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'Critical' Windows Patch Causing Trouble

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Some security-minded administrators who tinkered with their operatingsystems to better protect their desktops had an unwelcome surprise inlast week's patch release from Microsoft.

A buggy patch, which was sent out as part of Microsoft's October patchrelease, has some users scrambling to fix the trouble it caused.Microsoft has acknowledged that there have been problems with Windows2000 systems, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Server.

Users reportedly started having problems within a day of the patchrelease, which was Tuesday, Oct. 11.

Microsoft has reported that the flawed patch could lock users out oftheir PC, prevent the Windows Firewall from starting, block applications,and empty the network connections folder.

The company posted a document on its Website noting that the problemsaffect users who have changed the default permission settings of the COM+catalog, which are files in the %windir%/registration folder.

''Yes, we are aware of some of the information floating around aboutproblems after installing the MS05-051 update on Windows 2000 systems,''wrote Mike Reavey on the Microsoft Security Response Center's blog.

To fix the problems, Microsoft is advising users to 'restore the defaultpermissions to the COM+ catalog'. The steps to do this can be found at