Windows XP users are lighting torches and collecting pitchforks for an assault on the castle gates following a set of security patches issued on 9 February by Microsoft. If reports on the company's support forum are true, the updates have caused widespread blue-screens-of-death that prevent bootup.

Some users have proposed solutions, and Microsoft has endorsed one as the official way forward - you need to boot from your Windows XP installation disc, launch the recovery console, and then enter a series of commands. That's no good for those without an optical drive, however - which will affect a growing number of netbook users.

Other users have said that uninstalling patch MS10-015, labelled as KB977165, brought their computer back to life. The patch fixes a kernel bug that allows an attack on a Windows XP computer. Microsoft hasn't yet released an official statement on the issue, but if we hear anything then we'll let you know.