Keeping Up with Win2K and NT

Today's laundry list of bug fixes includes fixes for problems that exist in all versions of Windows 2000 as well as problems that are specific to Win2K Service Pack 4 (SP4). The fixes contain updates to many of the same core OS components. Before you install the patches, I recommend that you compare the file versions of the common components in each update to ensure you install only the most recent versions.

Win2K SP4 RPC-Based Memory Leak
A bug in how Win2K SP4 manages remote procedure call (RPC) connections causes a memory leak on systems running Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) and other applications that make heavy use of RPC calls. When the RPC code has allocated enough memory to affect system performance, you'll see a variety of memory errors when you attempt to log on. As with most memory leaks, you can temporarily work around the problem by rebooting the system. For a permanent solution, download and install the hotfix recommended in the Microsoft article "Memory Leak Occurs After You Install Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Service Pack 4" (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=825237). You can install the update on single and multiprocessor systems. The update contains new versions of 19 core OS files, and most of them have a file release date of August 7.

Windows Explorer File-Delete Bug
A bug in how Windows Explorer implements a drag-and-drop file-delete operation might unexpectedly delete a file when you drag the file to a new location and a file of the same name already exists in that location. When a file of the same name already exists in the destination directory, Windows Explorer prompts you to confirm the file-replacement operation. If you change your mind and click No in response to the prompt, Windows Explorer incorrectly deletes the source file but doesn't overwrite the destination file with the source file. This bug, which exists in all versions of Win2K through SP4, can cause unexpected data loss for users who routinely use drag-and-drop operations to move files around, especially when moving multiple files in one operation. Thus, I recommend you give the bug fix a high priority for distribution. The patch updates two components, shell32.dll and sp3res.dll, with file release dates of June 30 and June 27, respectively. The patch is available only from Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS). Read the Microsoft article "Files Are Deleted When You Drag Them from One Location to Another in Windows Explorer" (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=821739) for more information about this bug fix.

HP NetServer Shutdown Blue Screen
Those of you running HP NetServer LH3r have probably encountered a blue screen with a stop code of 0x0000007f - UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP when you shut down the system. The article that documents the crash doesn't identify the cause of the failure but does state that Microsoft has an update that eliminates the problem. Based on the six files in the bug fix, the problem appears to be related to a BIOS matter. The update contains new versions of four kernel files, ntkrnlpa.exe, ntkrpamp.exe, ntoskrnl.exe, and ntkrnlmp.exe, plus a new version of mountmgr.sys and biosinfo.inf; most of the files have a release date of August 1. Read the Microsoft article "Stop Error 0x0000007f When You Shut Down Your HP NetServer LH3R That is Running Windows 2000 Server" (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=825673) for more information about the problem.

Win2K SP4 Compaq SCSI Driver Failure
Here's another SCSI glitch in SP4 that affects systems that are using Compaq StorageWorks Fibre Channel Array hardware. After you upgrade a server with this storage subsystem to SP4, the system might be unable to load the disk controller cpqfcac.sys or the Compaq Event Notification driver cpqdaen.sys. This driver problem writes messages in the System event log with event ID 17 and the message "The driver was unable to initialize the device." Microsoft says that this error occurs on large memory configurations when the boot.ini file uses the Physical Address Extension option /PAE. (This option uses a chip-specific feature to forward 64-bit addresses to kernel mode components, including drivers.) You can solve this startup problem by calling PSS and asking for the new version of the SCSI port driver, scsiport.sys, with a file release date of August 5. Cite the Microsoft article "Disk Array Controller Driver May Not Load After You Upgrade to Windows 2000 SP4" (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=826322) as a reference.

NTFS System Startup Fix
Win2K can't mount an NTFS drive during system start-up when the change journal for that drive is full. If the drive has many pending changes, NTFS must process the entire update sequence number (USN) journal before mounting the drive. This bug affects all Win2K versions from the initial release through SP4. If you have some hard disks that undergo heavy modifications on a daily basis, you might want to install the latest version of ntfs.sys, with a file release date of June 4. For more information about the bug fix, read the Microsoft article "Computer Stops Responding (Hangs) When It Tries to Mount an NTFS Volume After You Restart the Computer" (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=820888).

Large Memory Startup Hang
If you're building systems with 8GB or more of main memory and you use the /PAE boot option, the system might hang during the memory verification phase of start-up. To confirm this bug is the source of the problem, run the kernel debugger and identify where the OS pauses--you should see it stall after making a call to the MmInitializeMemoryLimits() function. This bug affects all versions of Win2K through SP4. PSS has a fix for this problem, new versions of mountmgr.sys, ntkrnlpa.exe, and ntkrnlpamp.exe, with file release dates of June 26, August 5, and August 5, respectively. For more details about this problem, read the Microsoft article "Computer Stops Responding During the Memory Check Phase of the Startup Process" (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=826289).