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Windows XP BITS Pandemic


It’s amazing how many computers are still running Windows XP, which was released in 2001. Typically, the Microsoft product life cycle is 5 years standard support, plus another 5 years of extended support in which no major enhancements are released (10 Years total). The OS was so wildly popular that Microsoft extended the deadline, so that Windows XP Support ends in 2014. In comparison, the Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah of 2001 was only supported through 2002 as is the standard 1 year support policy from Apple today.

In recent months, customers that utilize Windows Server Update Service to centrally managed and update workstations (something Apple also hasn’t done for Mac in the last 10 years) have begun to notice that some Windows XP machines are not getting updates. Even when you try to run Windows Update locally, you may receive an error message that contains the “0x8DDD0018” code or the “0x80246008” code when you try to download updates from the Microsoft Windows Update web site. While there seem to be various causes, it appears the OS may be so old that new policies change permissions for the Background Intelligent Transfer Service that must be running to download updates.

To fix problem Windows XP workstations, run the following locally or create a login script or group policy (does not affect Windows 7 workstations):

  1. Click Start and Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
  2. Type the following  command, and then press ENTER:
    sc sdset bits D:(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;SY)(A;;CCDCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRSDRCWDWO;;;BA)(A;;CCLCSWLOCRRC;;;AU)(A;;CCLCSWRPWPDTLOCRRC;;;PU)
  3. Then type net start  bits, and hit ENTER.
  4. Close the cmd window.

As of this writing, you have less than 18 months before XP is not supported – but at least you’ll have current updates. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/910337 for the long version.

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