Bugs and Fixes: Office 2000 Update Needs Updating

SAN FRANCISCO (05/01/2000) - It didn't take long for bugs to pop up in Office 2000. Frustrated users reported Word 2000 locking up and Excel 2000 refusing to retain AutoSave settings, for instance. Nine months later, Microsoft Corp. issued its first service release to fix the suite's problems. SR-1 doesn't add any productivity features to Office 2000, but it fixes over 300 glitches in Word, Excel, FrontPage, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Access.

But don't grab SR1 and run: If your PC once ran Office 2000 on Windows NT and you've since upgraded to Windows 2000, Microsoft urges you not to install SR-1.

Such users have run into isolated problems with Internet Explorer, including difficulties with searching and clicking on hyperlinks. You're better off waiting for the SR-1 Update, which promises to fix these flaws. The SR-1 update should be available at officeupdate.com by the time you read this.

Also, if your system contains a prerelease version of Office 2000 and you try to upgrade to SR-1, you might have trouble installing SR-1. Even worse, some of your Office apps might disappear. To avoid problems, Microsoft says you need to uninstall your existing copy of Office 2000, reinstall the final version (and only the final version) of Office, and upgrade to SR-1.

If you're cleared to install SR-1, you can get the free upgrade from officeupdate.microsoft.com/2000/downloadDetails/O2kSR1DD.htm. The download's size ranges from 26MB to 40MB, depending on the applications you've installed.

Corporate system administrators should go to www.microsoft.com/office/ork/2000/journ/SR1Installation.htm.

Don't be surprised, however, if trying to install SR-1 turns out to be prohibitively difficult. In multiple attempts, we never got more than a quarter of the way through the download process. Our advice? Order the update on CD-ROM at order4.microsoft.upgrade.com/office2k_sr1/office2k_sr1.asp. Microsoft offers it for free, with no shipping or handling fee. While installing SR-1, you'll need to insert the original Office 2000 CDs. So if your system came with Office 2000 preloaded, you must get copies of the CDs from your PC vendor, unless you already have them.

Microsoft'S Fixes For Safer Browsing

If you're afraid someone may try to peek up your modem while you surf the Web, get the following recent Microsoft patches for Internet Explorer and ancillary software apps. One corrects a hole that could allow a rigged Web site or e-mail message to wreck your PC. The other corrects problems that could expose at least some of your files to ill-intentioned Web site operators.

Bug: The Microsoft Clip Art Gallery, which comes with many Microsoft apps, including Office 2000 and Works 2000, lets users download additional clip art from other sources in files that use Microsoft's standard CIL format. Through a Web site or e-mail--and without your knowledge--a hacker could introduce a file using the CIL format to wreak havoc with your system.

Fix: For a link to the 96KB download, point your browser to cgl.microsoft.com/clipgallerylive/pss/bufovrun.htm.

Bug: A villainous Web site operator could exploit a weakness in Internet Explorer 4.x and 5.x to rifle through some of your personal files. The hacker would need to know the name and location of your files, and these would have to be viewable in a browser window (for example, as. txt, .htm, and .js files are). But that possibility is less remote than it sounds. Much of your most sensitive data--including passwords and e-mail messages--are stored in standard locations by popular software packages. For the complete details, go to www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms00-009.asp.

Fix: Download a 1MB patch at windowsupdate.microsoft.com or www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/security/patch5.asp.

In Brief:

False Alarm in Norton AntiVirus

It's bad enough that Symantec Corp.'s Norton AntiVirus versions 5.0 and 2000 have falsely detected the Blankey or Bloodhound.Unknown virus in some systems.

But the cure AntiVirus imposes is almost as severe as a virus itself. If users have altered the "quarantine" function of the app, they may lose data. Symantec spokesperson Vincent Weafer reports that all LiveUpdate virus-definition downloads after March avoid the snag. So if you haven't updated yet, do so now to avoid the problem. For further details, go to www.symantec.com/techsupp/custom/mysupport.cgi, select your version of Norton AntiVirus, and click Go. Then choose Online Virus and Hoax Encyclopedia, and run a search on Bloodhound.Unknown. Or call Symantec's fee-based tech support at 800/927-3991.

Bugged?

Found a hardware or software bug? Tell us about it via e-mail at bugs@pcworld.com.

Find files from this article at PCWorld.com's FileWorld (www.fileworld.com/magazine). Mitt Jones is a contributing editor for PC World.

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