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grant_k

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#12057 25-Feb-2007 22:13
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Did anyone else experience problems with their PC after installing MSFT's latest round of Security Updates?

My wife's Acer laptop is running Windows XP SP2 and after installing the latest batch of 8 updates last week (Feb 18) she noticed her computer was running slow and doing all sorts of weird things.

This morning IE7 completely stopped working and she could no longer browse the internet, however Outlook Express still worked.

Being a born sceptic I put it all down to finger trouble Embarassed (you know how it is with non-technical people and their PCs)...

So, I quickly confirmed that IE7 was not even loading, just a brief flash of the hourglass icon and then nothing further happened.  Other weird stuff was going on like:

1)  Could not open "Add/Remove Programs" list -- it just sat there forever "populating list".
2)  Could not restart via the Start Menu (had to use brute force approach hold the power button for 4 secs).
3)  The whole system was running at glacial (or even slower) speed.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I have got the system going normally by uninstalling ALL the Feb 18 updates.  I don't like doing this, but there seems no alternative, short of a complete reinstall of Windows.

IE7 now loads as normal, and the system is its usual speedy self...

I might add that I have installed these exact same batch of Feb 18 updates on my Desktop PC and my Acer Laptop PC without any problems whatsoever.  Go figure... Undecided Undecided Undecided

Does anyone have any ideas as to what went on here?

Any and all comments appreciated.

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juha
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  #61921 25-Feb-2007 22:56
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Not seen that myself on four different systems, laptops and desktops.

What about the usual remedies, like clearing out the cache and so forth?




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grant_k

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  #61923 25-Feb-2007 23:24
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juha: What about the usual remedies, like clearing out the cache and so forth?

Thanks for the suggestion Juha, but I couldn't even get IE to load, much less be able to clear the cache!  I even had to use Safe Mode to enter System Restore.  I suppose I could have also tried clearing IE's cache while in Safe Mode.  I'll remember your suggestion in case this happens again.

In any case, it's very strange that everything is working perfectly after I uninstalled all those Security Updates.  Without reinstalling all 8 of them one at a time though, I'm none the wiser as to which of the 8 was responsible.

One more thing I noticed was that every day since those updates were installed on Feb 18, a system restore point had been set which had filled up all the available space for system restores, meaning that it was impossible to roll back prior to Feb 18 with just a single restore.  Instead, I had to uninstall each Security Update separately.  I got there in the end though, so no harm done.

It's all very peculiar, like nothing I've ever seen before with Windows Update.  I never had any problem with any of the MSFT Security Updates before now.

As you can understand, my wife doesn't want to know about installing any further security updates on her PC, and while I can't say I blame her, that approach does leave her vulnerable to future exploits.

bradstewart
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  #61924 25-Feb-2007 23:49
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It sounds like one of the updates is conflicting with IE.

Do you have any other addins installed for IE?

You can clear the cache by going to Control Panel > Internet Options



grant_k

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  #61929 26-Feb-2007 00:30
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Thanks Brad, I'll check for IE Addins tomorrow, that's a good idea.

Oh yeah, clear IE's cache through Control Panel, I should have remembered that one...

It's getting late, I'll have a look at it again tomorrow.

Thanks for your help guys Smile

grant_k

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  #61955 26-Feb-2007 11:39
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A bit of an update...

I disabled ALL add-ons within IE and then reinstalled all the latest security updates again.  IE7 then loaded and worked normally.  We will re-enable add-ons as they are needed and monitor for any further problems.  So far, have re-enabled the Flash Shockwave player with no ill-effects.

But then something really weird starting happening at Windows Startup:

The laptop would crash out completely with a Black Screen showing a memory dump followed about 1 second later by power-off.

From the brief glimpse I got of the error message, it looked like something to do with the Acer E-Recovery and E-Launch apps were causing this.  That impression was reinforced when Scan Disk picked up errors in the folder relating to those programs.

So I have been into the registry at Windows/Current Version/Run and deleted out all the keys which load these Acer programs.

Then a different type of crash started happening related to some drivers called C:\WINDOWS\IME and SYSTEM32\IME.  One of the modules loaded was called MSPY2002 which didn't fill me with much confidence, however it appears that these DLLs have come from MSFT and my own Acer laptop also loads them without any problems.

So to be on the safe side I have deleted all keys relating to IME from Windows/Current Version/Run and everything is going sweetly now.

It appears that the IME programs are related to Input Method Editors for East Asian text and indeed the properties for some of the files contain a whole lot of Chinese characters.  As to why this should be needed on a laptop running an English version of WIndows XP, I have no idea so I figure it's best to leave them disabled unless we find a need for them in future.

All very strange and puzzling but obviously some of these Acer and IME programs have been broken by the latest Windows Security Updates.  I guess I can sum up this experience as follows:

Rule No. 1 ==> Get rid of as much 3rd party crap as possible and stick to plain vanilla windows wherever possible Frown

juha
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  #61957 26-Feb-2007 11:54
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From what I can tell, IME is part of a standard Windows installation... I have it here on all machines.




grant_k

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  #61959 26-Feb-2007 12:03
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juha: From what I can tell, IME is part of a standard Windows installation... I have it here on all machines.

Maybe it is part of a Windows installation on a machine sourced from an Asian manufacturer, but none of those programs are loaded on the PC I built myself using an ASUS motherboard etc.  The folders are present though, exactly the same as on my Acer, so I wonder what Windows functions necessitate loading of the IME stuff?

IME appears to provide the means of entering Chinese characters (using key combinations) so I don't understand why it should be installed by default on English versions of Windows XP?



bradstewart
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  #61961 26-Feb-2007 12:06
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Is it installed by default? I remember that IE likes to install language packs when visiting websites in another language.

juha
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  #61962 26-Feb-2007 12:19
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Too lazy to check on the XP installation discs, but yeah, it seems to be part of the standard Windows installation. Even my Windows 2003 Server SP1 box has it, and I haven't installed any language packs on that one.




grant_k

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  #61963 26-Feb-2007 12:20
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After a bit more digging, I found that IME is installed as a result of selecting "Supplemental Language Support" in Regional & Language Options under Control Panel.

On the PC I built myself, these options have never been selected, so although the IME stuff is present, it has never been loaded.

Whereas on my laptop, both of those Supplemental Language Options were selected, hence the IME stuff is loaded at Windows startup.  Interestingly, even if you deselect the language options above, and reboot, Windows still loads the IME stuff at startup.  I guess the only way to remove it is by editing the registry as I have done on my wife's laptop.

I don't see the sense in having these files loaded if:

a)  I cannot read Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Arabic or Hebrew characters, so what is the point of displaying them
b)  I will never need to input those characters


It's just another waste of system resources so far as I am concerned.

juha
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  #61964 26-Feb-2007 12:29
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a) I cannot read Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Arabic or Hebrew characters, so what is the point of displaying them


Without IME, what do you get when you visit a for instance a web page that is solely or partly composed with non-Latin characters? (Can't test here.)




grant_k

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  #61965 26-Feb-2007 12:30
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juha: Without IME, what do you get when you visit a for instance a web page that is solely or partly composed with non-Latin characters? (Can't test here.)

You just get a sequence of little squares, so not a worry.

juha
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  #61966 26-Feb-2007 12:37
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So no 简化字 for you then. :)




tstone
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  #61967 26-Feb-2007 12:37
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I thought it was just me......the Windows updates installed no problem but all the Office updates failed. I have a list of the failed Office security/other updates. Searched MS knowledgebase and it advised that there was a known Office problem if you had two partitions and please download and install this patch. I did that and the Office updates still don't install.

Now I have the annoying 'updates are ready to install' tray notification and the shutdown option has the additional (default) 'install updates and shutdown' all the time. Also, the updater seems to periodically download these updates again, slowing my PC down.

I never had these problems before.

Does anyone have any similar experiences with the last update or can someone point me in the right direction to re-synch everything again? Thanks in anticipation.

grant_k

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  #61970 26-Feb-2007 12:46
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juha: So no 简化字 for you then. :)

Interestingly those characters display just fine on my PC WITHOUT the supplemental language support...

Go figure Undecided

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