Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Windows Update trouble

I've been away for a while, out of town with very limited connectivity, and when I got back, found that there were updates. Happy happy joy joy.

I always look over these updates, and usually download and install them. Today I did that, and found I had no Internet afterwards. System Restore has got me back on line, bless it. Something wrong with either the latest security update, or the latest Malicious Software Removal Tool? Grrr.

Update: This appears to have something to do with ZoneAlarm; see comments.

Wednesday, about noon: it's not the Malicious Software Removal Tool, but the security update, KB951748, that came on the same day, not playing nice with ZoneAlarm. This is a hot topic on the ZoneLabs forums, on the Microsoft user forum, and at Broadband Reports. It seems that what's needed is a fix from ZoneAlarm. The world is waiting.

There's a press release from ZoneAlarm. I tried Option 3, which seemingly would allow one to have the security update and high-level setting on the Internet zone at the same time. It didn't work, possibly because ipconfig /all shows the address of my router on the DNS Servers line. I'm not going to remove the router just to get different DNS server addresses. Apparently, option 3 does not seem to be working for anyone else either.

Here is a blog post about the vulnerability that KB951748 is intended to deal with.

Later on Wednesday: The ZoneAlarm press release no longer lists option 3, entering DNS servers' IP's in the trusted zone, but has a new version of ZoneAlarm—five new versions, actually, the Security Suite, the Pro version, the Antivirus, the Anti-Spyware, and the Basic Firewall, available for download. That was pretty darn quick! All the new versions have the number 70.483.000, as for instance in filename zlsSetup_70_483_000_en.exe. Numbers equal to or higher than this should be good; I certainly can offer no guarantees.

So, as we used to say with BASICA, Ok then. I installed the new ZoneAlarm, then the KB951748 security update, rebooted to get the update working, and all seems well. Kudos and pizza to the ZoneAlarm programmers, who no doubt were coding full speed for the last 36 hours or so. You know, I haven't seen Jolt Cola for sale anywhere in years, though apparently it's still manufactured. Back in my programming days, I liked Jolt (or coffee) for BASIC, and whiskey for dBase. My, that was a long time ago.


Anonymous said...

I had trouble too.
If you've got zone alarm, that might be the problem.


Hector Owen said...

Thanks, anon.

So it's Windows and ZoneAlarm fighting, then. Uh, having an incompatibility issue, that is to say. I'll keep an eye on that board you recommended and see what eventuates.

Unknown said...

The same here.
After installing winupdate on home computer, I discovered that my LAN connection is dead. I thought there is something wrong with the server.
But after installing the update(s) on my office computer the same happened.
This was scary. I figured it must be the update. I un-installed both updates, and this brought my connection back to life!!
I do have Zone Alarm on both.

blake said...


Have you met my friend Linux?

Hector Owen said...

Blake, just to shake hands with. I have a CD around here somewhere that runs Linux right off the CD. It says "Doors" on it, but I suspect it's Knoppix. It's years old. That Ubuntu you linked to looks pretty slick; but I don't fancy recompiling the kernel every time I add or change a piece of hardware. Or other tinkery things that I've heard about Linux. I wouldn't own an English car, because I don't want to spend my time tinkering with it, I just want it to work. Likewise the computer. Just a cranky old cuss who likes what he knows (sort of like "knows what he likes," but different).

I don't usually post on computer stuff, but for a little while this post was the only one on the front page of the Google search for "Windows update trouble" that dealt with this issue, and I thought I should keep it updated till the issue was resolved. As it seems to be, now.

blake said...

Knoppix is cool, but get a newer version.

Ubuntu also has a "live" version.

Hell, I used, just for giggles, a brand new live CD distribution (beta) on a new laptop of mine and it worked fine.

I've got Ubuntu on three machines here and it itself doesn't require much tinkering. The only exception I can think of is wireless. There's a lot of wireless support but it's not comprehensive.

blake said...

Oh, and if you're not ready to commit to Linux, $20-$30 will get you a hardware firewall/hub/router and you can ditch ZoneAlarm.

I used to use ZA until they came out with so many versions I got confused. %-)

Hector Owen said...

I guess I'm a belt-and-suspenders kind of guy, then; router and ZoneAlarm. I like looking at the ZoneAlarm logs and seeing no intrusions for months at a time. And the program alerts are handy, letting me know when something is trying to access the Internet.

blake said...

Yeah, program alerts are useful.

I remember having trouble getting ZA to monitor usefully; another reason I ended up getting rid of it.