Duck, It's a Microsoft Patch

Steve Bass
PC World
Thursday, May 4, 2006; 12:10 AM

You think because I write forPC WorldI'm immune from Microsoft's mishegoss?

Ha! Not likely. They nail me as often as they do you.

I happened yesterday when my wife called me into her office. Her PC was jamming whenever she tried to open or save a Word or Excel doc. I tried the usual stuff: I suggested she first clean out the temp folder, and then scan the drive with ScanDisk while standing in the corner on one leg and whistling a show tune. The standing-in-the-corner routine gave her something to do during the scan.

That didn't help, so I spent 20 minutes Googling around for an answer.

I discovered that Microsoft's MS06-015 patch was the culprit. Among other things, the patch stopped Office apps from opening or saving files that are located in her My Documents folder. The problem occurs because verclsid.exe, a new file included with the patch, conflicts with some HP printers, scanners, and cameras. I followed Microsoft's Registry tweak fix and she's now able to get to all her files.

If you don't want to fiddle with the Registry, you can just uninstall the patch for the time being. Chances are good Microsoft's next battalion of patches will fix the problem. From the Control Panel, openAdd or Remove Programsand find the Microsoft entry that looks like this: Security Update for Windows XP (KB908531). Better yet, get a copy of the free MyUninstaller , a much better program for managing installed apps.

Dig This: Feeling stressed? Play Dig This:Feeling stressed? PlayJet Slalom and get even more wigged out.

Dig This, Too: If that didn't get your adrenaline going, try a game of Curveball .

PC World PC Worldreported on the problem , and Editor in Chief Harry McCracken talks about it in his Techlog .

Harry links to a Harry links to amessage thread with a fix and half-bassed apology from Microsoft's Stephen Hui: "I'm very sorry about the inconvenience this has caused you all; hopefully this will get things back on track."

Oh, and I love how he says the broken update fixes a "critical" vulnerability and you've got to reinstall it to stay secure. Here's another gem: "I understand that this experience has been very frustrating for many of you, but I really must still strongly recommend that you leave Auto Update enabled for your own safety." What, he's going to beat us up if we don't?

Dammit, I don't want your apologies and I definitely don't want to spend my morning researching and then correcting Microsoft errors. (Geez, I almost looked at an ad for a Mac, I was so angry.)

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