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A registry entry is available to turn off processing of metafiles

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Support for Windows Server 2003 ended on July 14, 2015

Microsoft ended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

Important This article contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure that you back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows registry
SUMMARY
To provide more flexibility in meeting the needs of customers who have specialized security requirements, Microsoft has provided a way to turn off all processing of metafiles system-wide by setting a flag in a registry key setting. This setting is available to all customers who are running Windows Vista and to customers who have applied security update 925902. Security update 925902 is described by security bulletin MS07-017.

Turning off processing of metafiles may cause the appearance of software or of system components to decrease in quality. Turning off processing of metafiles may also cause the software or the system components to fail completely. Examples include the following:
  • You cannot print on the computer.
  • Some applications on the computer may be unable to display clip art.
  • Some scenarios that involve OLE rendering may break. In particular, this problem occurs when the object server is not active.
Important This is intended only as an emergency measure if the latest GDI security update cannot be deployed quickly enough during an active attack. Turning off all processing of metafiles has not been fully tested. You should change this setting back to zero (0) as soon as possible and install the latest GDI security update to help increase security and to regain full functionality. For more information about how to set the DisableMetaFiles registry key, see the "More Information" section.
MORE INFORMATION
Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.

Turn off processing of GDI metafiles

To turn off processing of GDI metafiles, set the value of the DisableMetaFiles registry entry to one (1). This entry of type REG_DWORD is located in the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\GRE_Initialize
Note If this registry entry is set to any value other than zero, it turns off processing of GDI metafiles.

To set the value of this entry, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type Regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\GRE_Initialize
  3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD.
  4. Type DisableMetaFiles, and then press ENTER.
  5. On the Edit menu, click Modify to modify the DisableMetaFiles registry entry.
  6. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
  7. Exit Registry Editor.

Turn on processing of GDI metafiles

To turn on processing of GDI metafiles, set the value of the DisableMetaFiles registry entry to zero (0). This entry of type REG_DWORD is located in the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\GRE_Initialize
To set the value of this entry, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type Regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\GRE_Initialize
  3. In the details pane, double-click
    DisableMetaFiles
    .
  4. In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
  5. Exit Registry Editor.
security_patch security_update bug flaw malicious attacker exploit registry unauthenticated buffer overrun overflow specially-formed scope specially-crafted denial of service DoS TSE Win2000
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Article ID: 941835 - Last Review: 09/30/2011 01:12:00 - Revision: 3.0

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  • kbexpertiseinter kbexpertisebeginner kbqfe kbsecurity kbsecbulletin kbsecvulnerability kbbug kbfix kbwin2000presp5fix KB941835
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