Warning: Watch out if you run Windows on a partitioned disk (e.g., Boot Camp)

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by sjinsjca, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #1
    Source: UnVexed.info

    Warning: Watch out if you run Windows on a partitioned disk (e.g., Boot Camp)


    Windows has a horrible misbehavior when it updates itself in a partitioned environment.

    This hit my son hard when, home for the holidays, his Windows 7 installation in a small Boot Camp partition on his MacBook Pro decided to run Windows Update, which is a behavior that seems cannot be turned off in Win7. From what I'm reading, the behavior is hazardous to many types of systems, not just Windows-on-Mac situations.

    From Microsoft's forums:
    "Windows Installer [creates] a temporary folder on the logical volume with the most free space, during the actual installation process, but that folder is deleted after use."
    ...The trouble is, it will do that even if that capacious volume is not a Windows-formatted partition!

    Meaning, if you're running...

    • A server,
    • A Storage Area Network or file-server,
    • A multi-boot configuration
    ...in which more than one logical volume are visible to Windows or where your physical volume is partitioned into two or more logical volumes...

    ...then Windows 7's commandeering of the largest partition for scratchpad purposes can damage the file system on that partition.

    Astonishing. Totally unacceptable behavior from an operating system.

    [snip]
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Inside
    #2
    Windows when started up on Boot Camp does not have write abilities to a Mac/HFS+ formatted volume, when using Apple's drivers. Thus, the installer will be forced to use the Windows/NTFS volume. Furthermore, the installer will only do this to internal NTFS formatted drives with priority given to the current startup disk.
     
  3. sjinsjca thread starter macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #3
    Thanks for the information. Perhaps this victim (and others populating threads like this) may not have installed Apple's drivers.
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    Location:
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    #4
    Without Apple's HFS+ drivers, the Mac disk will show up as an unformatted drive. But the drivers are installed with the rest of the Boot Camp system drivers. There are third party drivers that allow write support of HFS+ drives. Even with these, the update installer will give priority to the current startup partition when installing updates.
     
  5. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #5
    I always keep my boot camp partition updated and I've never ran into an issue with Windows trying to copy files onto a 2nd partition for use for updates
     
  6. rocknblogger macrumors 68020

    rocknblogger

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    Apr 2, 2011
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #6
    You can also turn off auto update and update manually one update at a time and of your choosing.
     
  7. sjinsjca thread starter macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #7
    Personally, I had no issues with Boot Camp either in the short time I used it. But besides my son's experience, there are plenty of folks on threads like "Unrepairable disk errors on Mac partitions caused by Bootcamp Windows updates?" with similar issues. No doubt they're a minority, but the problem appears to be a serious one.

    Perhaps it has to do with incorrectly installed, corrupted or out-of-date Apple drivers for the Boot Camp OS.

    Caution is advised. And: back up!
     
  8. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #8
    Absolutely incorrect.


    Open Start menu, right-click on Computer and click Properties. This will open System dialog box that will show basic information about your computer. On the left sidebar, under See also heading, you will find Windows Update. Clicking it will bring you to the Windows Update dialog box, now on the left sidebar click on Change Settings.

    You will notice that Windows has enabled the update option as default, to disable it, simply select Never check for updates and you are done.

    I will add that *not* patching Windows is a very, very bad idea. I think the rest of the posters above have adequately addressed why it happened.
     
  9. johnhurley macrumors 6502a

    johnhurley

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #9
    The discussion thread that you pointed to does not exactly have plenty of folks ... there are 2 posters in that thread with a total of 5 posts.

    It is hard to guess exactly what occurred at this point.

    If one could produce a reproducible test case detailing exactly what circumstances and setup is required to lead to the type of problem you are hinting at that would be helpful.

    Perhaps ( just shooting in the dark here ) it might be a combination of factors such as having limited free space in the bootcamp partition AND using some kind of 3rd party driver that gives write access to the mac os x partition AND some problem/bug in the 3rd party driver?

    Most of us with dual boot setups using bootcamp seem to be just fine keeping windows updated.
     

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