Eve Patch Spaz

After a large number of PCs stopped working following installation of the new Trinity patch for Eve Online, developers CCP were able to confirm that the patch deletes the boot.ini file from Windows XP machines. What this means is that XP users who downloaded and applied the patch within the first few hours (the patch has now been taken down) cannot reboot their PC.

If you’re in this ludicrous predicament then you’re probably not reading this post. However, the “solutions” thread can be found on the Eve forums here.


  1. Philip says:

    Why in the world would a game patch even go remotely near the boot files of a machine? Is this some kind of virus-type code that’s infected the developer’s machines, or some malicious code inserted by a disgruntled employee? What’s going on? :-/

  2. vasagi says:

    best bug ever

  3. Jae Armstrong says:

    There’s a boot.ini in the EVE directory. Obviously they wanted to clean old versions of that and didn’t put the safeguards on.

    Thankfully I rarely have cause to reboot my computer, so I didn’t get caught out. RPS saved my computer!

  4. Nobby says:

    I assume Vista is safe as it doesn’t allow anything to do ANYTHING, even when you mean it?

  5. phuzz says:

    Stolen from someone on the eve forums because it made me laugh:

    Its all right here in the patch notes.


    * There were rare cases of people being unable to load their client after the 2.3 patch. The cause of this has been resolved.
    * Several fixes relating to the display of messages in multiple languages have been made.
    * Several obsolete dlls have been removed from the client. Note that there is a small possibility that your client will report as having incorrect files in the /bin/ directory as a result of this. If this occurs, please remove the files named.
    * Removing of Boot.ini from systems running XP as part of the “Need for Speed” upgrade.

    It’s a bit of an oops, why was the installer messing about with boot.ini in the first place?

  6. Alex Hopkinson says:

    And it only affects people who have EVE installed on C:\, yeah?

  7. Phil says:

    Its Pool of Radiance Redux – I love a bug with a respect for tradition

  8. Thomas Lawrence says:

    Pool of Raidance was better. I believe it wiped your entire hard drive. This is a good one, though.

  9. Kelduum says:

    As I understand it, it was supposed to be removing the boot.ini from the Eve install directory (.\boot.ini) but someone missed the dot in the install script, and it removed it from the root of the disk, typically C:.

    Thats obviously a bad thing, however why does XP allow any program to delete a critical hidden system file, which apparently isn’t protected by the “dont mess with important files” stuff which is triggered when you try and replace something like notepad.exe?

  10. Kast says:


  11. BrokenSymmetry says:

    Kelduum says: “why does XP allow any program to delete a critical hidden system file”

    Because, when you have administrator rights in XP, all applications that you start can do anything to the system they want. Vista solves this with its much-maligned UAC (User Access Control) system (which I’m actually starting to appreciate).

  12. AbyssUK says:

    Its a great way to clear out the dumb ass idiots from your game I say! I mean its not hard to fix your boot.ini.. seesh

  13. roBurky says:

    Oh bugger. I haven’t restarted my home machine since I installed the new client last night. I’m probably affected by this.

  14. Nallen says:

    This is an epic cock-up really, isn’t it. My brother downloaded last night, wonder if his PC is screwed…

  15. Electric Dragon says:

    Sales of brown paper bags in Iceland rise sharply.

  16. Jon says:

    You can download the patch safely now, it only applies if you downloaded before 4am GMT this morning.

    I’ve patched just now, and it is beautiful.

  17. Rock, Paper, Shotgun: PC Gaming’s Ivoriest Tower » Blog Archive » Elves Redux says:

    […] a theme in RPS’ posts today: (Technical) controversy – people unhappy Elves – people happy (Aggressively subjective) controversy – people […]

  18. drunkymonkey says:

    “Its a great way to clear out the dumb ass idiots from your game I say! I mean its not hard to fix your boot.ini.. seesh”

    Yes, because you’re an idiot if you don’t know the ins-and-outs of PC management…

    Brilliant bug, by the way. While it’s probably not really that hilarious for the users affected, I can’t help but laugh at imagining what the faces of the developers would have been like.

  19. Alex Hopkinson says:

    It’s a pretty awful mistake to make but it highlights a ridiculously primitive bit of design in any versions of Windows not able to cope with a missing boot.ini.

  20. Alan says:

    Hope the linux client didnt get a rm -rvf

  21. Radiant says:

    The only way this could have been worse is if it had a remove porn bug.

    But then again if you play EVE you don’t really have time for porn.
    Or food.

  22. wiper says:

    This is even better than the old Myth 2 uninstaller bug – at least that seemed like some sort of punishment for daring to uninstall the game!

  23. Razor says:

    For those wondering, Vista users are safe from this for two reasons. UAC does help, but it’s because Vista does not use NTLDR and BOOT.INI for loading like previous versions of Windows. I can’t get how CCP could have made such a silly mistake. Here’s a quick idea… don’t name game files after system files.

  24. lou5y says:

    The worst installer bug I’ve ever encountered was in the original Half-life. If installed to anything other than C:\sierra or something like that, uninstalling the game would delete everything in the chosen directory.

    A bit of a surprise to find my entire C:\games dir empty.

  25. Pidesco says:

    @lou5y: you are obviously forgetting Pool of Radiance.

  26. Stick says:

    Ah, it’ll be alright. EVE has the most tolerant, forgiving player base in the history of I really can’t keep this up. I can only imagine the horror of being a dev on patch day.

    “You look at the forum?”
    “… no. We’re sending in the intern.”

    (Surprisingly, my WinXP machine didn’t seem to need its boot.ini. Huh.)