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How to Protect Your PC Against the Latest Microsoft Flaw

Friday, October 1, 2004; 9:12 AM

The latest security flaw affects computers running the Windows XP operating system or Server 2003 software, as well as computers running Microsoft Office, a software package that includes programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook. Here are the steps for patching the flaw:

1: Visit Microsoft's Windows Update site. Let it scan your computer for necessary updates. Install the updates and restart your computer if prompted.

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2: When prompted by Windows Update, download Microsoft's "GDI+" detection tool and let it scan your PC for vulnerable Microsoft programs. If it finds any applications that need patching, it will direct you to the Microsoft Office Update site.

3: Once you are on the Office Update site, click on the "check for updates" link.

4: Install all of the patches offered. Some patches, such as the "service packs" for Office, may need to be installed separately before you can apply the patch for this vulnerability. The Office scanner also may require you to have your original Microsoft Office CD-ROM handy.

5: If the Office site prompts you to restart your computer, do so.

6: Revisit the Office Update site and let it scan your computer again to ensure that you have installed all available patches. Repeat Steps 3 through 5 until they are installed.

For more details about this vulnerability, see Microsoft's writeup. The company also offers e-mail-based customer support.


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