Then I remembered that I'd written briefly about a hotfix issued by Microsoft to restore compatibility between the GDI patch that fixed the animated cursor vulnerability and software for the Realtek audio chip.
Did the notebook have Realtek hardware? Yes!
After a few minutes to download and install the patch and reboot the system, my domestic status as an IT guru was restored.
The incident left me wondering about two things.
How many technicians are making hay out of this issue? Onboard Realtek audio hardware seem pretty common among the notebooks and desktop motherboards I've used recently, and the fact that the sound didn't fail completely makes a socket problem a likely candidate.
How hard would it have been for Microsoft to arrange for the hotfix to be automatically downloaded and installed by Windows Update if it detected relevant Realtek hardware?
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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.