Earlier this week I was helping a friend of mine upgrade Windows XP to SP3. It shouldn't have been a big deal, but for some reason these Service Pack upgrades always seem to have their issues. I put off installing it on my own computer for a long time, and then when I finally did it - BSOD! - which led to having to reformat my hard drive and reinstall Windows completely.
This time things seemed to be going well. We backed up all the documents on the computer and began the install, which of course takes forever because Windows has to back everything up, just in case you need to go back to SP2. So, all the files are backed up, the install of SP3 begins, and partway through there's an error copying beethov9.wma - do we want to continue the install without copying it? Click yes and the install continues, until we get another error message telling us the same exact file cannot be copied. After multiple retries we hit cancel, which does not just cancel copying that file - it cancels the entire upgrade. That means everything that had been installed is uninstalled and all the backups are restored. And we went through this multiple times - first deleting the file because we thought it was a random file that was already on the computer. That didn't work so I tried downloading SP3 from Microsoft again, thinking maybe there was a problem with the file I had previously downloaded - except that one had worked just fine when I installed it on my computer - the 2nd time, after I had reformatted and re-installed.
Midway through the 3rd attempt, this storm rolled through, and I held my breath hoping the power wouldn't go out. It did flicker a few times, but thankfully we had the computer plugged into a battery backup. I still got the beethov9.wma error, but at least the install wasn't interrupted, and I didn't lose everything. That's when Mary Googled "beethov9.wma" to see if there was any info. Sure enough, we weren't the only ones having this problem. Basically, Windows was trying to copy this file into the Shared Documents folder - except that on this particular computer that folder had never been shared. It was just called Documents, and every time we tried to open it, we got an error message saying we didn't have permission to access that folder.
To fix this I right-clicked on the folder and chose 'Sharing and Security' (you can also choose Properties and go to the Sharing tab) - then I checked the boxes to share the folder on a network and allow users to change my files.
Reading the box, it looks like the Shared Documents folder was already supposed to be there and be shared with all users on the computer, but for some reason it wasn't. I ended up having to run the Network Setup Wizard first so that I could check those boxes, but the end result was that, after sharing the folder, the file did indeed copy, and the installation of SP3 was successful. Finally!
My question for Microsoft is - why does an update to my operating system that contains 'security updates, hotfixes, and select out-of-band releases' also need a music file? I'm pretty sure the computer would have operated just fine without it - and saved me a lot of frustration. A job that should have taken a couple hours ended up taking ALL DAY.