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Microsoft to fix Windows patch

Updated version of fix will repair problems some people had after installing first version of "critical" security patch.

Microsoft on Tuesday plans to release a new version of a "critical" security patch for Windows to repair problems some people had with the first version of the fix.

The updated patch will be made available on Microsoft's online updating service, Microsoft Update, and pushed out to users via the Automatic Updates feature in Windows, a Microsoft spokesman said in an e-mailed statement on Friday.

Microsoft will push out the fix only to people who have already applied the update and are experiencing problems related to Hewlett-Packard Share-to-Web software or older Nvidia graphics drivers, the spokesman said. "Customers who have already applied the MS06-015 update and are not experiencing the problem need take no action," he said.

The MS06-015 patch, designed to plug a flaw in Windows Explorer, can cause myriad problems for users of HP printers, scanners and digital cameras or Nvidia drivers prior to version 61.94. People with Sunbelt Software's Kerio Personal Firewall also will notice that Windows no longer works as it should after applying the fix, Microsoft has said.

The troubles include being unable to access or save files in special folders like "My Documents" and "My Pictures" and unresponsive Office applications. Other issues include applications that crash after trying to open a file, no response after typing an address into Internet Explorer's address bar, and no effect after right-clicking on a file and selecting "Send To," according to an article on Microsoft's support Web site.

While designed to fix a security issue in Windows Explorer, the patch can actually also impair that specific Windows feature. Clicking on the "plus" sign beside a folder in the file browser may have no effect, Microsoft said in its support article. That action should expand the directory tree.

The Windows Explorer fix is not the only patch that can cause trouble for users. Some people have reported problems with three out of five security updates that Microsoft released this month. A comprehensive fix for Internet Explorer can break some Web applications and an update for Outlook Express can block access to the address book, among other issues.

Microsoft had recommended that people experiencing trouble with the Windows Explorer fix manually change their Windows Registry, a core part of the operating system that stores PC settings. Meddling with the registry can, however, cause even more trouble, and inexperienced users probably should not touch it.

Kerio users should configure the firewall to allow the new Microsoft file to execute without warning, the company has said.