Tuesday, February 17, 2009

ActiveX kill-bit patch zaps Visual Basic apps

Deactivating kill bits wipes out some programs

One of the updates released by Microsoft this week causes some applications using Visual Basic controls to failThe short-term solution is to remove the update, but be sure to reinstall it once your VB apps have been corrected.

If your organization's line-of-business programs use Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) controls, one of this month's Windows patches may cause your programs to misfire. The patch that's the focus of this
Microsoft Security Advisory includes an ActiveX kill bit that also affects some custom VBA controls. The update is described in KB 960715.

Terry Seiberlich reports that two of his company's applications — the Office Tools Professional business-management program and Sage Software's ACT contact manager/CRM app — were affected by this ActiveX kill bit. I've been unable to determine whether the problem is present in ACT itself or only in applications that use these VBA controls and also plug into ACT.

Any applications relying on msflxgrd.ocx may also be affected. For example, if one of your line-of-business apps uses the Microsoft Access database program, you may wish to contact the program's vendor prior to installing this patch.

You may need to wait for your vendors to give you the thumbs-up before you install this kill bit. If the update has already been installed on your PC, and you need to remove it, click Start (Start, Run in XP), type appwiz.cpl, and press Enter. In Windows XP, make sure Show updates is checked at the top of the Add or Remove Programs window. In Vista, click View installed updates in the top-left pane. Look for Security Update for Windows (KB960715), as shown below:

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