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Microsoft has said it is investigating a niggling problem with an Internet Explorer 8 update that's disabling a number of Windows XP machines.

Admins and users are reporting here that after they installed an IE8 patch on PCs running Windows XP the machines were unable to boot Microsoft's browser.

One Reg reader contacted us to say "dozens" of machines need servicing while one member of the Whirlpool ISP news forum said 13 out of 140 Windows XP machines he was working on had hit the problem.

A spokesperson for Microsoft told The Reg that it was "an older issue known to affect a small set of users"."

"Our engineering team is investigating the specific cause and will determine any next steps following that investigation," the spokesperson added.

It's not clear which specific IE8 update has caused the problem, but the root cause seems to be a missing iertutil.dll file. Fellow Whirlpool users have posted a number of workarounds, but it seems iertutil.dll has been going on the missing list on Windows XP at least since 2008 with IE7. ®

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