Fix for MS Update KB951748 and ZoneAlarm

ZoneAlarm Pro version 7.0.483.000
The new version of ZoneAlarm Pro (version 7.0.483.000) now resides happily alongside Microsoft Update KB951748.

I wasn’t online last night otherwise I’d have seen the HUGE number of comments on my last post about the merry dance that the latest Microsoft Update KB951748 caused for ZoneAlarm users: Microsoft Update KB951748 and ZoneAlarm woes. Thanks for all your comments, folks.

Before I go any further, a big hand to the boffins at Check Point, the company who develop ZoneAlarm for their swift action in fixing the issue caused by this recent Windows Update.

ZoneAlarm Update now available

When I switched on my PC this morning I was presented with a ZoneAlarm update notification:

ZoneAlarm Pro Service Agent window

which had a very clear indication why this update was necessary:

A criticial ZoneAlarm Security Update is now available. This update is required to resolve a problem with the Microsoft Update KB951748, which may cause loss of internet access for ZoneAlarm users on Windows 2000 and XP.

You can also download the update manually from the ZoneAlarm website. The update is available for these products:

  • ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite
  • ZoneAlarm Pro
  • ZoneAlarm Antivirus
  • ZoneAlarm Anti-Spyware
  • ZoneAlarm Basic Firewall

Once installed you will be required to reboot your PC or laptop. I’d recommend that you save your work and close down any applications while you install the update, listen to some soothing music and make yourself a nice cup of tea.

Now install Windows Update KB951748

With Windows happily rebooted it’s now time to install (or re-install) Microsoft Update KB951748. If you’ve not instructed Windows Update to ignore that particular update (which I did, and more on that in a moment) then the little yellow shield will soon appear in the notification area (next to the clock) and likely either go ahead and install the update or prompt you to install, depending on your Automatic Updates settings.

For me, the update didn’t require a reboot.

Windows Automatic Updates

PeterS made a good point in his comment on the last post:

You probably have Windows Updates set to download updates automatically in the background, when you are online. So after you have uninstalled KB951748, Windows will automatically download and reinstall KB951748 again quietly in the background so when you next reboot your PC you won’t be able to go online again.

His recommendation was to switch Automatic Updates from Automatic to “Notify me but don’t automatically download or install them”.

This is actually something that I do every time I reinstall Windows XP, or set-up a new pre-installed machine. I’ve been caught out too many times by Microsoft Updates screwing up either my internet connection or Microsoft Outlook.

Here’s how:

  1. Open Control Panel
    Go to the Start menu and click on Control Panel — it’s in the coloured bar on the right (assuming you’re using the standard Windows XP theme, rather than the Classic Windows 2000 look).
  2. Classic View
    The Control Panel will open in a new window. If you don’t have the Classic View (as shown in the screenshot below) then select “Switch to Classic View” in the panel on the left — I’ve highlighted this area in yellow below. When you do this you’ll see a window-full of icons.
  3. Automatic Updates
    Double-click on the Automatic Updates icon — I’ve highlighted this in green below. It looks like a globe with the Windows logo above it.

Windows XP Control Panel

  1. Offer hidden updates (optional)
    Automatic Updates will open in a new window. Now, if you previously instructed Windows Update to hide KB951748 you can instruct the updater to “Offer updates again that [you’ve] previously hidden” by clicking on the link at the bottom — highlighted in yellow below. (The option will be greyed-out if it’s not available.)
  2. Notify me
    At PeterS said, you will likely have the radio-button dot against “Automatic (recommended)”, indicating that it is the option selected.

    Instead, click on the radio button beside “Notify me but don’t automatically download or install them“.

    Don’t worry, you’re not switching off Automatic Updates, just asking Windows to inform when they are available and what they are — that gives you the opportunity to look them up before you agree to install them.

Automatic Updates

  1. Click OK to set this option. The Automatic Updates window will also close.
  2. Close Control Panel (by clicking on the red X in the top-right corner).
  3. If you’ve not already installed Microsoft Update KB951748, Automatic Updates will soon notify you to install the update.

I hope that’s useful to some folks.

I hope so because it’s just taken me an hour to write this up! Screenshots, by the way, were taken using TechSmith SnagIt 9.

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