There is an incredibly serious and potentially tragic flaw in Windows XP that has recently been exposed. If you are using any version of Windows XP, please, please, please take steps to protect yourself right now!

There is a file that can be called in web pages and in html-based emails. By calling this file, a web page can access and delete the contents of any folder(s) they choose. For example, you click on a link and nothing appears to happen. Then your Windows XP help pops up. Next time you restart, maybe your entire windows folder is gone and the computer won’t boot. A second (and scarier) example would be a link that is hard-coded into an html email. Just by reading the message you could lose an entire directory. :cry

There are two potential fixes. One is the easy & proper way and the other is the quick fix. I will explain both methods here, because I think it needs to be in as many places as possible so more people will see the information and take steps to protect themselves. How to protect yourself:

A) Download the Windows XP Service Pack 1 directly from Microsoft. This is a big file and can be too big for some people with dialup modems. This is, however, the best way to protect yourself from this danger and others that might exist.

B) If you cannot download the Service Release or you don’t have time today, please take a moment and complete the following steps:

  1. Perform a search for a file on your C drive called “uplddrvinfo.htm.”
  2. Once you’ve found the file, delete it or rename it. Doing so will not hinder your ability to use Windows XP.

If these steps seem confusing to you or you need more information, please email me and I will try to help. If you cannot download the Service Pack because of the file size, email me and I will try to burn the network version on a cd for you, or you can order a cd direct from Microsoft for $10 here. That being said, please do not request/order a cd and foget to follow step “B” above. You absolutely must protect yourself right now or you could lose your entire operating system.

One final note, while you’re jumping through these hoops to protect yourself, don’t forget to do the most simple protection of all: backing up your hard drive. If you don’t know how, email me.

Windows XP Service Release 1
TechTV’s The Screen Savers info on the problem
Steve Gibson’s original info

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