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Access 2003 and the DCOM Server Process Launcher

Here's a hint: Don't disable the "DCOM Server Process Launcher" service on XP SP2. It may look like one heck of a vulnerability when you really don't use DCOM at all, but, unfortunately, Microsoft Access 2003 does. It will simply open an instant message box stating "A problem occurred while Microsoft Access was communicating with the OLE server or ActiveX Control." if the service is not running.

Comments

ncdave4life said…
"DCOM Server Process Launcher" is (as you put it) a heck of a vulnerability.

DCOM Server Process Launcher is used by malware, including at least one threat that is not detected by any of the many anti-malware tools I've thrown at it. On the infected computer, when DCOM Server Process Launcher is enabled, then as soon as I start any browser (IE, FireFox, or Opera), IE fires up, displaying an advertisement. From then on IE pops up another ad about once every 4-6 minutes. (Most of the ads are for porn sites, but I also got an ad for an ambulance chasing lawyer named Daniel A. Pava, of Springfield, Mass.)

The good news is that if you disable DCOM Server Process Launcher the problem seems to go away. I'll take your word for it that disabling DCOM Server Process Launcher interferes with Microsoft Access, but, fortunately, this computer does not have Microsoft Access installed.

To disable DCOM Server Process Launcher, run services.msc, right-click on DCOM Server Process Launcher, view its properties, set it to "disabled," and reboot.

Note: this is on Windows XP Media Center Edition, with SP2 and all the latest Windows Updates (as of 1/14/2008).

Dave Burton
www.geeksalive.com
Cary, NC
ncdave4life said…
P.S. -- Well, I was wrong. Disabling DCOM Server Process Launcher does break a few other things. Here's an article:

http://smallvoid.com/article/winnt-services-dcomlaunch.html

Contrary to that article, Windows Firewall still works, but I've verified that with DCOM Server Process Launcher disabled defrag and msinfo32 both fail. I've not checked the windows installer.

Dave Burton
www.geeksalive.com
Thanks for the link. I've since moved to Ubuntu for my main work, so this has become a fairly moot point for me ;)

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