Microsoft has provided a workaround for those who saw their IE 6 on XP nuked by the software giant's latest batch of patches.
Microsoft has acknowledged the issue noting in a help document that:
On a computer that is running Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 crashes when you try to a visit a Web site. This problem occurs after you install security update 942615. This security update is announced in security bulletin MS07-069.
Update: Microsoft's Security Response Center says in a blog post that these problems aren't widespread. The post patch install issues affect custom installations primarily.
We have been working with a small number of customers that reported issues related to the installation of MS07-069. Specifically, on a Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)-based computer, Internet Explorer 6 may stop responding when you try to a visit a web site.
In a nutshell, "this isn’t a widespread issue."
But for those of you seeing problems, Microsoft has served up a workaround (see IE blog). Here it is:
Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.
To work around this problem, follow these steps: 1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK. 2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\ 3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Key. 4. Type FEATURE_PROTECT_DECOMPRESSION_FILTER_FROM_ABORT_KB942367 and then press ENTER. 5. Right-click FEATURE_PROTECT_DECOMPRESSION_FILTER_FROM_ABORT_KB942367 point to New, and then click DWORD Value. 6. Type an asterisk (*), and then press ENTER.
Note The asterisk (*) represents any process name that uses the Urlmon.dll file. If you want to make this change for an individual application that uses the Urlmon.dll file, use the name of that application instead of the asterisk. For example, use Appname.exe. 7. Right-click the asterisk, and then click Modify. 8. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK. 9. Exit Registry Editor.
Now for the average ZDNet reader, this workaround is probably a walk in the park. The average bear would probably switch browsers. Why bother?