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Microsoft patch can cause IE trouble

Latest security update can make the Web browser crash. Microsoft plans to release a revamped patch.

Microsoft's security update from Aug. 8 to Internet Explorer is causing browser trouble for some systems.

After people apply the MS06-042 update, rated "critical" by Microsoft, IE may crash when certain Web sites are viewed, the company said in a notice on its customer support Web site. The problem affects IE 6 with Service Pack 1 on Windows XP and Windows 2000 systems, it said.

"Microsoft has identified an issue with the security update MS06-042," the company said in a statement Tuesday. It plans to re-release the bulletin and patch on Aug. 22 for all affected users.

The problem occurs when IE users view Web sites that use version 1.1 of HTTP alongside compression, according to Microsoft's notice. HTTP, or hypertext transfer protocol, is the standard protocol used to browse Web sites.

IE users on security mailing lists have reported browser crashes when using PeopleSoft applications that have Web-based interfaces. Others report running into problems when using other applications, including Microsoft's own customer relationship management, or CRM, tools.

"We are running PeopleSoft for administration systems, and our Windows 2000 SP4 and Windows XP SP1 running Internet Explorer 6.0 SP1 crash when they got into the PeopleSoft pages," Fred Dunn, a systems administrator at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, said in an e-mail interview.

Dunn called Microsoft's product support service, which recommended disabling the use of HTTP 1.1 in IE's advanced settings menu. However, that's not a change that's easily done on all PCs in the university, Dunn said. "Our only workaround was to get the PeopleSoft programmers to turn off compression...which slows down the response," he said.

MS06-042 is an update for IE that addresses eight vulnerabilities in the popular browser. It is one of a dozen security updates that Microsoft released last week on Patch Tuesday.

Patches have caused trouble at times, on occasion prompting Microsoft to fix already released updates. In April, it released a second version of a Windows Explorer update because the original interfered with Hewlett-Packard software and Nvidia drivers. In June, it had to fix a patch that caused network connection trouble for some people.

Microsoft has a temporary fix available for the problems caused by MS06-042. However, this fix is not available for download; people have to call Microsoft's support line.