W7/XP system: XP locks after MS security patch, then restart


My system was XP Pro, 32-bit only. I installed a new drive with Windows 7 64-bit. I installed easyBCD 2.2.117. Windows 7 is on Drive 0 and is intended to be my default system. XP is on Drive 3. After installation, I could boot into either system. But, while working in the XP system, the dreaded Microsoft shield showed up indicating security updates were awaiting installation. I dutifully complied, and KB981852 and KB956572 installed and then indicated I needed to restart. When I restarted, the dual-boot screen appeared as usual, and I selected the Windows XP drive to boot. It completely locks up with a black screen! I have to hit the reset button to get the system to reboot. It will boot to the Windows 7 disk, but I can't boot into the Windows XP disk with *any* option... safe mode or last working state or ANYTHING.

I tried restoring the MBR from an Acronis backup, but this did not fix the problem. When I restored the entire Drive image, everything began working OK again. But, of course, MS was nagging me to install the updates. Like Charlie Brown and Lucy with the football, I tried again. Same problem. If I install the MS updates which apparently plant something in the startup sequence to finish the installation, it clobbers something in my dual-boot configuration.

From the W7 environment I can see the XP drive, and ntldr, boot.ini, NTDETECT.COM, and AUTOEXEC.BAT are all there. I can't tell what is getting clobbered, but there seems to be a serious interaction with having to restart after the MS updates which apparently require some post processing on restart have occurred.

What to do? What to look for?
Unfortunately not all updates are tested enough before they are released. Windows Update allows you to hide updates. I would hide these updates so they are no longer offered but you can continue to receive future updates.
I don't think the problem is the update itself. If I were not running in a dual-boot configuration, where the boot files have been manipulated, I think a restart would initially transfer to the tail end of the update process to finish the update, and then transfer to the normal restart. I think what is happening is that because the boot files have been changed, the Windows update process is overwriting the wrong place when it tries to plant the path to the pre-boot update installation code... something like that. If my theory is correct, this is a major issue for the easyBCD boot configuration. Something needs to change.
You got to the W7 boot menu and selected XP, so nothing is wrong with the W7 bootmgr or the MBR.
It's only when bootmgr chains to XP that you get a problem.
Those fixes are quite old, and a web search reveals loads of people had problems with them in a single boot.
Any problem caused by Windows Update qualifies for free support from Microsoft.
Just follow the links from "Update History"
KB981852 and KB956572

Interesting point, Terry60. I googled these and found a lot of posts from people who had big problems getting these to install. I don't know why these updates just showed up a few days ago. I've generally had my system install all MS updates automatically, and I don't recall having had a problem with those. In any case, the troubles I saw were not regarding a dual-boot situation. Something is getting hammered in my XP installation. When I only restored the XP MBR, it didn't fix the problem. When I restore the complete Acronis image of the XP drive, then everything works again. I agree with you that it doesn't seem to be affecting the W7 MBR or other info on the W7 drive. For now, I've just turned off updates in the XP installation, but it is an uncomfortable work-around. I'd like to learn exactly what is getting corrupted and why.
Send MS an email through the WUD links and they should sort you out.
They're pretty good on support for WUD problems.
I had a bad update (on ME) years ago and they phoned me and walked me through a series of steps to fix the WUD corruption and get everything clean again.