Hello. My name is Joseph Conway and I am a Senior Support Escalation Engineer on the Windows CORE team. What that fancy title means in laymans terms is that I am one of the guys on the other end of the phone when you call into Microsoft support. The group I work for supports Windows operating systems from Windows 2000 SP4 to the current release of Windows Vista/2008 (as well as the upcoming Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 releases). On my team we work with a myriad of things such as deployment technologies (WDS/MDT), failover clustering, file systems, and OS installation and Windows servicing support.
Within my group, I typically deal with issues in the servicing mechanics of Windows. Servicing is a term used to describe the way in which Windows Updates, Service Packs and other roles/features are added to an OS. Starting with Windows Vista, servicing moved from a model that used update.exe to a component based model. Troubleshooting this new model tends to be a little tricker for users and administrators (and us as well <G>).
My hopes with this blog is to convey some of the things that I typically do to troubleshoot issues with the servicing stack, what we look for in logging and how to resolve issues when you can.
In no way is this meant to be the “end all be all” of support for the servicing components in Windows, but I hope it is a good source of information for dealing with some of these issues from the perspective of an engineer supporting the product within Microsoft.