Critical Windows patch may wreak PC havoc

Critical Windows patch may wreak PC havoc A Microsoft patch meant to fix critical security flaws in Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 is causing trouble for some users, the company said on Friday.

The patch was released Tuesday to fix four Windows flaws, including one that experts predict will be exploited by a worm in the coming days. The flaw, tagged "critical" by Microsoft, lies in a Windows component for transaction processing called the Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator, or MSDTC.

Installing the patch can cause serious problems, Microsoft said in an advisory posted to its Web site Friday. The patch could lock users out of their PC, prevent the Windows Firewall from starting, block certain applications from running or installing, and empty the network connections folder, among other things, the software maker said.

The trouble appears to occur only when default permission settings on a Windows directory have been changed, according to Microsoft. The software maker has received "limited reports" of problems from customers but is still investigating the issue, a representative said.

Even if users experience PC trouble after installing the patch, they will still be protected against any attack exploiting the Windows flaw, a Microsoft representative said. The patch was delivered with Microsoft security bulletin MS05-051.

If you should encounter problems after installing the patch, try the following steps which were extracted from the official Microsoft guide.

Step 1: The safe mode is made for troubleshooting
Log in as the system administrator or any account with full administrative rights in safe mode. During startup, press the F8 key once and select the first option.

The safe mode prevents other drivers or startup programs from booting up and allows the system files to be changed.

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Step 2: Your Windows directory may differ
Go to the Windows Explorer and select the directory in which the OS is installed. Right click on the registration folder and choose properties.

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Step 3: Check the right boxes
Select the security tab and click on the Administrators group. Make sure that all the check boxes under the allow column are ticked and none of the deny boxes are selected. Do the same for the System group. For the Everyone group, ensure that only the check box for read under the allow column is ticked.

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Step 4: Almost there
Click on the advanced button. Under the permissions and auditing tabs ensure that the checkbox for "Inherit from parent the permission entries that apply to child objects. Include these with entries explicitly defined here" is selected. Click ok to save the settings.
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Once that is done, click on the ok button again and reboot the system. If the issue is still not addressed, you can contact Microsoft vie their Web site for technical assistance.

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