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Unspecified Potential Security

Even when I’m not using it, Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 appears to be trying very hard to make sure that I can’t ignore it. Recently installed after Microsoft decided to push out IE7 to users who, like me, refused to install Windows Genuine disAdvantage, I thought that it would be relatively harmless. Although I wasn’t planning on using it much anyway (at least not outside of the IEtab plugin), IE6 certainly needed an update and I thought it couldn’t hurt. Well, I was wrong.

First, the backstory. On Kaleidoscope, my venerable 2004-era desktop computer, I have a 4-disk RAID 0 stripe. At the time, this choice made a lot of sense, because I used the computer primarily for video editing and playing video games. Speed, not data security, was the primary concern. I kept all of my important documents on Kleinoscope, my laptop at the time, which I occasionally backed up.

However, Kleinoscope died a rather horrific death several months ago, and before the arrival of Graphitica, I ended up using Kaleidoscope for productivity considerably more than I had originally anticipated. Combined with several scary refusal-to-boot episodes, I decided that data security had to become a higher priority. So I headed to Fry’s and created Nexus, a file server with a couple of 750 gigabyte hard drives. I decided to transfer all of the documents I had been storing on Kaleidoscope to Nexus and just set that up as my default Documents storage location. Over a gigabit connection, response was snappy and everything worked great. Until I let IE7 install itself.

At that point, whenever I clicked on my Documents folder, I first received a pop-up warning dialog:

This page has an unspecified potential security risk. Do you want to continue?

Well of course I wanted to continue. I wanted to access my documents, and there was of course no potential security hazard, specified or not, in my doing so. I didn’t specifically link the appearance of this dialog to the installation of IE7 at the time, but I did find it annoying. Today, I was feeling a bit petulant and decided to see what would happen if I clicked “No” to the dialog’s inane question instead of my customary “Yes.” Well, I didn’t get to see my files, and my desktop decided that it was busy for the rest of time. Although performance appeared to be unaffected, whenever I hovered my mouse over the desktop, I was treated to an hourglass icon. A good 30 minutes later, the icon is still persistent. Well, this travesty motivated me to fix the problem once and for all. So I did the most anti-Microsoft thing imaginable: I Googled it. And true-to-form, Google delivered some excellent results.

The solution, found here, is simple:

Open Control Panels > Internet Options
Select the Security tab
Select the Local Intranet icon
Click the Sites button
Click the Advanced button
Type the name of the file server into the text box and click Add
Select Close and OK to exit all of the dialog boxes

Viola! Windows no longer complains about unspecified potential security risks that are not actually risks.

2 Responses to “Unspecified Potential Security”

  1. Stickman Says:

    Yeah. I thought about updating, but decided that I didn’t actually use IE, so I’d avoid it for now.

    I recently went to Fry’s and picked up a number of 750GB HDs (3.75TB worth) with the intent to build a backup server. A friend picked out hardware for me from newegg (because I was too busy to find some myself) that supports what I’m looking for.

    Once finals week is over I’m going to get it set up. The only thing I’m missing is a gigabit network. I really do need one of those if I’m going to be doing large backups.

  2. Daniel Marsh Says:

    In other, somewhat related news, Microsoft is now classifying Windows Genuine Disadvantage Notifications as a critical security update and is trying to slip it by automatic updates again even if you have chosen the option to not display this update in the past. I can hardly believe the shit they are trying to pull these days.

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