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NT rogue file can roll back settings

Microsoft today played down reports of an NT 4.0 rogue file that can destroy operating system registry settings.
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Written by Martin Veitch, Contributor on

The retail versions of both NT 4.0 Workstation and Server include a file called Rollback.exe which will wipe settings when run, requiring users to re-install the software. The file is a reset utility for PC makers pre-installing the OS and was accidentally left in the program when retail versions were being stamped.

"It was a mistake," said Windows NT Server product manager Mark Hassall. "It shouldn't have been on the CD and we've contacted buyers to warn them of this. We don't think many people will have been affected. It's not part of the standard install [and] you'd only find it if you browsed around the CD. It doesn't delete data, so the worst case scenario is you'd have to re-install the OS. There hasn't been a single instance of this in the UK as far as I know."

Hassall also pointed out that, to run the file, users would need to have administrative rights. However, this wouldn't preclude single-user versions of NT Workstation. New pressings are manufactured on a weekly basis and won't include the file, Hassall added.

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