I just recovered 2 separate Vista installations that would not reboot properly after apparently receiving a recent “important” update automatically.  This may have been from a February 14th update and we’re only just learning about it.  I have deduced, yet I’m not 100% sure, that I had installed Vista Service Pack 1 and other updates, but that recently, an auto-reboot revealed that the login screen was not displaying.  One machine showed these symptoms yesterday after having been off for about a week when it auto-magically downloaded important updates and restarted.  When it came back up, nothing appeared on the screen. I ended up returning to the oldest restore point to get back to a stable environment.  Then I installed the updates separately. Now it works fine.

When my workstation began showing the same symptoms, I looked for the same solution.  Long story short, after trying everything, I ended up restoring the last restore point and applying individual updates until it is almost back to where I want it.  I think I’ll wait to reapply Service Pack 1.  I’m just a little gun-shy.

I just received that e-mail from Microsoft:

Subject "MSDN Flash Special Issue: Windows Vista SP1 Available for Download by MSDN Subscribers"

So while I'm downloading that, to burn to DVD when finished, I'm installing Windows Server 2008 Enterprise in a Virtual Machine, Configuring Microsoft Office SharePoint Server on a small farm with SQL Server 2005 and a Domain Controller, and finishing the starter site on a Commerce Server 2007 stand-alone installation.  This is using 6.2 GB of RAM and averaging 50% CPU.  This machine isn't even breathing heavy.  For those of us who want it all for development performance, more is certainly better.  But, when you consider that this machine was built locally at a custom shop for about $2200 plus about $650 for the 28" Viewsonic flat panel, you have to ask why would someone spend all that money on the big name brands for less capability than 1/4 of this configuration.

I'm in the middle of rebooting 3 servers so when I finish I can install the Vista Service Pack 1 and cross my fingers.  We need to get Windows Server 2008 running on harware as well, so this virtual (VMware) installation should help me run through for the first time what it might look like.  It will be installed as a dual-boot option with Vista on this same hardware.  This means that my primary file server may need to be upgraded from 2003 R2 to 2008 to use it real time.  I'm hoping to have a similar server configuration to (Formerly Avanade, EMC) Dave McBride's dev environment.  This way, I can run up to 16 CPU cores in 4 physical boxes, virualizing perhaps dozens of servers at once.