SP3 Release Rumors
In response to my plea for Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3) news last week, one reader indicated that the new release-to-manufacturing (RTM) date is July 15. Paul Thurrott also sent a message in which he stated that Microsoft folks recently indicated that the final version of SP3 is slated for July 17 or July 24. However, yesterday Paul Thurrott published a news story on his Wininformant site ( http://www.wininformant.com ) stating that bugs in the Microsoft Installer (MSI) 2.0 code will likely further delay SP3's release. So who knows when we'll have access to this monster update, which I estimate will contain nearly 1000 bug fixes. Even so, you might want to ramp up your test environment and review your service pack testing, troubleshooting, and reporting procedures.

Post-SP3 Bug List Growing
You might also want to start building a list of post-Service Pack 3 bug fixes appropriate for your network environment. As amazing as it sounds, Microsoft has already published 99 pre-SP4 bug reports; anything with a pre-SP4 status, by definition, is not included in SP3. If Microsoft delivers the new and improved Critical Update client and the new and improved Corporate Windows Update site concurrent with SP3 delivery, managing the next round of bugs might be faster and easier for all of us.

Blue Screens/System Hangs
Here’s a quick summary of blue screens you might encounter after you upgrade to SP3, plus a short rehash of two nagging browse problems I discussed last month. You might see numerous blue screens from win32k.sys, wdmaud.sys, RRAS, the fault-tolerant disk driver, and a function in the registry API. Some crashes are predictable and consistent; others occur almost randomly. Both browse problems cause a lengthy delay when you attempt to open or save a file on a system with persistent network connections and when you attempt to browse for printers on a print server. I’m including the browse problems again because they have a significant effect on user frustration levels.

  • Win32k.sys—This component has three fatal errors that can cause a system to blue screen. A damaged font file might cause a blue screen in win32k.sys with a stop code of 0X50. Microsoft has a code fix that contains updates to 12 OS components; most of the files have a release date of April 24. This problem occurs on all Win2K platforms.
  • Reference: "Damaged Font Causes STOP 0x00000050 Error Message in the Win32k.sys File in Windows 2000"

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q319965

The second blue screen occurs only on Win2K Terminal Services servers when a Terminal Services user logs off. Microsoft attributes the system crash to a bug in the rundown code that occurs when the system processes a logoff request. The crash has a stop code of 0x1e. The code fix for this problem contains updates to nine files, most of which have a release date of April 15.

Reference: "Stop 0x1e Error Message in Win32k.sys When Users Log Off Terminal Server"
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q302510

The third blue screen occurs when you attempt to start Adobe Type Manager. A synchronization problem causes a system crash with a stop code of 0x1e. The code fix has been available since September 2001.

Reference: "Stop 0x0000001E Loading Adobe Type Manager Font Driver"
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q306119

  • Ftdisk.sys—An undocumented bug in the fault-tolerant disk driver can cause a blue screen with a stop code of 0xD1. The updated driver that eliminates this crash has been available since last October.

    Reference: "FtDisk May Cause a 'STOP Error 0x000000D1' Error Message When You Shut Down Your Computer"
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q309660

  • Wdmaud.sys—An invalid memory reference in the audio driver wdmaud.sys causes a blue screen with a stop code of 0x50. To correct the problem, ask Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) for the updates to both audio drivers, sysaudio.sys and wdmaud.sys. The new drivers have been available since September 27, 2001, but are not included in SP3.

    Reference: Stop 0x00000050 Error Message in the Wdmaud.sys File in Windows 2000
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q307030

  • RRAS—An incorrect counter in RRAS causes a blue screen with a stop code of 0x0a on remote servers configured to support VPN connections and Network Address Translation (NAT). The bug fix updates five files, most of which have release dates of May 22.

    Reference: "A 'STOP 0xA' Error Message Occurs When You Use Routing and Remote Access with NAT and VPN"
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q318437

  • Rdbss.sys—A coding error that incorrectly calculates free space in a buffer can corrupt memory and cause random blue screens with a stop code of 0x6B. The patch contains updates for two files, rdbss.sys and mrxsmb.sys. Both files have a release date of March 6.

    Reference: "Random Pool Corruption Is Caused by Rdbss.sys"
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q319026

  • Registry API—A race condition in one of the functions in the registry API causes a system to crash with a stop code of 0x51. The fix contains six files, all of which have a file release date of May 6.

    Reference: "You Receive a 'Stop 0x51 (REGISTRY_ERROR)' Error Message"
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q321771

  • USB Keyboard-Mouse Combo—A timing bug in device recognition on systems that have a USB keyboard with an internal PS/2 mouse port might delay a system restart for up to an hour. Microsoft has a new version of the PS/2 driver, I8042prt.sys, with a file release date of April 10 that corrects this problem.

    Reference: "One-Hour Delay Occurs During Startup with a USB Keyboard and PS/2 Mouse"
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q320877

Browsing Bugs

  • Painfully Slow Open/Save As Operations—On systems with persistent network connections, it can take several minutes for the Open and Save dialog boxes in Microsoft Office applications to produce the browse list. To permanently solve the problem, ask Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) for the new version of shell32.dll with the file release date of June 3.

    Reference: "The 'Look In' and 'Save As' Boxes in Common Dialog Boxes Are Slow"
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q321126

  • Network Printing—A remote procedure call (RPC) bug on a Windows 2000 print server prevents users with low-speed connections from browsing and printing to network printers. The bug fix includes updates to three files, ole32.dll, rpcrt4.dll, and rpcss.dll, with file release dates of June 13.

    Reference: "Cannot Browse Printers When You Are Trying to Print or Browse Printer Queues"
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q322953