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Microsoft Patches Live OneCare to Tackle Quarantined E-Mails

Microsoft Corp has developed a patch for its Windows Live OneCare security program before time to repair a virus that has been deleting e-mails from some users' mailboxes.

On March 11, 2007, the Windows Live OneCare group issued a new anti-malware solution that will set right the problem of OneCare systematically quarantining some Outlook.pst and Outlook Express.dbx files when infection affects certain files, a representative of Microsoft confirmed on March 13, 2007. Users of Windows Live OneCare connected to the Internet will automatically download the patch.

The anti-virus software creates problem upon the detection of messages carrying viruses, for instead of removing only the harmful e-mails the program deletes or quarantines all e-mails.

Microsoft released the fix before the expected time, the representative said.

OneCare has default feature to download and install of its own any patch when the computer goes online. That means users of this service must have found their program updated by now. But this is not of much solace to those who have been affected by this problem for more than two weeks. Many of them lost their e-mails permanently.

Users can manually recover their quarantined e-mails. For that they need to close their e-mail application and click "Change OneCare Settings" found in OneCare. Then they need to move to "Viruses and Spyware" and click the "Quarantine". Then by selecting their Outlook PST or Outlook Express DBX file they can click "Restore".

Various Microsoft watchers have noted the OneCare-Outlook problems so they are not one-time occurrences. Since January this year there have been reports from several customers that OneCare ate their e-mails.

At present the bug will affect only users of Outlook 97 or 2000 and "Outlook Express on Windows XP", a Microsoft representative reported.

Microsoft introduced the Windows Live OneCare service in 2006 with great celebrations, with a Vista-compatible version following in late January 2007. This OneCare has, however, generated problems recently and has performed insufficiently in malware detection tests.

The latest problem has dampened people's trust in the security product. Meanwhile, Microsoft has declared it will release a public beta of OneCare Live 2.0 in April this year.

Related article: Microsoft Confirms DRM hack, Readies Fix

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