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blankseplocked About the boot.ini issue, new Dev Blog by Explorer
 
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Andrue
Amarr
Posted - 2007.12.12 10:54:00 - [61]
 

Originally by: ChataJohn
Not good enough, when your computer is down for days it's kinda hard to read the fix or the oh we are kinda sorry - I am canceling my account.
..and will no doubt choose to play a game from another company that has no experience of this issue.

Your kind of rejection of anyone that makes a mistake has two flaws:

1.It discourages innovation.
People will stick with tried and trusted technology and procedures rather than experimenting with things that might not work.

2.It gets rid of your experienced people.
Now that CCP have done this they are a lot less likely to do it and other similar things again. They have learnt from the experience. They are probably the least likely software company in the world to do this again.

BTW:This is true in the wider world. Just because someone makes a big mistake is not neccesarily a good reason to get rid of them. Of course if it suggests utter incompetence and stupidity then it is but in most cases it's just an oversight. In that situation you are better off letting the person stay in office since they can learn from the mistake.

DrAtomic
Atomic Heroes
Chain of Chaos
Posted - 2007.12.12 11:18:00 - [62]
 

Ty for the nice insight and apology accepted!

Ralitge boyter
Minmatar
Posted - 2007.12.12 11:54:00 - [63]
 

Good to see the blog about this one and good to see the explanation.

Also good to see that all companies encounter goof ups like this. And it isn't just all the companies that I have and am working for where these things happen.

It seems like a fair enough idea to run over all file names and make sure that they do not conflict with windows but that is not always going to save you, as there will most likely be more things then just ≡v≡ installed on the machine.
You might want to try a policy where each and every file name is always written with it's full path, no excuse posible.
In final patch size it will be a minimal thing, but for the saftey aspect you can never end up with an issue like this.

As for the testing setup not picking this up well I guess that if I ever find a single IT company that is actually testing in a way where they can say with 75% certainty that their system will work in all possible circumstances I will join that company and never ever leave as it is bound to take over the world. Twisted Evil


Felysta Sandorn
Celestial Apocalypse
Posted - 2007.12.12 12:06:00 - [64]
 

Thanks a lot for shedding some light on this.

I was lucky that I have my own backups built in to place, and when boot.ini wasn't there, my computer still booted via a backup routine. I was able to rewrite the file myself, and everything was sorted. You also showed me that the backup routine I wrote a couple of years ago works, but takes about an hour to boot my computer and tell me what's wrong, so I'm fixing it at the moment to take less time! Laughing

Thanks for all the hard work, CCP, I can appreciate the time and effort that goes in to this, and the middle-of-the-night coding sessions, and although this bug did affect me, I won't be screaming for any compensation unlike half the community.

I hope the rest of this situation gets resolved fast.

Cheers!

Zarch AlDain
GK inc.
Posted - 2007.12.12 12:16:00 - [65]
 

Edited by: Zarch AlDain on 12/12/2007 12:16:45
My computer has had its boot.ini wiped - but it's on the default partition so windows works fine. I'll probably get around to putting boot.ini back at some point. I had to help a friend fix his, and other than that everything has been fine.

It was a small mistake with big consequences and as a programmer myself I know how easy it is to do that. Thank you for the honesty and the apology in the blog, and I thought CCP's response with getting the message out to as many people as possible as fast as possible was commendable.

N1fty
Galactic Shipyards Inc
Huzzah Federation
Posted - 2007.12.12 12:30:00 - [66]
 

Thanks for a sincere devblog on this matter.

Group Hug! ugh


I forgive you for the 3 hours of fixing I went through to get my housemate back into EVE Cool

ZelRox
Reikoku
IT Alliance
Posted - 2007.12.12 13:33:00 - [67]
 

Originally by: ChataJohn
Not good enough, when your computer is down for days it's kinda hard to read the fix or the oh we are kinda sorry - I am canceling my account.


Can i have your stuff ?

CCP pulls through as always. 4 years playing, and here till the end.

Jorr Meditir
Gallente
Deathwatch Gaming
Posted - 2007.12.12 14:01:00 - [68]
 

I did get this error when i returned from DreamHack.
Newer tought it had anything what so ever to do with Eve, i belived it was all about my new graphicscard that screwed things over.
But my leet hacking skills and my friends computer helped me out.

Bad mistake, hopefully it was a one time experience.

Originally by: CCP Explorer
... In all, we've been contacted by fewer than 215 users (170 by petition, 45 by phone) who were adversely affected by the boot.ini issue...

Can you please do a survey, to really get a number on how many that were affected by this?

Nisse Owned
The Order of Chivalry
Posted - 2007.12.12 14:20:00 - [69]
 

Originally by: Kirmok
I for one appreciate the candor and your fast response.

Please continue to be honest with us in the future!

I used to play a game called...lets call is SWG...and the company that produces/develops it is NOT very honest or forward about what they are planning and/or doing.


Lol yeah, I just got back to eve for the graphics upgrade and saw this, gotta love CCP ^.=.^

Twisted Evil
Sony is ebil, nerfbat xxl, fired all the vanguard employees and replaced them with their own to make the game more WoW like Rolling Eyes

alpheon
Caldari
Ars ex Discordia
GoonSwarm
Posted - 2007.12.12 15:13:00 - [70]
 

I guess this is just one of those collective ****ups that slips past not one, but apparently 4 sets of eyes.

I'll make some obvious suggestions, some are just repeating whats already been said.

1. Code Review Code Review Code Review Code Review, make it part of your life
2. Locked Code Testing. Its impossible to test a moving target.
3. Read your forums! Someone sent up an alert about this, maybe it was in the wrong spot, but you missed it.
4. Diverse Test Environs. You should be out buying a few shuttle boxes, a few dell crap home computers, an old HP desktop with the best AGP card fit in to it... THe rest of the world doesn't exist in an ideal production environment.

Alright, all that *****ing aside, I'm sure all of you know how much you ****ed up. So I'll stop repeating things

Everyone makes a mistake. The key is to learn from those mistakes, and apply the lesson to everything you do in the future. So, the REAL trick, is to make sure something like this doesn't happen again. Then you'll REALLY look dumb.

Thank you very very very very much for posting a write up on what happened.
Even if we had to wait a week, it was worth waiting for the transparency. We all appreciate that.

Thanks for the game, I'm a happy player (who abused his work DS3 internet link to download the full patch and avoided all of this chaos)

Berand
The Scope
Posted - 2007.12.12 15:32:00 - [71]
 

CCP currently training skill: candor from IV to V? :) Good blog, appreciate the info.

I always knew programming language was overpowered. You should add scripts so you can either delete "boot.ini" OR "manifest.dat", but not both at the same time. This thing is way more overpowered than sensor damps.

Taedrin
Gallente
Kushan Industrial
Posted - 2007.12.12 17:14:00 - [72]
 

Quote:
Why doesn't Windows protect its system startup files? That's a good question, one that I have asked myself in these last few days and wish I knew the answer. But of course I'm not going to blame Microsoft for our mistake. Windows doesn't protect those files and therefore software developers must take care not to touch them. We should have been more careful.


Windows DOES protect it's system files. It's just that most users are logged in as administrators, whose permissions over ride close to all restrictions. An Administrator in windows can delete his/her boot.ini file, just as a root user in Linux can delete hit/her /boot directory.

Mashie Saldana
Minmatar
Veto Corp
Posted - 2007.12.12 17:34:00 - [73]
 

Originally by: Thaneal Swiftbird
2. Please read your forums more thoroughly. The boot.ini bug was reported by a user who encountered it on the test server, days before the patch went live on Tranq. He did report it on the forum, you managed to overlook that.



Too bad he didn't bug-report it properly. A fair few of the bugs I have reported are fixed now so that system definitely works as intended.

Pantheon Lea
Farmer Boyz
Posted - 2007.12.12 20:04:00 - [74]
 

Well, mistakes are made, some have larger consequences than other, but when we deal with humans, mistakes will always be made.

I was affected by the issue, but thanks to your fast publishing of the error, i was able to verify that i was missing the boot.ini file before i restarted my computer. As an computer technician i was able to solve the problem by myself right away, but without the knowledge of the error god knows when i would have found the reason why my system would not boot, i would probably have replaced my hard drive and lost and spend a few hours getting my system set up like i want it.

Don't feel bad about making an error, be open about it and do everything you can to minimise the damage.

I don't always agree with how you do things, but i think you handled this nightmare pretty good.


Anwylyd Al'Vos
The Knights Templar
Intrepid Crossing
Posted - 2007.12.12 20:05:00 - [75]
 

Great explanation, thanks guys... unfortunately I was one to experience this bug, and thankfully had enough experience to work out the fix (aside from my SATA options in bios making my recovery disk not recognize my hd)... really have to thank my fellow player base as their input was the real day saver...

Just please, don't do this again...

riprjak
Hermits Rest
Posted - 2007.12.12 21:10:00 - [76]
 

Originally by: Anwylyd Al'Vos

Just please, don't do this again...


Yes, if only so we don't have to put up with pages of whine that make it seem like half the player base, as opposed to a tiny percentage, were affected.

Bloody good show explaining your screw up in such detail. It was monumental in impact but simple in execution, as all the best rat-fscks are.

Well done for supporting the fix of the issue through apparently expensive third parties, well done for getting trinity out so quickly, well done for the public disclosure.

Now some more guarana and caffeine for the devs, some glasses and mandatory documentation reading sessions and then we will all be fine... :)

err!
jak.

Mirik
Gallente
Center for Advanced Studies
Posted - 2007.12.12 21:42:00 - [77]
 

CCP team should have checked their installer/uninstaller scripts long time ago. Below is the text of a bug report I submitted approximately 4 months ago:

43136 Eve uninstaller deletes non Eve files.
Revelations 2.1.0 35183
2007.08.28 15:05:36

Today when I downloaded the new Eve patch it failed with message that one of the files failed its CRC check and I need to download and install full build. I did so and before installing it I went ahead and uninstalled Eve client first. Out of curiosity I checked the log and this is what I seen (pay attention to first 5 items removed):

Delete file: C:\Documents and Settings\XXXX\Start Menu\Programs\\desktop.ini
Delete file: C:\Documents and Settings\XXXX\Start Menu\Programs\\Internet Explorer.lnk
Delete file: C:\Documents and Settings\XXXX\Start Menu\Programs\\Outlook Express.lnk
Delete file: C:\Documents and Settings\XXXX\Start Menu\Programs\\Remote Assistance.lnk
Delete file: C:\Documents and Settings\XXXX\Start Menu\Programs\\Windows Media Player.lnk
Delete file: C:\Program Files\CCP\EVE\boot.ini
Delete file: C:\Program Files\CCP\EVE\common.ini
Delete file: C:\Program Files\CCP\EVE\eve.exe
Delete file: C:\Program Files\CCP\EVE\LogServer.exe
... and so on, no room here to post it all

I do appreciate that Eve developers want to save me from evil that is Microsoft but I can do that myself just fine :) If in fact Eve installer starts to remove other files not associated with Eve client this is very serious. Those are just links but what if it removed actual files. Im an advanced user and I simply recreated those links but you can image what that would look like to average Joe (OMG, Eve deleted my browser and mail!).

CCP, you guys may want to have a serious look at this.

Corruption found during patching was in "C:\Program Files\CCP\EVE\res.stuff" according to patcher "CRC failed/did not match".

EDIT: OS is Windows XP Professional SP2



Now let me repeat two of the sentences I wrote back then:

"If in fact Eve installer starts to remove other files not associated with Eve client this is very serious. Those are just links but what if it removed actual files."


After filing this bug I have been informed that devs know about it. Also, this bug still persists. Instead of downloading classic to premium upgrade, I simply downloaded entire client and uninstalled Eve. Result was the same it deleted same links as before with one another addition of link to one of my other games (sic!). This time however I had my links backed up as I remembered what happened last time.

So as you can see, this kind of behavior from Eve installer is nothing new. CCP you need to have VERY serious look at this issue this time around.

Fraps
Setenta Corp
F A I L
Posted - 2007.12.12 21:49:00 - [78]
 

Originally by: M1AU
Quote:
Why doesn't Windows protect its system startup files? That's a good question, one that I have asked myself in these last few days and wish I knew the answer. But of course I'm not going to blame Microsoft for our mistake. Windows doesn't protect those files and therefore software developers must take care not to touch them. We should have been more careful.


Windows don't need a feature like that, the answer is quite simple, admin rights.
I'm using EVE as a single user on my PC therefor I don't need admin rights.
And of course, a user with administrative privileges should always be able to delete `any` files on the system.


Vista disagrees with you.


Hamfast
Gallente
Posted - 2007.12.12 21:54:00 - [79]
 

Ok, when will the Firing Squad convene and will Eve TV broadcast the Execution? (Podding will follow in Jita)

All kidding aside, thanks for owning up, explaining and for the ongoing support for this issue, lets hope its not going to be needed again.

I am a developer (not a game developer) and talked to the developer that writes our install scripts, beyond the naming issues (as identified, silly to use file names like "boot.ini") he acknowledges the difficulty with the scripts and the scripting tools.

Arric Rohr
Gallente
Intergalactic Science LLC
Posted - 2007.12.12 22:47:00 - [80]
 

Thanks for the explanation. I play EvE on three computers, one of which is still down over a week later because of this. Although it's easy to understand *how* it happened, it's difficult to accept that it *did* happen, especially considering how much time and grief this has caused me.

Before you flame me, I'm not a techie, I'm just a guy who plays games. All the suggested fixes for the boot.ini problem did not work for me, I had to uninstall my hard drive, back it up, and reinstall XP. Not being a techie, I screwed it up and had to bring in help. All this because of a mistake that honestly should have been caught. Also, all this for a graphics upgrade that doesn't work correctly on any of my machines. Maybe I'm cursed since I was a Mac user for so many years before going over to the dark side.

That said, I won't be leaving, so no, you can't have my considerable pile of stuff. I will however protect my computers to the extent I can so that if this happens again I'll be better able to cope.

Live and learn. To make it up to me, fix the Gallente LP stores.

AR

Nvali
Ars ex Discordia
GoonSwarm
Posted - 2007.12.12 22:50:00 - [81]
 

Thanks for this post, very clear, very good to see it explained.

Mr Cleann
Caldari
State War Academy
Posted - 2007.12.13 00:56:00 - [82]
 

Edited by: Mr Cleann on 13/12/2007 00:58:57
That was great post! Thanks for the honesty and not covering up the mistake by doing things that some other companies would do for the sake of simplicity. Like blaming it on a another program. Stepping up to the plate like that shows the honesty, integrety and professionalism that CCP and its employees have. Keep up the great work. Now can I have my legs and arms? Without having to learn the skills for them? Twisted Evil Laughing Now i got that warm tinggly fuzzy feeling inside me. Think ill go mine Very Happy

Arondor
Digital Fury Corporation
Digital Renegades
Posted - 2007.12.13 01:25:00 - [83]
 

nice blog, thanks for the upfront explanation

Raketefrau
Caldari
Di-Tron Heavy Industries
Initiative Mercenaries
Posted - 2007.12.13 02:14:00 - [84]
 

"Not enough time."

Who set the deadlines? We didn't. We, the customers, were telling you to take more time, that there were far too many bugs left, and that you shouldn't rush things.

Think about that -- what a rare occurrence this is in the gaming industry, where gamers will tell the software compoany, "take your time, get it right," not "WHERE IS IT?"

Now, CCP is in this great position, and what do they do?

It wasn't even just the boot.ini thing, there are several real show-stopping bugs that got released, from pos warfare to siege-mode dreads, to simple UI things that any sort of simple test plan would have uncovered.

Everybody got screwed here. The customers got screwed, the developers got screwed, hardware got screwed... All because of impatience somewhere within CCP.

Now, if fingers are going to be pointed, I would aim them at whoever set the deadline and forced everything out WAY too early. Don't let this all land on the little guys, there was a very faulty decision made further up on this one.

Andrue
Amarr
Posted - 2007.12.13 08:29:00 - [85]
 

Originally by: Raketefrau
"Not enough time."

Who set the deadlines? We didn't. We, the customers, were telling you to take more time, that there were far too many bugs left, and that you shouldn't rush things.
Not true. Most of the playerbase comments were along the lines of "when is it coming?" and "Why is it late"? I saw very few player comments asking for it to be delayed.

Thaneal Swiftbird
Posted - 2007.12.13 09:30:00 - [86]
 

Edited by: Thaneal Swiftbird on 13/12/2007 09:30:48
Originally by: Mirik
CCP team should have checked their installer/uninstaller scripts long time ago. Below is the text of a bug report I submitted approximately 4 months ago:

43136 Eve uninstaller deletes non Eve files.
Revelations 2.1.0 35183
2007.08.28 15:05:36

Today when I downloaded the new Eve patch it failed with message that one of the files failed its CRC check and I need to download and install full build. I did so and before installing it I went ahead and uninstalled Eve client first. Out of curiosity I checked the log and this is what I seen (pay attention to first 5 items removed):

Delete file: C:\Documents and Settings\XXXX\Start Menu\Programs\\desktop.ini
Delete file: C:\Documents and Settings\XXXX\Start Menu\Programs\\Internet Explorer.lnk
Delete file: C:\Documents and Settings\XXXX\Start Menu\Programs\\Outlook Express.lnk
Delete file: C:\Documents and Settings\XXXX\Start Menu\Programs\\Remote Assistance.lnk
Delete file: C:\Documents and Settings\XXXX\Start Menu\Programs\\Windows Media Player.lnk
Delete file: C:\Program Files\CCP\EVE\boot.ini
Delete file: C:\Program Files\CCP\EVE\common.ini
Delete file: C:\Program Files\CCP\EVE\eve.exe
Delete file: C:\Program Files\CCP\EVE\LogServer.exe
... and so on, no room here to post it all

I do appreciate that Eve developers want to save me from evil that is Microsoft but I can do that myself just fine :) If in fact Eve installer starts to remove other files not associated with Eve client this is very serious. Those are just links but what if it removed actual files. Im an advanced user and I simply recreated those links but you can image what that would look like to average Joe (OMG, Eve deleted my browser and mail!).

CCP, you guys may want to have a serious look at this.

Corruption found during patching was in "C:\Program Files\CCP\EVE\res.stuff" according to patcher "CRC failed/did not match".

EDIT: OS is Windows XP Professional SP2



Now let me repeat two of the sentences I wrote back then:

"If in fact Eve installer starts to remove other files not associated with Eve client this is very serious. Those are just links but what if it removed actual files."


After filing this bug I have been informed that devs know about it. Also, this bug still persists. Instead of downloading classic to premium upgrade, I simply downloaded entire client and uninstalled Eve. Result was the same it deleted same links as before with one another addition of link to one of my other games (sic!). This time however I had my links backed up as I remembered what happened last time.

So as you can see, this kind of behavior from Eve installer is nothing new. CCP you need to have VERY serious look at this issue this time around.



Who the heck is programming that installer? Monkeys randomly selecting code snippets?

And if the problem with the installer deleting files it should not even touch was known, then how could the boot.ini problem be overlooked?

To CCP: Sorry, but I am starting to find it hard to believe this was based on mere incompetence. The massive ammount of single failures which had to occur to make the boot.ini disaster happen is just unbelievable.

Are you sure your developers are all loyal? Maybe CCPs teachings on how the universe should be dark and full of treachery are working all too well? Could there be spies/saboteurs from certain competitors within CCP?



Moraguth
Amarr
Paragon Fury
Cascade Imminent
Posted - 2007.12.13 12:30:00 - [87]
 

Originally by: Thaneal Swiftbird
Edited by: Thaneal Swiftbird on 13/12/2007 09:30:48
Originally by: Mirik
CCP team should have checked their installer/uninstaller scripts long time ago. Below is the text of a bug report I submitted approximately 4 months ago:

43136 Eve uninstaller deletes non Eve files.
Revelations 2.1.0 35183
2007.08.28 15:05:36

Today when I downloaded the new Eve patch it failed with message that one of the files failed its CRC check and I need to download and install full build. I did so and before installing it I went ahead and uninstalled Eve client first. Out of curiosity I checked the log and this is what I seen (pay attention to first 5 items removed):

Delete file: C:\Documents and Settings\XXXX\Start Menu\Programs\\desktop.ini
Delete file: C:\Documents and Settings\XXXX\Start Menu\Programs\\Internet Explorer.lnk
Delete file: C:\Documents and Settings\XXXX\Start Menu\Programs\\Outlook Express.lnk
Delete file: C:\Documents and Settings\XXXX\Start Menu\Programs\\Remote Assistance.lnk
Delete file: C:\Documents and Settings\XXXX\Start Menu\Programs\\Windows Media Player.lnk
Delete file: C:\Program Files\CCP\EVE\boot.ini
Delete file: C:\Program Files\CCP\EVE\common.ini
Delete file: C:\Program Files\CCP\EVE\eve.exe
Delete file: C:\Program Files\CCP\EVE\LogServer.exe
... and so on, no room here to post it all

I do appreciate that Eve developers want to save me from evil that is Microsoft but I can do that myself just fine :) If in fact Eve installer starts to remove other files not associated with Eve client this is very serious. Those are just links but what if it removed actual files. Im an advanced user and I simply recreated those links but you can image what that would look like to average Joe (OMG, Eve deleted my browser and mail!).

CCP, you guys may want to have a serious look at this.

Corruption found during patching was in "C:\Program Files\CCP\EVE\res.stuff" according to patcher "CRC failed/did not match".

EDIT: OS is Windows XP Professional SP2



Now let me repeat two of the sentences I wrote back then:

"If in fact Eve installer starts to remove other files not associated with Eve client this is very serious. Those are just links but what if it removed actual files."


After filing this bug I have been informed that devs know about it. Also, this bug still persists. Instead of downloading classic to premium upgrade, I simply downloaded entire client and uninstalled Eve. Result was the same it deleted same links as before with one another addition of link to one of my other games (sic!). This time however I had my links backed up as I remembered what happened last time.

So as you can see, this kind of behavior from Eve installer is nothing new. CCP you need to have VERY serious look at this issue this time around.



Who the heck is programming that installer? Monkeys randomly selecting code snippets?

And if the problem with the installer deleting files it should not even touch was known, then how could the boot.ini problem be overlooked?

To CCP: Sorry, but I am starting to find it hard to believe this was based on mere incompetence. The massive ammount of single failures which had to occur to make the boot.ini disaster happen is just unbelievable.

Are you sure your developers are all loyal? Maybe CCPs teachings on how the universe should be dark and full of treachery are working all too well? Could there be spies/saboteurs from certain competitors within CCP?





You, sir, win this thread's "Tinfoil Hat Award"! Congratulations!!!! Is there anyone you'd like to thank?ugh

M1AU
Gallente
Posted - 2007.12.13 13:18:00 - [88]
 

Originally by: Fraps
Originally by: M1AU
Quote:
Why doesn't Windows protect its system startup files? That's a good question, one that I have asked myself in these last few days and wish I knew the answer. But of course I'm not going to blame Microsoft for our mistake. Windows doesn't protect those files and therefore software developers must take care not to touch them. We should have been more careful.


Windows don't need a feature like that, the answer is quite simple, admin rights.
I'm using EVE as a single user on my PC therefor I don't need admin rights.
And of course, a user with administrative privileges should always be able to delete `any` files on the system.


Vista disagrees with you.




Well you're right it has such a feature and that's one of the reasons why I would never use it. At least I'm the master of my system, not the other way around. But that's another topic...

Bob Niac
Gallente
freelancers inc
Imperial 0rder
Posted - 2007.12.13 15:09:00 - [89]
 

Linux Live CDs to the Rescue!

Open Source Non-Destructive Partitioner - CD

Open Source Non-Destructive Partitioner - USB Thumb Drive

These are very helpful if you want/need to resize the parts of your hard drive. As always, use at your own risk and please PLEASE do research before changing anything on your computer.

Ubuntu i386 Desktop CD

Kubuntu CD (I Prefer Kubuntu because it uses KDE)

These CDs provide a fully working computer on a disk. You can, with some documentation and help, write to your hard drive (to say, restore a crucial file).

Captain Schmungles
Caldari
Freelancing Corp
Confederation of Independent Corporations
Posted - 2007.12.13 18:11:00 - [90]
 

Edited by: Captain Schmungles on 13/12/2007 18:17:51
Quote:
Why doesn't Windows protect its files?


The only thing that is actually required to load windows is NTLDR. Boot.ini is a boot configuration menu. If NTLDR is unable to locate the NTFS system on the hard drive, it will load boot.ini and prompt the user to tell the computer where the NTFS system is located.

This is normally not a problem because the default installation of Windows puts Windows on the first partition of the first hard drive, and since the majority of computer users only have one hard drive that does not contain multiple partitions NTLDR is never unable to locate the OS, and therefore never loads the boot menu contained in boot.ini.

So, strictly speaking, Windows does not protect boot.ini because boot.ini is not required to be present in order for the computer to successfully complete a boot sequence. People who experienced problems had problems because their OS was not installed on the first partition of the first hard drive. Boot.ini allows the user to save settings, so typically once you have manually located the OS via the boot.ini menu you never have to do this step again. Technically boot.ini is loaded every time you boot the computer (assuming a non-standard installation), but because the settings are saved the user does not have to manually locate the OS each time.

There is also the issue of administrator privileges. Under Windows the default user account is the administrator account, meaning that the user has permission to edit practically anything on the computer. There are some directories that even the administrator cannot overtly edit but can still edit through backdoor exploits or that rootkits and viruses can edit because they are programs that the administrator is running. In contrast, Linux operating systems do not assign true administrator privileges to anyone and so the Linux kernel does not have the same vulnerabilities as Windows does.

EDIT: This was a vulnerability Microsoft attempted to fix with Vista, resulting in the incredibly annoying "Vista needs your permission to continue" dialogs that appear with wild abandon seemingly every time you attempt to do anything on a Vista machine. An awful over-correction to be sure, but at least Microsoft is trying to correct what probably constitutes the most serious security flaw Windows has.


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