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Old January 4th, 2006, 12:43 PM   #1
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Blocking Windows Vulnerability improved responsiveness!

This is really a WindowsXP wide issue. There is much talk today (Jan 4 2006) about an unpatched vulnerability when browsing by any image on the web that exploits the vulnerability (few so far). This has to do with the "metafile" viewer that pre-looks at files before showing to give a heads up to the operating system. In other words to make Windows mor MAC-like. A way to insulate yourself from it for now is to click "start", then "run" and type

regsrv32 /u shimgvw.dll

In other words, edit the registry to /uninstall that "image viewer". To reverse it and turn it back on just retype it without the /u.

Well! - for 5 years, on my old Windows2000 machine (512K ram), I frequently found the Windows filesystem explorer (right click "Start" then "explore") would crash when it "saw" "My Pictures" with 20 folders and over 7000 images (20gigs), all with long, descriptive filenames. After a crash I would get annoying popups for "shell notification error". My new XP machine (2gigs RAM) was less susiptible but the explorer appication could still crash that way. With that .dll now turned off, this annoying behavior is gone and everything associated with the filesystem viewer is more responsive. I have seen no downsides so far. The disc detector still suggests applications that might be applicable to a new disc, for instance. I, for one, will never turn this baby back on!
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Old January 4th, 2006, 03:02 PM   #2
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Minor typo in the above - it should be:

regsvr32 /u shimgvw.dll
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Old January 6th, 2006, 03:21 PM   #3
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Micro$oft has now released a proper patch.

Meanwhile, if you unregistered this .dll you've probably found that you no longer have thumbnails of images in your folders.

To get them back, run: regsvr32 shimgvw.dll
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Old January 6th, 2006, 03:54 PM   #4
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Thanks for the heads up

Yes I saw MS relented and released the fix post-haste. As an old command line guy, I was forever turning off thumbnails to get "details" so that was actually OK by me. What isn't OK is that certain web features (seat selection on an airline web site) failed to work so there are times I'll still turn that .dll back on.
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