Microsoft to Patch its Security Patch

In response to problems experienced by some customers after installing the MS06-015 security update last week, Microsoft is planning to issue a new patch that includes a workaround for the compatibility issues. Only users who have not installed MS06-015 and those having trouble will receive the fix.

Microsoft explained earlier this week that the MS06-015 update installs a new executable to validate shell extensions before they are loaded into Windows. However, Hewlett Packard's Share-to-Web software, which ships with HP printers, scanners and cameras, causes this program to stop responding.

Older video drivers from Nvidia are also incompatible with the change, leading to similar lock-ups and crashes. Microsoft recommended that users upgrade to the latest drivers and HP software, in addition to providing instructions to fix the problem with a manual registry key update.

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However, because the solutions required action from the user, Microsoft has opted to re-engineer the patch and release it to customers on Tuesday, April 25.

"What the new update essentially does is simply add the affected third party software to an "exception list" so that the problem does not occur. The revised update automates the manual registry key fix," says Stephen Toulouse from the Microsoft Security Response Center.

Toulouse notes that the fixed patch will be specially targeted. "Windows Update, Microsoft Update, and Automatic Update will have detection logic built into them to only offer the revised update (which essentially includes the reg key fix) to those customers who either don't have MS06-015 or are having the problem."

Even with the potential compatibility issues, security experts are urging customers to install the update as soon as possible.

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