Now that I’ve been running Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) on my Vista machines for about three months I’m starting to learn a little about this program’s behavior. Last Friday, Secunia notified users about an important update to Adobe Flash, part of which involved replacing an older version of its ActiveX control for Explorer with a newer version. This involved installing a package that included a file named Flash10b.ocx, which replaces Flash10a.ocx.
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Apparently the installer is not only supposed to add Flash10b.ocx to the %windir%\System32\Macromed\Flash directory, it’s also supposed to delete the previous version, Flash10a.ocx as well. The problem is, deleting ActiveX components you use requires that they be unregistered first. To do this for the aforementioned file, enter this string at the command line:
regsvr32 “C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\Macromed\Flash\Flash10a.ocx” /u
On the other hand, you could use your handy-dandy WinPE boot UFD to reboot the machine and delete this file without having to unregister, because you’re then running inside a different Vista runtime that isn’t using that ActiveX control. However, a double reboot takes at least 5 minutes on my Vista machines: once to boot into WinPE, and again to return to a normal Vista runtime environment after deleting the file. On the other hand, unregistering this ActiveX control takes less than ten seconds. Thus, it’s easier and faster to unregister the file first, then delete it without resorting to the UFD. You can even write a short batch file to automate the entire process, and deploy it around your network to Vista desktops.One more thing: before you attempt to delete this file, please close Secunia PSI as well. If you leave it open, it will hang onto a handle to this file. And of course, that too will prevent you from deleting it.
Those readers who’ve followed my advice and have installed PSI or CSI (the newly-renamed “Corporate Software Inspector” or CSI, that replaces the older NSI for Network Software Inspector) may benefit from this tidbit of information, if they haven’t figured it out already for themselves. As foibles go, however, this one’s pretty minor, and would only require Secunia to add a short note to this effect in their clean-up instructions. I’m still glad to have Secunia in my corner, though, and since I’ve started using their software inspectors my machines have kept up with patches, fixes, and updates on a more-or-less a same-day basis, except for occasional weekends or holidays when I choose not to check on my growing collection of PCs.