Windows update clashes with over 40 programs

Windows update clashes with over 40 programs

After extensive testing by partners, developers and customers, Microsoft's security update for Windows XP has finally arrived – but, unfortunately, to the detriment of many popular games, security software and business programs.

Originally intended to make the operating system less vulnerable to viruses, hackers and worms, in actual fact a large number of business users have reported conflict once the upgrade is in place.

In fact, the scale of the problem is so great that Microsoft have gone to the lengths of actually publishing the long list of over 40 programs that clash with the newly released Windows XP SP2.

The list, which can be found on Microsoft’s website, under the catchy heading 'Some programs that seem to stop working when you install Windows XP Service Pack 2,' includes most file-sharing programmes and several widely used Microsoft products including SQL, Visual Studio .Net and SMS 2003 Server.

Certain games that run on XP also come to grief following the installation of the service pack, these include Scrabble 3.0, Unreal Tournament and Sim City 4.

And perhaps most embarrassing of all, the security-focused software also causes problems with Symantec's Antivirus Corporate Edition 8.0, MacAfee's NetShield 4.5 and CA's eTrust 7.0.

The reason behind most of the conflict are the changes under the hood that the SP2 update makes to stop viruses and malicious hack attacks taking hold.

Many programmes behave differently because the firewall in XP is automatically turned on when SP2 is installed.

Paul Randle, head of XP at Microsoft UK, said most of the problems are caused by older programs that expect to have net access that the update shut off.

Where games are concerned, Microsoft gives few clues on how to resolve the conflict, but instead points users in the direction of the original vendor, with the instructions "see the documentation".

For its own offerings, however, the software giant is much more helpful, and has produced guidelines for what to do if programs stop working after SP2 is downloaded and installed.

Mr Randle said updating anti-virus software with the latest versions should iron out the conflicts.

Sources: BBC Online,,

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