Skip to main content

MSFT Files patent To Repair Corrupt Software via Downloads

Microsoft filed a patent that describes a process for repairing corrupt software. The patent goes far beyond the traditional System Restore in Windows and uses a download capability to fix a software problem. Conceivably, this could be a critical milestone toward the achievement of an operating system that largely maintains itself and does not surprise its user with a note that some file is missing and that Windows isn't able to boot as a result. Windows has been prone to such problems especially during OS upgrade processes and even simple software updates that, for example, affected some Windows Vista SP2 users who tried upgrading IE8 to IE9.

The patent application, filed in December 2010, states that Windows may be able "to resolve problems that occur when corrupt software is updated by allowing a corrupt component to be repaired and then uninstalled such that an updated component can be properly installed." It is a pretty straight-forward approach that uses "the smallest amount of data necessary to repair the identified corruption." According to the filing, the validation of a repair file would be done via a secure hash key.

Microsoft also envisions this technology will run semi-autonomously. While a user can initiate a "corruption scan," the OS can also initiate the repair service by itself when an error message is received from the software updating service that could, for example, include a malware warning. A successful repair would also run automatically and check "whether all of the corrupt software components have been updated." Based on the success or failure of the update, additional file replacements can take place, if needed.

The patent application does not provide any information on what the repair service would do if the attempt to replace a corrupt file fails.

  • dogman_1234
    Wait, we can patent ideas without a tangible product? Jackpot!

    Reply
  • dextermat
    We will file this item under 'Why has this taken so long?'

    Indeed my friend, Indeed
    Reply
  • Anomalyx
    Doesn't Steam already do this? I click on "verify integrity of game files" and it scans through them, chucks the corrupted ones, and re-downloads that portion.

    MS, it's about dang time.

    It's a shame it's probably only going to show up in Windows Vista 2..... I mean, Windows 8.
    Reply
  • jhansonxi
    AnomalyxDoesn't Steam already do this? I click on "verify integrity of game files" and it scans through them, chucks the corrupted ones, and re-downloads that portion.BitTorrent does something similar. The uninstallation step is trivial and the verification key is obvious. This patent seems like someone wanted to look productive so they made donation to the patent office.
    Reply
  • K2N hater
    AnomalyxDoesn't Steam already do this? I click on "verify integrity of game files" and it scans through them, chucks the corrupted ones, and re-downloads that portion.MS, it's about dang time.It's a shame it's probably only going to show up in Windows Vista 2..... I mean, Windows 8.Yup MS is playing the patent troll here. MMO games in general have always had that feature.
    Reply
  • RealBeast
    dogman_1234Wait, we can patent ideas without a tangible product? Jackpot!Yup, not ideas -- but inventions. The filing of the patent is considered a constructive reduction to practice, i.e. the same as actually making it as long as there is sufficient detail in the patent for someone to make the invention.

    And it only takes one new thing over prior art that is non-obvious to patent it, so if you invented an ABC, I could patent an ABCD. If I actually make or use my ABCD I infringe on your patent but mine is still valid.
    Reply
  • blazorthon
    K2N haterYup MS is playing the patent troll here. MMO games in general have always had that feature.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't MS not being a patent troll with this patent at least until they sue someone over it?
    Reply
  • s3anister
    AnomalyxDoesn't Steam already do this? I click on "verify integrity of game files" and it scans through them, chucks the corrupted ones, and re-downloads that portion.MS, it's about dang time.It's a shame it's probably only going to show up in Windows Vista 2..... I mean, Windows 8.Hey, I thought everyone knew Windows 8 is actually Windows ME - Second Edition.
    Reply
  • blazorthon
    s3anisterHey, I thought everyone knew Windows 8 is actually Windows ME - Second Edition.
    That's enough with the mindless Windows 8 bashing. Windows 8 is better than its predecessors in every way as an OS. Windows 8 is faster, stable, and will have supreme driver support once it releases. Metro is the only problem and even that can be easily solved by installing Classic Shell (even the RC and the full versions still and will still allow this, although the registry hacks and such don't work anymore). Should we have to do this if we don't want Metro? No, we should not. However, mocking the OS for the wrong reasons, even if it does have a problem, is wrong. Excluding Metro, Windows 8 is better than 7 in every practical way. It is faster, lighter, and still has high stability and driver support compared to other operating systems when MS released them. If you don't like it, then you could at least mock it for the problem that it does have, Metro, or just ignore it and stick with XP/7 or OSX/Linux.
    Reply
  • K2N hater
    blazorthonCorrect me if I'm wrong, but isn't MS not being a patent troll with this patent at least until they sue someone over it?That's the sole purpose for registering a patent these days... Got your point but I'm not the kind who believes MS is into fair business.
    Reply