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Microsoft pulls security patch that crashes NT 4.0

Microsoft has pulled a security patch for the Windows NT 4.0 because installing it can cause the operating system to crash.

The patch, released on 11 December, is to fix a privilege elevation vulnerability deemed "important" by Microsoft.

A malicious user could gain administrative privileges on a system by exploiting a flaw in the WM_TIMER Windows function, Microsoft said in security bulletin MS02-071

However, some system administrators were confronted with random crashes and reboots on their NT 4.0 systems after installing the patch. The problem was solved by removing the patch, according to postings in online discussion groups.

One user complained of trouble using Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server. When a user was signed off using Terminal Server Administrator, their processes showed as still running. This was also resolved by removing the security patch.

Microsoft is investigating the issue and will release an updated patch shortly, the company said in a revised version of its security bulletin.

There are no problems with the patches for Windows 2000 and Windows XP, also affected by the vulnerability detailed in the bulletin.


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