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EVE-Online Patch Makes XP Unbootable

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the boot-hill dept.

PC Games (Games) 572

Nobo writes "CCP's latest major patch to the EVE-Online client, Trinity, comes with an optional DX9-enhanced graphics patch that dramatically improves the visual quality of the in-game graphics through remade models, textures, and HDR. It also has an unfortunate bug: the incredibly stupid choice of boot.ini as a game configuration file, coupled with an errant extra backslash in the installer configuration. The result is that anyone who installs the enhanced graphics patch overwrites the windows XP c:\boot.ini file with the EVE client configuration file, bricking the machine on the next boot. Discussion in a couple of forums threads is becoming understandably heated."

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572 comments

Actually, it was just a secret plot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596011)

To get the users seperated from their pcs for a while. [google.com]

Lemon Party (2, Informative)

Laebshade (643478) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596035)

The parent is a Lemon Party link - ingenious.

Insanely sloppy... but not without precedent (5, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596019)

Wow... if this story isn't a wild exaggeration, then this is about as unfortunate as a game-bug can possibly get. Of course, a reasonably savvy user could probably have an affected system working again fairly quickly without any data-loss, but my own experience suggests that such users will be in the minority.

The only gaming-related parallel I can think of relates to the uninstall programme bug for the 2001 version of Pool of Radiance. In that instance, attempting to uninstall the game (something many users would do not long after installing it, given the tedious and half-baked nature of the game) had a good chance of wiping the user's hard disk. I actually deliberately triggered this bug for fun myself when I decided it was time to wipe my old machine after I bought a new system. If anybody can think of any other examples on this kind of scale, please do share them.

I wonder if this is going to cause any unpleasant and potentially expensive legal repercussions for CCP, from users who have lost data while trying to fix the issue?

Re:Insanely sloppy... but not without precedent (4, Informative)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596073)

At one point trying to uninstall Final Fantasy XI Online would remove hal32.dll.

Re:Insanely sloppy... but not without precedent (5, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596189)

At one point trying to uninstall Final Fantasy XI Online would remove hal32.dll.

That wouldn't be a smart thing to do, now would it, Dave?

Re:Insanely sloppy... but not without precedent (2, Interesting)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596079)


I wonder if this is going to cause any unpleasant and potentially expensive legal repercussions for CCP, from users who have lost data while trying to fix the issue?


At the very least, it will give us a better indication of just how binding those EULAs are.

With respect to the bug, I'm an ex-tech. I've spent so long away from tinkering with my OS that it would probably take me a good long time to realize just what was wrong. I could probably repair the machine once I did find out that it was a boot.ini issue, but it could take a while.

I would imagine that a lot of these people, even if they are 'techy', don't have more than one machine. Without the ability to check the tech support pages, or another machine on which to test/repair the HD, it would be pretty damned annoying at a minimum.

Re:Insanely sloppy... but not without precedent (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596103)

At least there you can claim the makers of said game were self conscious enough to claim nobody would ever want to get rid of the game.

But a bug like this that triggers at install...

Re:Insanely sloppy... but not without precedent (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596169)

The deletion of the Boot.ini file will not cause any data loss. If you format your system to fix the issue then you will lose data. Anyone with the Windows XP CD can boot off of it and repair the OS. It is a simple procedure for the tech savvy folks and for those that are not tech savvy, most of them have friends that are.

This issue is going to leave CCP with a lot of egg on their face but realistically extended downtime would have been worse since the player base would have been screaming a 100x louder. This issue will peak higher in the media since it is a highly unusual problem but will die quicker then if the servers were down for 2-5 days.

The concern that I have is how did this get past the QA testers at CCP and into a production build?

Re:Insanely sloppy... but not without precedent (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596177)

The guys at bethesda were quite pleased with themselves when they broke their reputation of wiping all the .exe's from your hdd when they released morrowwind. I never encountered the bug they were referring too, but it was presumably in TES I or II.

Re:Insanely sloppy... but not without precedent (2, Interesting)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596231)

It's not an exaggeration. I was playing last night when the news was coming over the chat channels. Fortunately, it's a pretty quick fix if you can catch it before the reboot and have a Plain-Jane hard drive set up (single drive, no SCSI or RAID).

A few of us in the in-game chat were trying to catch people who were logging on for the first time and walking them through fixing their systems. It baffled all of us why there would even be a boot.ini file that CCP would use to install the premium content (users who chose not to install the premium content were not affected by this, nor were Vista users). I still can't figure out how this missed even basic testing where CCP should have caught this bug pretty easily.

Re:Insanely sloppy... but not without precedent (5, Funny)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596267)

I still can't figure out how this missed even basic testing where CCP should have caught this bug pretty easily.

The testers would have caught it but their computers didn't start when they tried to turn them on the next day so they could never identify it. =P

Re:Insanely sloppy... but not without precedent (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596323)

Bungie did this, too.

When they released Myth2, the windows uninstaller had a bug where if you installed the game anywhere other than the default, uninstalling it would basically erase your harddrive.

I remember picking it up the day it came out, about 20 minutes before it got recalled, and was unable to play any of my friends since they weren't able to get their own copies. Since Bungie released Mac/Windows hybrid disks, this had the unfortunate effect of the game being widely unavailable for a week or two, even to mac users.

Re:Insanely sloppy... but not without precedent (1)

kidsizedcoffin (1197209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596325)

The recent game Overlord had a bug, when you uninstalled it, it automatically deleted the folder one level up as well, assuming you had installed it in the default location, inside a folder containing the company's name. Needless to say, this had a lot of people quite upset, as many had installed it to c:\overlord\. Now to uninstall the game correctly, you have to patch it to a higher version, then uninstall.

deliberate? (2)

CodyRazor (1108681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596027)

What are the chances of this? I mean, it seems almost so unlikely as to be impossible. Perhaps someone did it deliberatly or perhaps an unhappy employee that was leaving or something...

Ppffftt! (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596041)

Isn't this something should have been found in, oh, I dunno....beta testing?

Re:Ppffftt! (1)

PoetDemise (1199205) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596389)

I agree. What ever happened to the good old days when patches would be test for weeks even months before being released to the brainless mobs aka end users.....

Re:Ppffftt! (1)

s_p_oneil (795792) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596431)

I'll bet the extra backslash was a last minute change snuck in after the rest of the patch had been beta tested. I work in a development shop, and stuff like that happens every now and then.

Re:Ppffftt! (5, Funny)

Phisbut (761268) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596511)

Isn't this something should have been found in, oh, I dunno....beta testing?

Oh, but it was found, by several beta testers. However, since none of those beta testers had a functioning computer after the test, they were all unable to send a bug report. Not having received any bug reports, the developers simply assumed that there were no bugs.

How is this possible? (4, Insightful)

Jennifer York (1021509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596049)

Someone in their QA department needs to be fired. This type of mistake is simply unacceptable, and truly very difficult to believe.

What sort of test plan fails to catch BRICKING THE PC?

Re:How is this possible? (5, Funny)

vranash (594439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596069)

Obviously one with a really high uptime for Windows :)

Re:How is this possible? (5, Funny)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596111)

Say John, there's a funny thing with our new patch; after the dialogue telling the user that the install was successful and that they should reboot the machine, the machine doesn't actually reboot, it just shuts off and then hangs. What should we do?

Don't tell them to reboot the machine. Problem solved.

Re:How is this possible? (2, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596181)

The test plan where you throw it on your Vista box and test it, and it works fine (Vista doesn't use boot.ini), then you test your other OS clients. After all, it's just the installer, what could go wrong...*cough*

Re:How is this possible? (1)

Alcoholic Synonymous (990318) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596245)

Someone in their QA department needs to be fired.

They fired their QA shortly after hiring them to test post-Exodus patches. Seems they kept delaying releases by insisting that things like this get fixed beforehand. CCP's efforts to keep its customer base happy knew it couldn't afford delays in exciting new feature nerfs and rollbacks, so it decided to get rid of them and ignore the volunteer beta testers recommendations too.

But you have to have some understanding here as well. Since they bought White Wolf, a huge part of their testing is going to converting Vampire from simple die rolls to a more enjoyable system involving calculus and a TI-89. I can't wait!

Re:How is this possible? (4, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596269)

Bricking. That word will have became annoying to me by the end of 2008.

Re:How is this possible? (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596353)

I think it became annoying to me at the end of November. What's bad is it's usually not the geeks who fall in love with buzzwords.

Re:How is this possible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596369)

o'rly?

Re:How is this possible? (1)

phobos13013 (813040) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596553)

Its not even accurate for the task at hand. A brick does not a PC make... concrete block... maybe... brick... not so much.

Re:How is this possible? (1)

TheRealFixer (552803) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596421)

This happens when you're cutting corners to speed your testing. Apparently this bug doesn't affect all versions of the client, just a specific one. Testing your patch with all possible types of installed clients takes a lot of time. Which means either QA management is lazy, an employee tasked with the test was lazy, or upper management rushed them to get it out the door. I'd put my money on the last option.

They both made errors. (4, Interesting)

d3m0nCr4t (869332) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596053)

I suppose both the producers of Eve Online and MS are to blame here. Eve Online for naming a configuration file the same as a Windows system file. And of course MS, for letting any application overwrite such an important system file.

Re:They both made errors. (4, Interesting)

W2k (540424) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596101)

Likely the users were running the game as administrators, and an administrator would have the necessary rights to overwrite any file on the disk. I don't see how this could be blamed on Microsoft. On Vista you'd get a UAC prompt for trying to write to C:\, but Vista doesn't use a BOOT.INI anyway, so no risk of breaking the system.

Re:They both made errors. (5, Insightful)

Goobermunch (771199) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596179)

Sad that so many games require Administrator access to run.

--AC

Re:They both made errors. (5, Insightful)

00lmz (733976) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596227)

It certainly is sad that some apps and games need admin privs to run, but this is an installation bug. Of course people are going to install programs as administrator...

Re:They both made errors. (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596387)

A very valid point - this same sort of issue could happen just as easily on linux unless you're using a package manager that protects against file collisions (not many do to my knowledge - gentoo does if you enable optional features). With collision protection you'd get an error pointing out that the fancy-game and system-bootstrap packages are both trying to own init or rc or whatever.

Re:They both made errors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596513)

Debian's dpkg will abort if it runs into a package that attempts to overwrite a file owned by another package without the appropriate diversions. If you're on unstable or experimental, it becomes a pain every time they split or merge packages.

Re:They both made errors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596383)

I'd like to address this common meme.
I agree that on a simplistic OS like current windows or linux, there is no reason for requiring Administrative privileges to run a game.

BUT, imagine the future of computing -- Palladium/TCPA (good [anti-malware, anti-cracker] or bad [anti-consumer, anti-hacker]), Virtualization on consumer OS's, fine-grained acccess control to system resources.

In such a computer system, how would an "application" (a game) that requires exclusive use of screen, speakers and input devices and uses all the CPU and most of the available memory, NOT require the user to somehow say "yes, this application (and by extension myself) is authorized to deny other processes and users access to most all system resources".

That's almost by definition a "system administrator".

Re:They both made errors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596501)

Well, you got to hand it to them.. this one needed admin access NOT to run

Re:They both made errors. (1)

SirMeliot (864836) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596281)

On Vista you'd get a UAC prompt for trying to write to C:\,

Not quite true. You'd get one UAC up front when starting the installer. From then on the installer is off free to do whatever it likes.

Requiring admin privs just to play a game is dumb. But they are necessary if you want to install a game and have it accessible by any users other than yourself.

UAC wouldn't save you here but AFAIK Vista has a mechanism for automagically replacing systems files when you trash them.

Re:They both made errors. (1)

codeboost (603798) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596355)

Users have to run as admins on XP, because most apps don't work with non-admin privileges. Apps want to write to Program Files, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and so on.
So Microsoft is to blame for making it easy for developers to write code that runs with admin privileges and harder to write code that runs with standard user privileges. A simple API call, like RequireAdmin(), before writing to a dangerous place
would have been enough to make developers think twice.

Re:They both made errors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596361)

That's a very interesting observation. Can the user run and update the game as a non administrator user? The back-n-forth arguments have constantly been hurled that "users shouldn't run as administrator" but on the other side, much of what users need to do can only be done as an administrator level user due not only to Microsoft but also the authors and designers of much software.

But in this case, could they have run this update without being administrator?

Re:They both made errors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596139)

Run something as root and that something can do whatever it wants. Standard users certainly don't have perms to touch that file. Admins must because that's how you configure boot options, although that's generally handled via UI.

Would Linux be to blame if something broke /etc/rc.d?

Re:They both made errors. (-1, Troll)

PoetDemise (1199205) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596199)

I blame mostly MS. I mean come on... they are gona let something remove the boot file? That file should be locked unless the system is trying to edit it... Oh MS why do you fail at life so bad? Power to linux! (mac are okay too.... I suppose.)

Re:They both made errors. (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596303)

And what's stopping me from logging in to a Linux machine as root and removing /boot? Why aren't those files "locked unless the system is trying to edit" them?

Reboot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596055)

It's a good thing users just have to opt to boot from the last known good configuration.
Hope they're smart enough to remember about that. ;)

Bricking? (5, Informative)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596057)

Why does the summary say "bricking the machine"? Does the machine become a doorstop that cannot be fixed? Can you not (and this might even be more complicated than necessary, but as a rather inexperienced Windows user, this came to mind first) use a Linux Live CD to boot and edit the necessary files? I DNRTFA, but if it is just an errant backslash, it should be a piece of cake to fix.

Hardly "bricking" IMHO.

Re:Bricking? (0)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596105)

As I mentioned in my previous post:

People with one machine and w/o a Linux live CD (probably 90% of windows users) would have a bricked machine barring any outside assistance.

Just like a dead battery in your car doesn't 'brick' your car, but if you can't find anyone willing to give you a jumpstart you aren't going to be doing much driving with it.

Re:Bricking? (5, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596241)

As I mentioned in my previous post:

People with one machine and w/o a Linux live CD (probably 90% of windows users) would have a bricked machine barring any outside assistance.
No, they wouldn't. The term "bricked" has very specific connotations. Specifically, that it is not repairable without professional intervention which will probably cost more than the unit itself, thus turning it into a "very expensive brick."

A crashed OS is not a bricking, unless that OS is on firmware or something. If popping in a CD can fix your computer, whether or not you are too stupid to do it yourself, then it's not bricked.

Re:Bricking? (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596509)

You understand the difference, I understand the difference, but who the hell cares? If you have 100 words or less to get your point across, use the term that your audience would understand, and with a hint of thought could realize the intention.

Re:Bricking? (5, Funny)

gazbo (517111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596321)

Man, that's serious then. One would have thought that MS would make the Windows CD bootable so that users could gain access to some form of "recovery console".

Re:Bricking? (1)

nbehary (140745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596559)

Actually all you need is an XP CD to fix this. I've stupidly killed grub installing a new kernel (don't ask how, i'm still not sure) and made the system unbootable. To get a working system back quickly, I just loaded up XP's setup and fixed it in the Emergency console. Now, knowing there is an emergency console, and that the command "fixmbr" (I think) will reinstall XP's boot loader is probably still beyond most people, but still. You don't need to be so savy as to have a Linux Live CD laying around.

Re:Bricking? (1)

Rob86TA (955953) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596113)

Why does the summary say "bricking the machine"? Does the machine become a doorstop that cannot be fixed?
Here Here! If you are not required to disassemble / pull a key component / find a JTAG interface, it is not bricked.

Re:Bricking? (2, Informative)

IceCreamGuy (904648) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596123)

You are absolutely correct, you can use a Linux live CD, a BartPE disc, the Windows install disc, whatever you have that can access an NTFS partition. It's a pretty easy procedure, the equivalent of rewriting a grub config file, just need to know the %windir% folder and installed partition. Brick is definitely not an accurate description.

Re:Bricking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596127)

The machine fails to boot, and you need specialist tools and knowledge to return the machine to a usable state.

Until this is done, the machine is a large white or black brick. Seems like a fair description to me.

Re:Bricking? (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596129)

Bricked used to be a term for an unsuccessful firmware upgrade, where you had to reprogram the bios chip to boot the device.

Re:Bricking? (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596203)

The problem is that the \ is not put into the ini file, it is in the install script, resulting in a wrong path, therefore the game ini file is copied to root directory, overwriting the windows file.

Re:Bricking? (1)

truesaer (135079) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596423)

95% of people do not have a windows live CD handy and the knowledge of how to restore an overwritten boot.ini file. If the vast proportion of the population have to take their computer apart and bring it to a repair shop for a week, thats pretty bad.

Re:Bricking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596457)

I don't know if it is standard or not but on both of my XP machines there is a backup of boot.ini in c:\windows\pss .I have used this backup before by copying it over with a ntfs dos boot disk.

Partially correct story (5, Informative)

NATIK (836405) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596061)

Everything the newsstory says is correct, but the issue have been fixed and anyone updating now wont get hit by it.

It is still a momumental fuckup though and the one responsible needs to be kicked in the balls for that kind of stupidity.

Re:Partially correct story (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596347)

Just because the problem isn't there anymore doesn't mean that it isn't worth mocking mercilessly.

Re:Partially correct story (1)

NATIK (836405) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596407)

I agree, which is the point of my second paragraf. It is still a serious issue and huge fuckup and someone needs to have their balls kicked, preferably in public.

Only one joke from this (1)

avalean (1176333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596063)

(Insert Generic and Obvious "This was the plot all along" Joke here)

Genius (0)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596065)

EVE programmer1: Let's delete boot.ini EVE Programmer2: Great idea, man, should speed things up. Do it. Duh.

Re:Genius (1)

DarkAce911 (245282) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596209)

I want to know why they need to mess with boot.ini in the first place. This yet another reason why I quit playing EVE, their QA department does not exist. I won't even get started on BOB, 0.0, and mining.

OUCH! (2, Funny)

Brazilian Geek (25299) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596081)

One man's misery is another's chance to quote Nelson from The Simpsons so I'll just get this out of the way...

Ha! Ha!

I don't know EVE's demographics but repairing this by hand is beyond most users abilities.

Re:OUCH! (1)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596527)

I don't know EVE's demographics but repairing this by hand is beyond most users abilities.
As it was for ADAM to simply duct tape the half eaten fruit back up on the tree.

Idiot Moron QA (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596089)

How could such a bug not pass QA?

Or don't the testers ever reboot their machines?

Re:Idiot Moron QA (1, Funny)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596159)

After they bricked (?!) their machines they were unable to report it. Some reported no problems without failing to tell they ran vista. The idea that a installer for a ordinary userspace application, makes your machine unbootable is not very likely.

PS, mod me funny.

Not a problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596091)

...if the developers are as thick-skinned as the IE developers they might get away with saying it's a feature that teaches people how to re-install their Windows.

Then they will promise this and that and people will continue spending their money.

Business as usual.

It's not bricked! (5, Informative)

wiredog (43288) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596097)

Dammit! When did "bricking" expand it's meaning from "unbootable under any conditions due to firmware (such as the BIOS) being improperly overwritten" to "Oops, have to pull out the rescue CD"?

Re:It's not bricked! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596161)

About the same time /. became the daily gossip column for MMORPGs, teh Google, and teh Apple.

Re:It's not bricked! (1)

pebs (654334) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596175)

Thank you, I was going to say the same thing. I am tired of the overuse of the term "bricking". If your hardware is "bricked" it renders your hardware as useful as a "brick" in the more permanent sense. If you can fix it without via software, it is not bricked.

That's not bricked! (1)

leehwtsohg (618675) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596185)

Dammit! When did "bricking" expand its meaning from "unbootable under any conditions due to CPU burning up" to "Oops, have to pull out the EEPROM programmer and flash my BIOS"?

Re:That's not bricked! (1)

E. Edward Grey (815075) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596233)

I think we're talking about as close to your definition of "bricking" as a game patch could possibly deliver.

Re:It's not bricked! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596201)

When people started owning computers that can't tell the difference.

Re:It's not bricked! (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596221)

I didn't even have to do that. I noticed an error message with BOOT.INI, and the machine booted just fine. Talk about alarmist.

Re:It's not bricked! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596279)

Since when did "bricking" expand it's meaning from "unbootable because it's been burnt to a crisp having been struck by lightning" to "firmware (such as the BIOS) being improperly overwritten"?
If you can't unsolder the appropriate chips, fashion a makeshift eeprom blower (using twigs and a bit of string), and put in the correct data yourself by touching wires together in the appropriate order, you've got no business using a computer.

Fact of the matter is, this is a patch to a game. When Joe Average comes home to find his PC won't boot, and all Joe Jr did was install a patch, it's as good as a brick. Just because YOU have the knowledge and ability to fix it doesn't mean the rest of the world does. It's a trip to your local PC store, and a 50 on the table to fix it (and in the process they'll steal all your porn, holiday pics, and personal banking details too).

I'm glad doctors don't have the attitude us nerds do. "Has someone got a poorly tummy? Awe diddums! Come back when you know what apendicitis is you n00b!".

Re:It's not bricked! (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596299)

The word is so in right now that people use it as much as they can, like replaying a newly found long lost porn video on a large hard drive. It's annoying but we'll just have to deal with it because people are like that.

I've already started to dislike it though, because unlike before when people wrote what the problem was, they may now just throw that word around and you don't even know what the problem is. Patch causing hardware to break? A software issue? Who cares, it's "bricked". *sigh*

Re:It's not bricked! (4, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596329)

I think we need to start subclassing the term. It's bricked, but it's recoverable. So it's just a mild inconvenience. A nerf brick? Loose grout?

Lucky Break (0, Flamebait)

PoetDemise (1199205) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596117)

Lucky for me I gave Eve Online about 6 months ago ^.^ I one of those people has recently got a new PC and 'downgrade' to XP. Linden Labs (creators of Second Life), I thank you so much.....

Hah Hah. (1)

Howitzer86 (964585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596143)

Yet another reason to keep games off the mission-critical system. I wonder who's getting fired... and I don't mean just the guys working on Eve. >=D

On another note, I played Eve for a while until I temporarily left the subscription. Now I'm not sure I'll pick the game back up.

Re:Hah Hah. (1)

Yehtmae (704201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596473)

> Yet another reason to keep games off the mission-critical system. I wonder who's getting fired... and I don't mean just the guys working on Eve. >=D Wish I had mod points. Certainly going to be work for a few pissed off system admins tomorrow!

As good as bricked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596173)

Although EVE's userbase is what I would consider more technically inclined than most games, I somehow doubt 90% of them will know what to do when the friendly 'boot.ini not found' pops up. A visit to your friendly nerd, or overcharging chain store will be in order.

Another great QA job from CCP.

The sad thing is, the graphics upgrade (touted as speeding up eve) makes it lag even more on a high end pc.

Apologies (3, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596187)

In Parlimentary Republican Iceland, game breaks Windows!

Not sure this is a QA problem... (4, Insightful)

E. Edward Grey (815075) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596205)

Things like this can easily happen when your patch doesn't have any CHANGE CONTROL. Imagine this - the patch is ready to go, everyone agrees on it, and then a small group of developers (or maybe even a single developer) decides to make a modification...and implements it badly. It doesn't even go through QA because QA isn't invoked ("oh, that would just delay the release, I'm sure I have it right anyway"). And now you have this.

I know it drives us crazy, I know not every organization implements change control that's sane and logical. But there's a reason it exists!

One of my developers went home early (1)

threaded (89367) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596229)

Mildly amusing, but one of my developers went home early as she was up all last night fixing her machine after it was affected by this little problem. Never struck me as the sort of person who plays those things. There again, what is the sort of person who plays those things anyway?

Re:One of my developers went home early (1)

threaded (89367) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596427)

Darn it, also just discovered that one of the Sys Admins has disappeared off home, using this self same excuse!

Re:One of my developers went home early (1)

Webs 101 (798265) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596487)

What sort of person plays those things anyway? You answered your own question:

Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers!

Re:One of my developers went home early (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596563)

There again, what is the sort of person who plays those things anyway?

Human? Video games are not for any particular "sort" of person.

Admin privileges (1)

codeboost (603798) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596239)

How did these guys test the update? Did they test it at all?
The update shouldn't work at all, unless the game is trying to read the configuration from "C:\boot.ini" and I strongly doubt that.
But eve developers are not the only ones to blame, I think the main blame goes to Microsoft for letting users and apps run with administrator privileges (about 80% of the users run with admin privileges on XP, because most apps simply don't work as standard user). If Microsoft made it mandatory (and easy) for developers to write apps that work with non-admin privileges, we wouldn't have such stupid situations, in which a backslash kills the whole system.

Re:Admin privileges (2, Interesting)

jorenko (238937) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596367)

If you would have RTFFT, you'd know that the install script output looked like this:

Output folder: C:\Program Files\CCP\EVE
Delete file: \boot.ini
Extract: boot.ini... 100%

Which indicates the problem: someone fat-fingered the path of the file to be deleted and QA likely didn't test the final version of the installer.

Re:Admin privileges (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596493)

They do, and they push -hard- for it. And people never get the hint. .NET has an entire, very complete set of APIs to replace any task that would require useless admin priviledge (saving files to the disk in a non-user-specific way, for example) with a "safe" method. Those things are also part of windows itself, so raw C/C++ can access them easily too. All of the developer certifications by microsoft (You know, the stuff thats considered "useless and meaningless"? have that as one of their primary focus.

Yet devs are lazy and don't care. Thats why Microsoft introduced UAC. Now if you don't do it right, even if your user is running admin, they get a popup. You'd think the users would bitch and moan at the app developers. But nope, they bitched at MS instead.

There's no excuse to develop app that require admin (unless, of course, they do admin-related stuff!). But the only thing in this world that sucks more than Windows ME, is an average windows-centric developer.

Posting to Slashdot will help (0, Offtopic)

MT628496 (959515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596255)

Nothing like posting a story to Slashdot to help cool off a thread that is becoming very heated.

permissions on boot.ini (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596257)

Why is boot.ini accessible to the user anyway?

EVE was buggy when I tested it... (1)

lordmetroid (708723) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596271)

I got a temporary account lasting one month from Dreamhack in Sweden and I was really disappointed by the buggy software constantly segfaulting. Didn't get me as a customer because of that. Why? Why, do they release awful code?

Its a shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596287)

Its really a shame, this was otherwise a smooth update. We spent last night drooling over our new ships, the new HDR and shadows. Then the warning came, "Do not reboot!!".

Its also the kind of screwup that can really hurt a game's future. The patch was supposed to bring in a lot of new players but with headlines like this, that buzz may be dead.

Bricking? BS! More FUD! (2, Informative)

AndyFewt (694753) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596297)

I have XP, I installed the patch and I DID NOT get this problem. People claiming it "bricks" their machine are just trying to spread the FUD as its VERY easy to fix with your xp cd (and with zero data loss) - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/330184 [microsoft.com] will show how.

As for why this didnt get caught by QA, they don't reboot their machines. I rarely do either. Plus I expect they have permissions in place to prevent the overwrite. Plus this is the only patch in the thousands of patches they make for the test server which had this problem. Anyone will tell you the odds of a mistake are bigger the longer you go without making one.

Re:Bricking? BS! More FUD! (3, Insightful)

beheaderaswp (549877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596523)

You and I are probably both competent technical people. For my part, I'm an IT director and have done this type of work for 22 years.

Let us assume the two of us, you and I, know more about the Windows registry, bash shell, or using gcc that 98% of the geeks out there. Just for argument's sake.

However, there's a 95% chance that any EVE online player will have the following qualities:

1. Own only one computer.

2. Not be technical.

3. Not read the forums where the information is posted.

4. Be unable to digest and properly utilize the fix information.

So let us re-asses:

It took us, you and I, about 15 seconds to re-write that boot.ini file and *poof* no problem.

That's 5% of the EVE userbase. Add another 20% of the userbase that figures out how to solve the problem. 25% of the people have the fix.

The rest of those poor schlubs are driving to Best Buy to have some incompetent charge them $100 (or whatever)- and that is NOT FUD!!

That my friend is a screwup of massive scope, with huge consequences, because for people who are not geeks- that computer is a "brick".

Eve's boot.ini (4, Interesting)

splutty (43475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596315)

The boot.ini for Eve itself contains information about whether you have the "Classic" version or not. The patch that was released for the Classic version did not contain this problem.

The patch released for the "Premium" version does contain this installer error. The change made to the boot.ini is the line that contains this definition, and is changed from Classic to Premium.

It's a very logical problem, easy to fix if you know it, but also incredibly stupid...

Alarmist (4, Informative)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596357)

If you don't install your games to C: you're fine.
If you've got a 'basic' OS install, e.g. C:\WINDOWS and one partition, you're fine - the boostrap loader guesses, flashes up an error, and boots anyway.
It's a bit of a fubar, but hardly the next apocalypse.

profit (1)

bumby (589283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21596379)

1. Make buggy patch
2. Convince people that their computers are bricked because of damaged boot.ini
3. Buy "bricked" computers from ebay for the price of a brick
4. Input rescue disc into said "bricks"
5. Sell unbricked computers
6. Profit!

Whew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21596507)

And here I was feeling like an idiot for accidentally making the Common Authentication Service server at my job unavailable for thousands of coworkers and students for a few seconds yesterday. I really feel for the programmer who messed this up.

Still; plenty of joke fodder here. WoW has epic mounts, Eve has EPIC FAIL!!! :D
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