS (GM's in-house IT group -idiots-) came in and dissolved the group and put EDS in its place (while offering the ex-GMer's a position in EDS to try to keep the experience there).

Now we can't get upgrades (which it seems can be A Good Thing), our old software doesn't work, and support is nearly non-exsistent.

Ahhh, I feel better now.

umm.. (2, Interesting)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924713)

I've been reading about this all day, and not once have I found a concrete description of what was actually being upgraded. Where exactly does it say that it was an XP upgrade, or are /. just jumping on the M$ bashing wagon....

If this was a Linux/Oracle/$flavourOfTheMonth upgrade, would you be just as scathing?

Re:umm.. (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924799)

I was surprised when this appeared on /. as nowhere I've read has explained what the issue was.

If it was just an upgrade from W2k to XP, they should spend some time rolling back the PCs. No big deal, might take some time, but still - no big deal. I imagine that they have images (or some procedure) prepared for new employees anyway.

The fact that the problem is continuing suggests a major cock up - someone deleted the database kind of thing, and put the backup tapes through the shredder (assuming the scheduled backups were running).

And to answer your other question - no, if it was anyone but MS it wouldn't be so scathing, but occasionally Sun and Oracle are bashed on /. (never Linux though).

Re:umm.. (1)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924833)

I found it on the register, it's one of the linked articles - and before anyone claims i didn't RTFA, this has been updated since I read it this morning. The Reg still gives two possible explanations from unknown source, and while i'm not trying to move blame away from anyone, it would be nice if the slashbots didn't just start to feverishly type about how the admin should be sacked for not sandboxing etc. because they habe no idea of what went on nor the procedures in place. No one critisises their cockups, because they aren't as public, but for god sake, people make mistakes, and these things happen with computers.

Re:umm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10924887)

Register [theregister.co.uk] article in original story describes te XP upgrade

UK agency made the correct choice! (2, Funny)

glomph (2644) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924718)

Hey, they may have shite for brains, but the money was worth it! No trouble with the dreaded 228 patents that Linux supposedly infringes!

Testimony to power of insufficient testing (1)

justanyone (308934) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924719)

Seems like the Ministry should have tested the rollout in a sandbox that didn't leak.

Of course, MS could have tested their product better.

Of course, this could all be the work of the NSA working with the little green men (Kodos and Frodos) and the Legion of Inappropriately Named White Guys Named Bruce All With The First Name Of Bruce.

Expected Behavior (-1, Flamebait)

totallygeek (263191) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924720)

I don't see where this will hurt Microsoft at all. I mean, this is expected behavior from the Windows operating system, right?

Whose fault is it? (1)

rveno1 (470619) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924726)

I wouldnt rush to blame Microsoft so quickly, I find fault with the person who attempted to do the Update LIVE on the network.

(dont all big failures occur on monday?)

If this was in the private sector... (1)

The Dodger (10689) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924734)

..someone (probably several people, in fact) would be getting fired and senior Microsoft staff would be getting carpeted.

But given that i's the public sector, I bet nothing happens...


D.
is for DOH!

why did they decide to downgrade to XP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10924735)

almost everyone who ran 2000 knows that XP
is less stable than it.

i need to laugh now. hahahahahahah

This has got to be the funniest story in weeks (1)

empaler (130732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924739)

I almost had to go buy a new keyboard...

*chuckles*

(Don't get me wrong, I'm not a MS-flamer... It's just fucking funny...)

What the heck did they do? (3, Funny)

eltoyoboyo (750015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924740)

From the Guardian article: "At this point there is no known solution or ETA"

I RTFA and all I see is a money discussion, not a technical discussion. I would speculate that an SMS or Zenworks push or somthing similar which was supposed to be restriced to the 7 PC's went almost everywhere. It might be a fair bet that the remaining 20,000 might have been upgraded too if those people had been at work and turned on their computers. IT Computer management tools give the department much power, which could do plenty of damage in the wrong hands.

Couldn't they just upgrade _ONE_ of their comps? (0)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924744)

And then test it for a week to see if there weren't problems?

Gee.

Re:Couldn't they just upgrade _ONE_ of their comps (1)

Wudbaer (48473) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924808)

Apparently they were trying just to do that and accidentially "tested" it on all 60000. OOPS.

At least their automatic upgrade system seems to work both reliably and fast. :-)

For those not reading the article... (4, Informative)

JKR (198165) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924747)

Apparently EDS attempted to do a test upgrade on a small network of 7 machines, but accidentally deployed it to all 80,000 machines instead. It's not clear that they'd tried it on any target machine, so it's entirely possible that EDS is to blame here...

Jon.

Go on, Slashdot, you know you want to. (2, Interesting)

mr breakfast (242421) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924751)

This makes me feel so much better about the working mistakes I have made. I would love to see an interview with whoever clicked on "OK" to trigger this one off...

Local Government (2, Insightful)

Bloke in a box (781163) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924753)

I work in a local government authority myself.

Although we have several xp boxes (mainly used by my development team (along with Windows 2k Pro ones)), there is no way this IT department is going to roll out XP across the entire authority (approximately 400 machines) until at least Mid quarter 2005, there are far far too many problems to even contemplate it.

Heck, half the staff haven't even figured out the difference between a wallpaper and screensaver yet, yet alone giving them more fancy gadgets.

EDS managed upgrade--Altiris? (4, Interesting)

willith (218835) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924759)

The BBC article mentions that EDS is responsible for the ugprade. They're partnered with Altiris [altiris.com] , so I'd be willing to bet that the upgrade was carried out using the Altiris Client Management Suite [altiris.com] .

It's a great set of tools--we own it at work and managed our own Win2k -> WinXP upgrade using the PC Transplant and Deployment Server tools, but can massively bone you if you don't do enough testing. PC Transplant, in particular, can hurt if you--that's the application that lifts your profile off of one PC and slaps it down on another, so that you don't have to re-configure your Exchange settings, Office personalizations, backup documents and application settings and bookmarks, and a whole mess of other things. When doing an OS migration, if you don't design your personality transplant template correctly, you can end up with all kinds of Win2k-specific settings stuffed into your WinXP profile, which can lead to all kinds of crazy-ass problems.

Re:EDS managed upgrade--Altiris? (1)

Apathetic1 (631198) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924909)

Admittedly I don't know about any other sites but they used Tivoli at the EDS site where I worked this summer. That may have been dictated by the client.

RTFA! (4, Informative)

DaHat (247651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924761)

From the article: Another source says that the DWP was trialing Windows XP on a small number ("about seven") of machines. "EDS were going to apply a patch to these, unfortunately the request was made to apply it live and it was rolled out across the estate, which hit around 80 per cent of the Win2k desktops. This patch caused the desktops to BSOD and made recovery rather tricky as they couldn't boot to pick any further patches or recalls. I gather that MS consultants have been flown in from the US to clear up the mess." EDS is also thought to be flying in fire brigades."

Brilliant work on the part of EDS, trying to patch the wrong systems, lord only knows what can happen then.

You could force an XPSP2 onto a 2k machine... would you still blame Microsoft for it? That seems to be the case here, EDS screwed up, and of course it's Microsoft's fault in the eyes of /.

Re:RTFA! (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924812)

Thats precisely what I thought. It says it right there in the article, the wrong OS version files were rolled out to the systems, resulting in obvious failure of that system. It can happen to any OS, it was the fault of the System Administrators, not the OS vendor, imagine the chaos if the wrong version of libc was rolled out to a linux system! But then, Slashdot loves to slant any MS related news so it can take a swipe at it.

Re:RTFA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10924883)

You can still blame microsoft.. if they were smart theyd make their patches capabale of determining if the OS they're installing on is actually compatible

GetVersionEx and OSVERSIONINFO exist for a reason.

my email to EDS (2, Funny)

Leonig Mig (695104) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924771)


It seems your firm is costing the British tax payer enormous quantities of cash, predominently through incompetence. Please take any drastic steps necessary to prevent any further IT disasters and consider if your firm deserves the billions of consulting dollars it has already banked.

Yours,

Jim.

Someone must deeply regret (0, Troll)

Lakedemon (761375) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924774)

throwing Windows 2000 away for Win xp...
or not using
Linux
or
Macs
or
Solaris and sun hardware....

Re:Someone must deeply regret (1)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924853)

yeah, because they never break, and would enable the entire UK Pensions department to function more easily, because their wouldn't be any training required for the thousands of people that use the system, and aren't experts, and shouldn't need to be....

Contractor (2, Insightful)

HogGeek (456673) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924776)

I know we all like to blame Microsoft when these types of things happen, bu this appears to be a major fubar by the EDS people.

The installation and update of operating systems is so easy any more, a blind one armed monkey masturbating could do it.

I've worked with EDS people, and the one armed monkey would be a godsend compared to most of them that I've had the "fortune" of working with...

Re:Contractor (1)

Phantom69 (758672) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924914)

I've sadly had the 'experience' of working with EDS (they've been paid £60 million to manage the IT systems at Thorntons PLC for five years). Utterly incompetent was the nicest compliment I ever managed.

Avoidable blunder (5, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924793)

Obviously these sysadmins were incompetent. Everybody knows that a BSOD is impossible under Windows XP. If they had simply upgraded the other 60,000 machines to XP first, and then updated these 7 problem systems, this whole problem would easily have been avoided.

Wrong! (5, Informative)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924810)

Bad Slashdot reporting again? Quote Slashdot:

the UK Government's Department for Work and Pensions attempted to upgrade seven PCs from Windows 2000 to Windows XP, and ended up with BSODs on over 60,000 machines.

In actual fact, the Register quotes:

According to one, a limited network upgrade from Windows 2000 to Windows XP was taking place, but instead of this taking place on only a small number of the target machines, all the clients connected to the network received a partial, but fatal, 'upgrade.'

and then below it:

Another source says that the DWP was trialing Windows XP on a small number ("about seven") of machines. "EDS were going to apply a patch to these, unfortunately the request was made to apply it live and it was rolled out across the estate, which hit around 80 per cent of the Win2k desktops.

So, by merging them you get the following story:

There was a trial of seven PC's, instead of patching only those seven, the request to roll it out was accidently performed and every computer attempted to install a botched version of XP.

Somewhat slightly different to the Slashdot version wouldn't you say?

In addition, I'm pretty sure that if you accidently deployed a botched version of the linux kernel then it too would probably have a similar effect.

The fools deserve it. (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924811)

On a much smaller project, I was supposed to do a minor softare upgrade on 95/98 machines in a single school system. By the time the first lab was finished, it was obvious that I had ruined the computers for the most part. I did not continue, I called up the project manager, stupid bitch that she was, and pleaded the case that I simply couldn't continue.

Of course, I waws removed from the project, which at the time amounted to going back on unemployment. Some day, I'll learn to ignore my conscience.

Re:The fools deserve it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10924849)

what kind of retard cant upgrade windows? what the fuck are you doing on slashdot, shouldnt you be watching nascar or or playing checkers with your wife/sister

how the fuck do you even have a computer?!?

what the hell went on??? (2, Interesting)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924817)

They upgraded seven machines and 80,000 died? That sounds weird, but maybe they were the AD servers. Why then, on a small number of such critical boxes, didn't they just restore from backups?

Fixing the hopeless... (1)

CoolSilver (794518) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924841)

At least they might get some overtime in UK for fixing thing. Here in Us you have to suck it up and take what pay you get out of 40 hours even if you worked 60.

What you want to bet they are using some kind of linux or knoppix to recover the files.

You guys are amazing! (3, Insightful)

Lee_in_KC (816490) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924842)

I wish I could take one of you Linux "experts" up on your idea. "Here, upgrade these 2000 PCs, all of which are from different manufacturers and different configurations, to Linux. I need it done in the off hours and I need everything to work like it did before.".

*crickets*

Of course someone will reply and say "ok!" knowing it won't happen. It's not because I don't have the ability to make that decision but it's because I know better than to get real information/insight about IT from most /. posters.

It's painfully obvious that a scant few here actually have a clue about running a business that relies on IT. It's more than ripping CDs and DVDs kids. Sure, the company that did the mistake is at fault but the problem is not in the chosen OS, it's in the chosen technicians and management.

eds stint (1)

hostylocal (827126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924843)

i worked for eds about a year ago and i can tell you now that the 'about seven' win xp boxes is a blatant lie. the room that i worked in had over seven desktops with it on. and they were all legal ones too. i had to laugh at the local office staff using the fax to communicate with one anoother tho - 'do you see the white thing on your desk? the thing with all the numbered buttons and the thing that looks like a handle? well, that's called a telephone and it's used to talking to people. remotely. no really. give it a go'.

Hope they all loose their jobs tomorrow (3, Funny)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924862)

Im pretty embarrassed for my country right now. How the fuck did we go from technological pioneers to this? And its only the tip of the iceberg, what with Ken Livingstone's numerous stupid ideas, David Blunkett's insanity and the incompetence of 100's of 'IT' projects (hint: if its called an IT project it means its run by incompetent MCSEs and it will fail catastrophically leaving millions of people without a service or having planes crashing into the ground, time and time again) with tax money falling out of their pockets, fuck them! Why do these idiots get the contracts? What happened to all the competent people??

The funniest thing.. (5, Funny)

WindSword (596780) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924869)

was the government spokesperson. After the intro to this piece on Radio 4 this morning, her opening sentence was "Let me correct you, 20% of our workstations are functioning". Talk about a positive spin.

Seems to me.... (1)

Raven42rac (448205) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924876)

It seems to me that there is just a lack of importance/trust placed in computing in general, due to the bad rap that MS has being applied across the board. Call me a troll if you like, but this would not have happened in a *nix/Apple shop. There is far too much at stake for willy nilly mistakes like this. Also, with 500 million quid, could they have not built an isolated test subnet?

I call BS... (2)

Blue-Footed Boobie (799209) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924878)

Sounds to me like someone in IT fucked up seriously, and is using Microsoft as a scapegoat.

Ofcourse, this is /. so this post will sink fast...

EDS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10924881)

EDS have screwed up time and time again, and yet the UK government keeps using them. Please look here: Wow, 188 results, most of which appear to contain the words "EDS" and "Cock up"! I appears as if though a lot of people have just failed to read the article or just see this as a good chance to bash microsoft.

What a big surprise (2, Insightful)

joshsnow (551754) | more than 9 years ago | (#10924888)

from the reg article;

"This patch caused the desktops to BSOD and made recovery rather tricky as they couldn't boot to pick any further patches or recalls. I gather that MS consultants have been flown in from the US to clear up the mess."

So, even more of the money I pay in tax is being diverted to M$ then...

EDS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10924917)

EDS have screwed up time and time again, and yet the UK government keeps using them. Please look here: http://forms.theregister.co.uk/search/?q=EDS [theregister.co.uk] Wow, 188 results, most of which appear to contain the words "EDS" and "Cock up"! I appears as if though a lot of people have just failed to read the article or just see this as a good chance to bash microsoft.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...