Microsoft's rolled out lots of downloadable presents for users this holiday season, including Vista SP1 RC, but one "gift" has turned into a digital lump of coal for lots of users: Microsoft Security Update MS07-069.
This update rolls up a lot of separate fixes for various versions of Internet Explorer, but after installing the update, our own Paul Lilly reports that many users are getting error messages when they try to open websites or even Windows Update (in Windows XP). Fortunately, there's a fix (at least for Windows XP users), and a workaround, too.
KB942367's Good for What Ails Your XP+IE6 System
The problems with MS07-069 aren't the first time this year that Internet Explorer's stopped working after a security update. It also happened after installing MS07-016, MS07-027, and MS07-033. The fix for those problems, revealed in KB article 942367, also appears to work to solve the latest problem. It's a two-part fix:
Part 1: Follow the link in the article to request a hotfix for your system, or click here. A link to the hotfix will arrive in your email. Be sure to save the email message, as it contains the password needed to unlock the hotfix during installation.
Part 2: Follow the instructions in the article to create a new registry entry using Regedit.
When I followed these procedures, websites that had crashed my browser repeatedly opened properly. It looks as if the problem is solved, at least for now. But what about IE7? I haven't had a problem with IE7 yet, but the following workaround should work with either IE6 or IE7:
IE 6 and 7 Workaround
To work around the problem:
1. Open the Start menu
2. Right-click Internet Explorer and select Internet Properties, or open Internet Options in Control Panel.
3. Click the Use Blank button (1) in the Home Page section of the General tab.
4. Click Delete Files in the Temporary Internet Files section of the General tab. You do not need to delete all online content (2).
5. Click Apply (3), then OK (4).
6. Close all open programs, and restart your system.
After you restart your system, Internet Explorer should start properly, since it's not loading a page. You should be able to access Windows Update in Windows XP (Windows Vista's Windows Update doesn't run through IE) and surf many web pages. However, some pages might still crash the browser. To view those pages, use a different browser such as Firefox or Opera.
Desperately Searching (for a Solution)
Redmond's aware of the problem, and when a solution is available, we'll post it. In the meantime, keep your eyes on Knowledge Base article 942615 for updates.