10-31-09 Update: an anonymous comment provided a simple solution. See the newer posts in this blog.
Most of the time I never have any trouble with Patch Tuesday. But this time I got a consistent failure: KB970892 fails to install every time. So as a result, I have little yellow shield with a ! in it on the taskbar - every day.
SQL Server 2005 express edition was installed by ACT 2009 last year on this XP system. Internally the SQL Configuration Util calls it Act 7. Anyway, the install log says this when it gets to the error:
"Error 29565, Product Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition. SQL Server Setup cannot upgrade the specified instance because the previous upgrade did not complete. Start the Remote Registry service and go to Add/Remove Programs, select the Change button for Microsoft SQL Server 2005, and then select SQL instance ACT7 and complete the setup."
Whatever. I went to control panel - add/remove programs and started to do this but stopped (chickened out - will do system backups before trying this). Then I went to MS's site and downloaded the KB patch manually and ran it. During the install/patch process it said to stop the process for ACT7 - I did it, but the patch still failed.
Internet searches show that other people are having the same problem, but I can't see a definitive solution. Does anyone have a solution?