back to article Security bug bites 64-bit Windows 7

Microsoft on Tuesday warned users of a vulnerability in 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 that could expose users to malware attacks. Exploitation of the bug in the Canonical Display Driver would most likely only cause vulnerable machines to reboot, Microsoft spokesman Jerry Bryant said in a blog post. But …


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  1. Goat Jam

    Disable Windows Aero Theme


    Isn't Aero the only reason that most people upgrade from XP?

    1. zanto

      i agree

      i'm forced to use win7 because that's what my IT dept installed on my t400. the first thing i did was switch to classic theme.

      on my dual boot home laptop which is a 2 year old acer, winXP feels a lot faster than my t400.

      the specs are:

      t400 / 4GB ram / 7200rpm hdd / win7

      acer 4720z / 2GB ram / 5400rpm hdd / winXP / Fedora Core 12

      needless to add, Fedora on my laptop whoops anything MS can throw at it except maybe games.

      1. karakalWitchOfTheWest

        I don't agree

        You are one of the five people on earth where XP is better on his old hardware... ahhh, you wrote "feels"... please check your stats before you write anything.

        WinXP is old and if you are accustomed to the new features of Win7 you will never go back (I definitely don't want to go back ever....)

        1. Anonymous Coward

          I am on the virge of going back

          I am one of them who's itching to go back because of the stupid DRM which hated my Imation RPC-1 DVD drive (RPC-1 meaning that the drive is in actuality region free and it's up to Windows to handle the region changing) on my HTPC and refused to let me play DVDs until I bought a RPC-2 drive and use that drive to play back DVDs instead of the Imation. It took me months to hunt down that RPC-1 drive because I import DVDs a lot and would prefer that to paying for AnyDVD. Said box originally ran Windows XP MCE2005 which had no such restrictions. I'm now stuck to Windows 7 only because I can't be arsed to do another reformat/reinstall. Next time I have to do a reformat on that box, said box is getting my old copy of XP Pro X64 + MediaPortal.

          On the other hand my new gaming rig is sticking to Win7 due to NVidia being a prick and not allowing Hybrid SLI and Three-way/Four-way SLI under XP. That, and a lot of games coming out seems to be locked to Windows Vista and above only now.

          1. Xander Dent

            here's your f**king title...

            You Sir, are a complete and total idiot. A shining example of the old adage "A Little knowledge is a dangerous thing".

            First Off, there's more ways then just software that will allow you to bypass "region protection".

            "On the other hand my new gaming rig is sticking to Win7 due to NVidia being a prick and not allowing Hybrid SLI and Three-way/Four-way SLI under XP. That, and a lot of games coming out seems to be locked to Windows Vista and above only now."

            Secondly, you ignorant tit, nvidia didn't "not allow" hybrid SLI under XP, it's nigh impossible to do stably, and with much performance gain under DX9.0c. A better version of DirectX is required, therefore vista or better is also required. The same goes for your games "locked to vista and above" you complete and utter f**king moron.

            There you go, the clue went that way >>>>>>>>>

    2. John Tserkezis

      Disable Windows Aero Theme


      Not a problem for me, I've been disabling it during install on every Win7 box so far.

      In fact, I barely remember what it looks like aside from distant marketing fluff trying to sell it.

    3. rcdicky

      LOL - No...

      There's a lot of reasons people upgrade to W7 from XP (and Vista ofc)

      Aero didn't even enter the equation for me :S

    4. Greg J Preece

      Swing and a miss

      The "killer app" you're looking is, and always has been, DirectX. XP is now two major versions behind, and because of the Vista debacle, uptake of the newer versions has been painfully slow.

      Besides, Win7 is actually pretty nice, as far as Windows goes. It runs surprisingly well, and you get a lot of little things, niceties here and there, that XP doesn't have out of the box.

    5. ShellShockeD

      @goat jam

      no most people are not upgrading but getting pc's and lattops that come with it .

    6. SuperTim



      infact the aero theme is the reason most older computers have no hope running vista and 7....

      Ooh look at the translucecny of the windows.....oooooooh,....

      Disabling aero turns 7 into xp but with a few less toys doesnt it?

      I *suppose* that 7 is a bit better than xp even without aero. It does seem a bit more secure and stable, like comparing the state of mind of someone who fought in iraq to someone who fought in vietnam. They would be slightly less likely to go postal on you.

      I am currently rocking both xp and 7 and dont really see the difference in usability (apart from the obvious ones to aid complete novices). I am beginning to miss DOS as well.

      1. stream_venom

        Not XP by far

        Win 7 has many more security features that are not a part of XP or Vista for that. Like the fact that your user account doesn't run with system level privileges or the fact that firewall that is included has many more features and has been greatly improved. All the Aero theme is just a visual and feel upgrade. As far as the actual OS it's self Microsoft has been on a mission patenting lots of Linux apps that we linux users have enjoyed for a long time as well as implementing some *nix security features like the afore mentioned user running as the system root. Hence the annoying UAP that everyone turns off. I have always taken advantage of the fact that people hate to be disturbed and used that as a leverage point when popping Windows boxes at the local coffee shop. Turning Aero off will only free system resources that have been killing Windows boxes as of late. All that needed to be done in my opinion was to just secure XP and small visual cues needed to be changed. Aero is the reason I made to change full time over to Ubuntu.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Not XP by far

          "Win 7 has many more security features that are not a part of XP or Vista for that. Like the fact that your user account doesn't run with system level privileges"

          Dunno what version of XP you were using, but my user account hasn't run with admin privileges since I started using NT 3.1 sometime in the early nineties.

          Is this Microsoft's long-term strategy? If they wait long enough then they'll pick up a generation of new computer users who have only ever drunk from the Win7 kool-aid and will believe all the disinformation about XP.

    7. DrXym

      Not the only reason but a very good reason

      Aero means every app gets its own surface which means faster painting (since there is no dirty regions, invalidation, need for app context switches when windows move around) plus other effects like preview windows, transparency etc.

      As for this bug, I imagine that with Aero turned off that there is no composition and everything happens the older, crappier but (in this case) non vulnerable route.

      Windows 7 plenty of other reasons to upgrade if your PC is capable of the upgrade. Better 64 bit support, better multi core support, better security, better media center, better desktop etc.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Disable Windows Aero Theme


    9. Test Man



    10. PhonicUK

      Not really...

      Not people who upgraded out of choise. Most people will have just got a version bundled with a new machine.

      Me, I wanted DX10/DX11 support, have a small but growing number of games that don't support DX9/XP.

  2. DryBones

    You ....

    have GOT to be kidding me. Okay, let's steal and reprise the chant, people.

    "Sanitize, sanitize, sanitze!"

  3. lucmars


    This is the problem with a plateform: by the time you can less satisfy the past without problem.

  4. Toolman83

    all very "Snow Crash"

    Viewing a specially crafted image causing your Computer to crash?

    (Except in this case its your actual PC not your Brain crashing...)

    Well done Neal Stephenson for predicting this !

  5. Anonymous Coward


    Aren't Canonical the Ubuntu guys?

  6. Anonymous Coward


    It's true then - Linux is a cancer! They did this deliberately to harm Windows!

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Windows 7 + Vista

    Really different ? No warning for Vista 64 bit users ?

  8. Adam Salisbury

    Canonical Driver?

    As in the Ubuntu folks, I'm not surprised it doesn't work :p Any word on whether this is specific to a particular flavour of card?

  9. Mike Kamermans

    Canonical... as in repetitive; repeating in different forms

    The Microsoft Canonical Display Driver is a driver used by desktop composition to blend GDI and DirectX drawing. One call performs the same operating in two different drawing modes, hence canonical. For a change, the word actually means what the word means, instead of refering to the product.

  10. stream_venom

    Memory Randomization...haha

    You all know that the randomization that Microsoft has claimed will protect you is not that great. If you do your own fuzzing of some processes that run on a 32 or 64 bit version of the newer (Vista and up) OS's you will find that only the last 4 bits are changed for the memory addresses. Then with that they have a limited range that they change through. This sucks for Microsoft because soon some one will write code that will exploit this security Feature/Flaw. This is why I choose Linux not due to some myth that it is more secure. I just have less attention and far fewer people shooting at my servers.

  11. fn0rd

    Same crap different version.

    Nobody remember the GDI exploit for XP?

  12. David Pickering
    Thumb Down

    win7 ui is crap

    even with the basic skin enabled i still cant navigate through the shell and explorer with the keyboard properly.

    1. Mike OReilly


      You just have to accept that some people are just, um, stupid.

  13. LeBeourfCurtaine


    Why not just switch off the themes service until it's patched...?

  14. tom 24


    No, Aero is not the main reason people upgrade to Windows 7. The main reason people upgrade to Windows 7 is that their computer came with Vista.

    Windows 7! It's like Vista, but with a lot of bugs fixed.

  15. Thermal_Vent

    Tinted Glasses?? Rose??

    Well I must be the only one who likes Windows 7 x64, sure it has it's faults but it is the best OS I have owned since XP, which was fantastic too (and also had a few problems of its own).

    I have never had one single problem, not a crash anything, my macine responds very quickly with all of the aero stuff turned on if I chose too.

    Seriously, I know theres a few problems but on the whole it's a very stable, fast, feature rich OS.... Some people will still be using XP and talking about how you don't need this fancy DirectX 20 crap in the year 2025

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Well Said

      Although you seem to have forgotten that it is highly fashionable to bash Micro$haft at every given opportunity and your reasoned statements will lead to inevitable cries of Shill!

      Win 7 64 Bit for me is a good operating system, does everything I need it to do faster than XP did it on the same PC.

      I even find it faster than Ubuntu on my dual boot system (even with Aero!)

  16. John Sanders

    On my crappy intel 920GM

    I can crash windows 7 with my eyes closed. And it is not so clear where the problem is.

    Old crappy Intel integrated video cards run on Windows 7 using XPDM drivers, so no aero here.

    If I happen to work with the window snap feature enabled, any graphics software that I run can crash the video subsystem with operations as simple as changing the size of a media player.

    Just open a movie in VLC (the higher the res the sooner you crash it) then start to resize the window while the movie is playing and be sure you hit the borders of the screen so the snap is triggered. After a couple of attempts something goes wrong and the driver will crash, your screen will become a 640x480 16 color mess. Then log off and you'll get a nice blue screen.

    There are many ways to crash and burn 7 like this, some can be always reproduced and some can not, but so far 99% of the Win 7 crashes I had were related to video components.

    By the way, I never had so many crashes on WinNT 4, Win2k, XP, Win2k3 (never had a crash) as I'm having with Win7.

    And yes Win7 is better than XP on many aspects, but I wonder if the bloating process was really necessary at all; 16gb seems too much to me, RAM consumption is huge, it tries to do too many things on the background, etc.

    Most of the improvements (little touches here and there) are logical if you consider how seriously outdated XP desktop shell is. Any MacOS or Linux desktop was running around the XP shell hundred of times. The Vista 7 (oops!) shell is better but not great.

  17. andih98uk

    I'm a windows basher but i like 7!

    I thought XP was ok but with major security flaws, I hated Vista with a passion, but i have yet to find a single flaw with Windows 7. It runs faster than Vista, has much more features than XP and they actually launched it at a price that was almost acceptable. Ubuntu is brilliant. Fast, light but I just can't recommend it to anyone because they want something that runs their old windows apps natively and something thats familiar that is easily supported and doesn't require complicated actions if they buy a printer\scanner, ipod etc. ubuntu is going places but its simply not there yet.

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