When is a PC not a PC?

When Microsoft Update thinks I’m using a Mac. Yes, last night I went to get some updates from Microsoft Update and I got the message…

Thank you for your interest in obtaining updates from our site.

This website is designed to work with Microsoft Windows operating systems only.
To find updates for Microsoft products that are designed for Macintosh operating
systems, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/mac/.

Nice. I was using Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP MCE SP3.

It knows which system I’m using from the “user agent” but one of many websites which displays your current user agent information, showed that I was happily using Windows. Weird.

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1) ; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; Media Center PC 4.0; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.30; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.648; .NET CLR 3.5.21022; WTClient2)

Weirder still was that if I used IE Tab in Firefox, the page would appear without a problem. As IE Tab simply uses Internet Explorer but in Firefox, it shouldn’t have been any different. Again, I checked the user agent and that was the same as running it under IE normally.

Double weird.

Anyway, after a reboot even IE Tab stopped working.

Googling the issue found that most people seemed to have Spyware or Virus’. In panic, I did a check but found nothing. However, I also came across a Microsoft blog on how to reset all of IE 7’s settings – I tried that and Microsoft Update is now working again.

Posted by David Artiss

Enterprise Happiness Engineer for the WordPress VIP team at Automattic. Gamer, film lover and general fan of all things Marvel, Star Trek and Star Wars. Failed comedian. Writer for The Big Tech Question. World's Greatest Grandma.

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