Windows 2000 WINS Issues

WINS export memory leak. If you export a large WINS database, the WINS export process leaks memory at the rate of roughly 1MB per minute. If your WINS database is large enough, the export can leak all available memory. According to Microsoft Support Online article Q254387, a WINS snap-in that assists in the export doesn’t clear the internal memory cache. Call Microsoft Support for an updated version of winssnap.dll that eliminates the memory leak.

WINS doesn’t back up the database on shutdown. A Windows 2000 (Win2K)-based WINS server doesn’t back up the WINS database during server shutdown—even if you have enabled the "Back up database during server shutdown" option. Currently, there's no fix for this bug, but you can work around the problem by manually stopping the WINS service before you shut down the server on which WINS runs. Use the command Net Stop Wins at the command line or stop it from the Control Panel’s Services applet. Microsoft Support Online article Q255283 documents the problem.

DNS Server Memory Leak
Here’s another memory leak that you’ll want to eliminate from your Win2K DNS servers. Microsoft Support Online article Q258282 indicates that the amount of memory the system allocates to the dns.exe process might grow continually and that the rate of growth depends on the number of queries per hour that the server receives. To diagnose the problem on your system, start the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Performance snap-in, select the DNS process, and track the Page file bytes and Working set bytes counters. Call Microsoft Support Online for the March 27 DNS bug fix q258282_w2k_sp1_x86_en.exe.

Screen-Saver Policy not Applied
A couple of bugs in the System Administration template’s Group Policy snap-in prevent the system from applying the screen-saver portion of a user or group policy as expected. The policy code creates two Registry entries, ScreenSaveActive and ScreenSaverIsSecure, as REG_DWORD values (instead of REG_SZ values) and writes this screen-saver information in a new Registry key, HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies key (instead of HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop). When a user logs on, the win32k.sys module responsible for applying the policy doesn’t check the new Registry key for screen-saver information. To correct the problem, call Microsoft Support for an extensive bug fix that updates six core OS files: gdi32.dll, system.adm, user32.dll, win32k.sys, winlogon.exe, and winsrv.dll. The files have a release date of March 15. Microsoft Support Online article Q257939 documents the bugs.

Configure 3COM 3C5090 Network Adapters in PnP Mode
If you install Win2K on a system with a 3Com 3C509 network adapter, you must set the card to Plug and Play (PnP) mode to ensure that it functions correctly. Microsoft Support Online article Q227324 reports that by default, the 3C509 configures in legacy mode, not PnP mode. In legacy mode, you can experience two problems: the card might randomly lose connectivity, and the resources assigned to the network adapter might change. To correct the problem,

  1. Start the Control Panel’s System applet.
  2. Click Device Manager on the Hardware tab.
  3. Double-click Network Adapters to expand the list, then right-click the 3COM adapter and click Uninstall.
  4. Close Device Manager and reboot your system.
  5. Last, and most important, manually set the card to PnP mode using 3COM’s 3c5x9cfg.exe utility.

Unsaved Files Deleted from Local Cache
Heads up: there’s a new bug with potentially nasty consequences for Win2K users. A code defect in cscui.dll might delete unsaved user files from a local cache without notice or warning, giving you no chance to intervene and save the files. According to Microsoft Support Online article Q257301, you can call Microsoft Support for the bug fix, q257301_w2k_sp1_x86_en.exe.

Natural Keyboard Pro Update Disables Keyboard and Mouse
After you install Win2K on a computer with a Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro keyboard (Device Manager identifies it as a "Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard"), some of the Internet, multimedia, email, and programmed hotkeys across the top of the keyboard won’t work. If you click the Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro driver (start the Control Panel’s Keyboard applet, click the Hardware tab, click Properties, click the Driver tab, click Update Driver, click Show all hardware for this device class, and select the driver), you receive the warning

"Installing this device driver is not recommended because Windows cannot verify that it is compatible with your hardware. If the driver is not compatible, your hardware will not function correctly and your computer might become unstable or stop working completely. Do you want to continue installing this driver?" If you click Yes, the drivers load, and, after the system reboots, the keyboard and mouse no longer work.

The problem is that the Keyboard Pro driver is intended for use with the Universal Serial Bus (USB) version of the Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro keyboard only. Although your Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro keyboard has both a USB and a PS/2, the keyboard itself is i8042-port based. (The USB connector is strictly for the built-in USB hub.) Installing the incorrect driver disables the i8042prt port and enables Human Input Device support, which doesn’t work with this keyboard. See Microsoft Support Online article Q257729 for three procedures that restore keyboard and mouse functionality.

Win2K Network Load Balancing Service Bug Fix
Win2K’s Network Load Balancing (NLB) performs the same functions as Windows NT 4.0, Enterprise Edition’s Windows Load Balancing Service (WLBS). (The Win2K command-line interface for NLB is wlbs. For information about its switches, type wlbs -?.) Microsoft Support Online article Q255014 indicates that NLB has a bug that causes an unnecessary drain on system resources. Aside from this vague summary, the article doesn’t document either the symptoms or the cause of the inefficient use of system resources. Call Microsoft Support for a new version of wlbs.sys dated February 8.