Microsoft says that patches for a Windows Update lockup problem do fix the flaw, even though users still see their computers' CPUs maxed out at 100 percent.
The "svchost/msi issue" issue has plagued Windows users, particularly those running Windows XP, for months. When users tried to retrieve security patches from Windows Update or Microsoft Update, manually or via Automatic Updates, their PCs' processors would hit 100 percent and stay there, making the machines unusable. A two-part patch available for manual download was posted earlier this month, but users who installed it said the repair was worthless: They still saw CPUs redlining.
On Tuesday Microsoft began offering the first half of the update as a high-priority, non-security fix to Windows users through its various patch services. "This update is the first part of a two-part fix that is the comprehensive solution to the problem," Microsoft stated in an advisory published on its Web site. "In June, another update will involve the Windows Update client. The update for the Windows Update client will also be automatically offered through Automatic Updates."
Although users will have the fix in place only after both parts are installed - making anyone who relies on Automatic Updates vulnerable to the svchost/msi bug until sometime next month - even users who downloaded both pieces manually were initially unconvinced that it worked. "Doesn't appear that the fixes address the issue I experience on multiple machines," said one user in a posting to the Windows Update support forum two weeks ago.