Knowledge Base Entertainment

  • Explorapedia Earth rotates backwards. Last October, a user reported that when you use Explorapedia's Exploration utility to view the earth’s motion, Exploration rotates the planet in the wrong direction. Microsoft article Q131109 contains the standard response—Microsoft is researching the problem and will post new information when it's available. If Microsoft can change the earth’s rotation, the company can probably persuade the Department of Justice (DOJ) that all Microsoft marketing tactics are fine!
  • Magic School Bus lyrics. Several Microsoft products for children include a song titled the Magic School Bus. If your kids have asked you to sing along with them and you have begged off saying that you don’t know the words, your last excuse is gone. You can now consult Microsoft article Q122115 for the song's lyrics. I especially like the phrase, "Take a left at your intestine, Take your second right past Mars." Amazing what you can find in the Knowledge Base, eh?

NT 4.0 Remote Registry Server Vulnerability Hotfix
When a machine receives a remote request to access its Registry, Windows NT passes the request to the Remote Registry Server for authentication. If a malicious user sends a properly malformed request, the request hangs the Remote Registry Server. (Because the Remote Registry Server runs as part of the Winlogon process, the malformed request interrupts Winlogon and causes the system to hang.) Microsoft article Q264684 states that only authenticated users can exploit this vulnerability. Fortunately, the effect is transitory—the problem clears up immediately when you reboot the affected system. To eliminate the vulnerability, install the hotfix q264684i.exe, which you can download from the Microsoft Web site. The hotfix updates rpcrt4.dll and winlogon.exe with June 7 versions.

Outlook Express Hotfix for High-Encryption Systems
This is an unusual bug. If you run a high-encryption version of NT 4.0 with the locale set to France, Outlook Express can hang your system. You can reproduce this problem by logging on to a 128-bit encrypted version of NT 4.0 and setting the locale to France. Next, send yourself an email from Outlook Express on a 56-bit encrypted version of NT 4.0. When you reply to the email message on the high-encryption system, your system should hang. Microsoft article Q263305 indicates that a bug in crpt32.dll causes the system hang. The good news is that you can download a new version of this dll. For Intel systems, download and install hotfix q263305i.exe from the Microsoft Web site; for Alpha systems, download and install hotfix q263305a.exe from the Microsoft Web site. The hotfix contains an updated crypt32.dll with a release date of May 3.

Nltest Resource Kit Utility Bug Fix
The Netlogon process creates a secure channel between Windows 2000 and NT 4.0 domain controllers to securely exchange data such as computer account passwords. If the secure channel breaks, the domain controllers can't communicate. You can use the nltest.exe utility in the Windows NT 4.0 Server Resource Kit to reset the secure channel and reestablish communication between the systems. However, Microsoft article Q260889 indicates that the utility doesn't work on either Win2K or NT 4.0 if you provide the NetBIOS name of a domain controller on the command line using the syntax nltest /sc_query:domainname\[\Dcname\] rather than the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN). If you prefer to use the shorter NetBIOS names, you must call Microsoft support for the bug fix to this utility. The bug fix updates netapi32.dll and netlogon.dlls with January 25 versions.

Office 2000 Hyperlinks Slow Everything Down
It’s not just our imaginations. Microsoft article Q260943 confirms that Office 2000 bogs down when you access embedded hyperlinks. The article states that when you click a hyperlink to open a file that doesn't reside on the local computer, the file can take longer to open than in previous versions of Office. I appreciate the corroboration, but the bad news is that there's no fix. I’ll keep you posted. When Microsoft fixes the code, the Office 2000 update will likely generate a great many workstation rebuilds.