Cookies are very small text files that are stored on your computer when you visit some websites. We use cookies to help provide you with the best possible online experience. By using this site, you agree that we may store and access cookies on your device. Accept this cookie or find out more.



Windows 8.1/7 Users: Switch to Chrome Now!

Sometimes Windows bugs are so simple, it’s amazing no one has noticed them before. And this is certainly the case with a new bug affecting Windows 8.1 and 7 users.

The problem occurs when you try to open a file path that accesses the Master File Table (MFT). MFT is a protected area of your hard drive that stores information about file locations for the operating system, and you are not allowed to access it directly.

However, if you try to open a file that includes the MFT directory (C:$MFT\file for example), Windows 8.1 or 7 will crash with a blue screen error message. The problem does not seem to affect Windows 10.

In fact, what happens is Windows tries to lock the file when you access it but never unlocks it. Meaning that next time the operating system needs to access MFT, it will not be able to gain access to the locked file.

An online crook could create a web page that tried to reference this area of the file system and if you visited the page, your system would immediately crash.

This really is a very basic error and Microsoft should never have allowed it to happen. It’s the kind of problem that would have affected Windows 98, so why it is still with us today is anyone’s guess. Needless to say, Microsoft have yet to issue a fix for it.

What’s more, because Firefox and Internet Explorer do not have built-in file system protection, both browsers are liable to trigger the bug if you visit an infected page.

Only Google Chrome has built-in protection against this kind of problem because it recognises and blocks malformed file paths, preventing dangerous web pages from trying to access files that they shouldn’t.

So, if you have Windows 8.1 or 7, it seems like your only option – until Microsoft get around to releasing a fix that is – is to make the switch to Google Chrome.