The company said it had posted the correct versions to Windows Update and Office Update from the start. "This only affected the packages on the Microsoft Download Center; Microsoft Update and Office Update contained and were distributing the correct versions of the binaries and did not need to be updated."
Anyone who updated PowerPoint in Office 2003 Service Pack 2 or Office 2003 SP3 by grabbing the update from elsewhere -- in other words, directly from Microsoft's download site -- must reinstall the second edition of the patches, either by downloading the revised bits from Download Center or through Windows Update/Office Update.
Microsoft gave a third option to users unable to immediately replace the flawed patches. "If you choose to not reinstall the update, you must manually set the registry key in order to block PowerPoint file types as a workaround," Microsoft advised.
Second tries of security updates have become commonplace of late for the software maker. In June, Microsoft, citing unspecified "human issues," was forced to rerelease a fix for a flaw in Windows' implementation of Bluetooth, the short-range wireless protocol. And just last week, it reissued a July patch for a bug that had prevented some network administrators from using the WSUS patch management tool to deploy security updates.
Microsoft was unavailable for comment.