XP, IE, and OE patches cause their own problems

By Brian Livingston

It hasn’t been Microsoft’s best month for releasing patches.

After it was widely reported that installing a recent security patch can slow Windows XP to a crawl, the Redmond company had to admit the problem and scale back its recommendation that all XP users apply the update.

Now there are reports that Microsoft’s two latest patches, which correct security problems in Internet Explorer 5 and 6 and Outlook Express 6, also cause difficulties of their own.

  • MS03-013 for Windows NT 4, 2000, and XP
    This patch, first released on April 16, prevents someone from logging on from the keyboard or a terminal session and running code to gain administrator privileges. Microsoft has downgraded this threat to “important” rather than “critical.”

    Microsoft confirmed on April 25 in its Knowledge Base article 819634 that installing the patch on XP Service Pack 1 can seriously slow a PC, especially if antivirus programs are configured to scan files as they are opened. Testers report delays of more than 10 seconds in launching apps in this situation. The company currently recommends that you either uninstall the patch or disable real-time antivirus scanning, using periodic disk scans instead.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2003-05-08: