Microsoft Office SP3 causes data blocks

Microsoft Office SP3 causes data blocks

Older formats blocked as 'risky'

Some IT managers are facing a busy new year after finding that a Microsoft security update has blocked access to certain Office files.

The update, part of Office 2003 Service Pack Three (SP3), blocks most pre-Windows 98 Word documents as well as many Office 97 files and some data from Corel Draw and Quattro files and Lotus Notes.

"After you install Office 2003 SP3, some Excel 2003, PowerPoint 2003, Word 2003, and Corel Draw (.cdr) file formats are blocked," said the company in an advisory.

"By default, these file formats are blocked because they are less secure. They may pose a risk to you."

Microsoft declined to specify which files are being blocked, but provided workarounds in the note. These include registry changes that the company recommends backing up before attempting.