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Multimedia software glitch pains Windows

A compatibility glitch between Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system and a popular multimedia tool may cause computers running the software to destabilize and reboot.

    A compatibility glitch between Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system and a popular multimedia tool may cause computers running the software to destabilize and reboot, according to the company.

    The problem with Adaptec's Easy CD Creator, one of the most popular software programs for writing data to compact discs, came to light this weekend when customers from both companies called support lines to report the problem. The software comes bundled with many popular CD drives.

    Michael Aldridge, product manager in Microsoft's digital media division, said today the problem occurs when people use Windows 2000 along with early versions of Adaptec Easy CD Creator.

    "Any version before 4.2 is not supported by Windows 2000," he said. "A user can either remove any software before version 4.2 and use Media Player 7, or download the newest version of Easy CD Creator for a fee from Adaptec's Web site."

    The glitch underscores potential difficulties with software working with Windows 2000, Microsoft's newest operating system. Earlier this month, a glitch with Symantec's Norton Antivirus software left some Windows 2000 customers with crashed computers.

    Both companies have been working together since they were informed by disgruntled users over the weekend, Aldridge said.

    The problems reported over the weekend occur because of a conflict between some versions of Adaptec's Easy CD Creator and Microsoft's new multimedia player, Windows Media Player 7. Windows Media Player 7 sometimes overwrites some critical parts of Easy CD Creator, crippling it until one of the programs is removed.

    Adaptec has posted a fix for the problem on its support Web site.

    Microsoft provides more information on the problem on its user support site.

    "It looks like the Media Player plug-in goes in and re-writes Adaptec's code, and causes the whole system to crash. This is unique for Windows 2000, because no other software has caused (this sort of) crash before. (Windows 2000) has held up quite well up to now," said Rob Enderle, an analyst with Giga Information Group.

    "It's been an unpleasant experience for me and all the other users around the world that discovered this over the weekend," Enderle said.