Microsoft on Tuesday acknowledged that a patch released as part of its monthly updates last week could block some users from accessing "My Documents" or "My Pictures," and crash applications when the "Open" dialog is activated. The problem affects systems with certain HP software and older Nvidia drivers.
The MS06-015 update installs a new executable to validate shell extensions before they are loaded into the Windows Shell or Windows Explorer. However, Hewlett Packard's Share-to-Web software, which ships with HP printers, scanners and cameras, causes this program to stop responding.
Older video drivers from Nvidia are also incompatible with the change, leading to similar lock-ups and crashes. Microsoft says the latest Nvidia drivers and HP software known as "Image Zone Version 5" are not affected by the issue.
Microsoft notes that out of 120 million installations of MS06-015, it has received under 1,000 reports of problems. Still, the company acknowledges that "even one customer having a problem is too many and that’s why we’ve been working on investigating this and determining solutions."
An updated security bulletin details the software conflict, and Microsoft has posted a knowledge base article instructing users on how to fix the problem. The company plans to offer links to unaffected versions of the HP and Nvidia software. "We’re working directly with the manufactures of the affected software to assist customers," says Mike Reavey from Microsoft's security response center.
"Meanwhile we're still looking at the best way to assist customers who may have been impacted by this and I encourage everyone to review KB article 918165," adds Reavey.