RealTime IT News

Microsoft: Adware Disrupts SP2 Installations

Microsoft has released a critical update to fix a Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) installation problem caused by a third-party adware program called T.V. Media.

The software maker said T.V. Media, which styles itself as a permission-based contextual marketing network, disrupts the successful installation of SP2 and other critical updates.

Microsoft said PCs with T.V Media installed with the adware prevent the security-centric SP2 from loading and serve the following error messages: "Stop: c0000135" and "winsrv was not found." The computer then tries to restart itself repeatedly and forces the user to manually disable the automatic restart function.

The company also released a knowledge base article that includes a removal tool for the T.V. Media adware.

T.V Media is released by TotalVelocity.com and is used to serve advertising on computers that have certain free software applications installed. The company offers an application called Memory Meter that promises to monitor the available memory on a computer in exchange for advertising.

Another TotalVelocity.com application is Speed Blaster, a free utility that supposedly optimizes the speed of a user's Internet connection. A note on the company's site made it clear that users receive advertising from T.V. Media only if they choose to download or use free T.V. Media software applications.

"T.V. Media is not spyware and does not know who you are. T.V. Media shows you relevant offers, information and services as you browse the Web," TotalVelocity.com said.

However, Microsoft is recommending that users delete the T.V. Media software and reinstall the service pack to better defend against viruses, worms, and malicious hackers.