Latest Windows XP patch can slow down PCs

Microsoft's latest security patch can cause computers running Windows XP to slow down to a crawl, affected users say.

Windows XP can take up to 10 seconds to start an application after installation of the patch released last Wednesday with security bulletin MS03-013 (available at:http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/technet/security/bulletin/MS03-013.asp, users wrote in dozens of postings on several online discussion boards. Removing the patch brings system speed back to normal, according to these users.

Microsoft is aware of the issue and is investigating it, Stephen Toulouse, a security program manager with Microsoft's security response center in Redmond, Washington, said.

"We have been made aware of some isolated cases of customers experiencing performance issues after applying the patch," he said. Microsoft is going by the online reports, he said. No customers have called Microsoft's helpdesk with the problem, according to Toulouse.

The patch, which Microsoft calls the Q811493 hotfix, was distributed via Microsoft's security Web site and the automatic Windows Update service. It fixes a security flaw in the Windows kernel, the core of the Windows operating system. The vulnerability is rated "important" by Microsoft, one notch below the highest level on the vendor's severity rating scheme.

The flaw allows an attacker to raise his privilege level on a vulnerable system. However, to exploit the flaw an attacker needs to be able to log on to a system, either at the computer or via a terminal connection, mitigating the risk.

Users advising other users online suggest home users experiencing system slowdowns remove the patch as corporate environments with terminal servers and client systems accessed by multiple users are most at risk. Microsoft, however, urges all customers to apply the patch and call the Microsoft helpdesk if there are any performance issues afterward, Toulouse said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?