Microsoft releases fix for SP2-adware clash

Microsoft has released a 'critical update' that creates a security problem for a small number of people who've installed Windows XP SP2 - but don't call it a patch

Microsoft has released a critical update for Windows Service Pack 2, designed to resolve an installation problem with a piece of adware -- but it maintains that the update isn't a patch.

On its Web site, Microsoft recommends that users download a 'critical update' if TV Media is running on their system and they wish to install SP2.

The company initially recommended that people remove Velocity's Software TV Media application by themselves, but later released a tool to delete the program before issuing the update.

TV Media runs adverts, and some users have had trouble uninstalling it. The program embeds itself in the registry and boot files to prevent people from removing it. This feature has clashed with SP2 installations and caused machines to display the blue screen of death message, which reads:

"A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer...
Technical information: STOP: c0000135 {Unable To Locate Component}
This application has failed to start because winsrv was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem."

Media reports from the US stated that Microsoft had issued a patch to solve the problem, but the company denied this today, insisting that this was simply a bug fix.

"It's not a security patch, it's a critical update," said Stewart Okin, chief security advisor for Microsoft UK. "I can see how it's been confused. The only way to get people to download it was to class it as Windows Udate, but it's a work-around for a very small number of people."

Okin added that the update removes the program from the registry and commands from the boot files. He said that as yet there had been no security patches for SP2.