Windows XP users are best advised to keep a regular eye on the company’s update and help websites, rather than relying on automatic updates from the download service.
Microsoft does have a fix for the Windows XP CD-writing problem we recorded last week, but it is not, as a Microsoft representative previously suggested, included in the automatic Windows Update received regularly online. This is because Microsoft does not consider the ability to write to a CD-R or CD-RW disc on a suitably equipped PC to be “critical”.
“Only critical updates are contained in automatic alerts to the user,” says Sydney-based support staffer Greg Gaspari. Microsoft considers only bugs compromising security or likely to occasion data loss as critical, he says. “Anything else is seen as an aesthetic change,” and is put on the website rather than automatically sent to users.
Whether it’s critical or aesthetic, the user is still charged a standard fee of $35 for asking the helpdesk about a bug for which a fix has been “publicised”.
Users attempting to back up files to a CD could experience data loss, were they to delete the files from the hard drive before checking. Microsoft’s error message is clear in indicating the process has failed, and until the files have been physically written to the compact disk, they are retained in a staging partition displayed as a separate part of the CD window.
A fix can be found on the Windows Update website at support.microsoft.com, by searching for bulletin number Q320174.