Windows Sockets Bug Fix
Under stress, Microsoft Exchange and other programs might stop working and generate Dr. Watson access violation error messages. The problem results from an incorrect buffer-length calculation in the EnumProtocols function in Windows Sockets (mswsock.dll) that corrupts the heap and causes unpredictable access violations. Microsoft Support Online article Q259148 documents the problem and indicates that you can call Microsoft Support for the bug fix, new versions of mswsock.dll and wsock32.dll released March 21.

Do You Need to Update Your NetWare Clients?
Are you supporting Novell NetWare clients with Client Service for NetWare (CSNW) and Microsoft Gateway Service for NetWare (GSNW)? If your NetWare clients are running Novell Client 4.7 for Windows 2000 and Windows NT or Novell Client 3.2 for Windows 9x, users might not be able to connect to Novell Directory Services (NDS) resources, logon scripts might not run properly, and the clients might not be able to connect to print shares. When users try to log on or connect to a network resource, they might see the message, "Error: You cannot be authenticated on () due to the following reason: The network path was not found." The problem also causes password changes to fail with the error message, "Your password could not be changed on due to the following reason: A device attached to the system is not functioning."

According to Microsoft Support Online article Q259264, you can solve these NetWare client connectivity problems by updating your Novell clients at Novell’s Web site. You need the file nt47pt2.exe for Win2K and NT clients and the file 9532pt2.exe for the Win9x client. After you install the new client software, you should modify and save the properties of the user or printer share that isn't working. If the modifications don't resolve the problem, you might have to delete and recreate the affected user or print shares using the listed Novell clients.

Sysprep and ACPI
Win2K Sysprep contains a bug that hangs systems supporting Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI). The bug causes Sysprep to attempt to reboot the system on which you’re preparing the disk twice—as a result, the system hangs. If you plan to configure Win2K systems disks with Sysprep, you need to call Microsoft Support for the April 7 version of sysprep.exe, which eliminates the second boot. See Microsoft Support Online article Q259144 for more information.

NT Backup Returns Incorrect Termination Code
If you run batch scripts that invoke NT Backup on Win2K, the utility might return a zero even when a problem occurs (a zero typically indicates that an operation completed successfully). According to Microsoft Support Online article Q260327, NT Backup might return a different code each time you run the same script under identical conditions. Currently, the problem has no fix. To verify that your backups are running correctly, check NT Backup’s records in the Application Event Log (AEL).

USB Driver Problems
A Win2K USB driver bug prevents the driver from recognizing a Plug and Play (PnP) device after you disconnect it and plug it back in. Microsoft Support Online article Q259711 indicates that when you disconnect a USB device, the USB driver doesn't release a handle to the device. Because the driver already has a handle open, it doesn't recognize that a device such as a mouse has been reconnected when you plug it back in. The good news (especially for one faithful reader on Alaska's Kodiak Island) is that you can call Microsoft Support and get the new USB driver usbhub.sys released April 18, which handles the unexpected removal and reconnection of PnP USB hardware correctly.

Microsoft Support Online article Q253643 documents another USB PnP device issue. According the article, you can install USB-aware applications that register to receive notification of USB PnP device status. If such an application doesn't release a handle to the USB device when the driver notifies the application about a disconnection, the application might not receive notice when you reconnect the device. The problem results, in part, from a bug in the HID class driver. If you're having trouble with USB devices in a specific application, ensure the application properly releases a handle to the device. You should also ask Microsoft Support for the new version of the HID driver, hidclass.sys, released February 14. You might need the updates for both drivers to ensure that the USB devices function properly.

Potential Services.exe Deadlock
Win2K transports cache information about computers that are unavailable or unreachable. If the redirector tries to connect to such a computer and all the transports immediately return failure responses, a deadlock might occur because the redirector tries to tear down the virtual connection before the CleanUpEvent has triggered. The problem manifests itself as a block in services.exe, and any process running under services.exe might experience this redirector deadlock. If you're experiencing a services.exe hang, call Microsoft Support for OS component updates of mrxsmb.sys and rdbss.sys that the deadlock problems. See Microsoft Support Online article Q258065 for details.