Win2K License Bug Fix
Most sites run Windows 2000 in "per seat" licensing mode, in which Win2K assigns licenses to user accounts (e.g., psharick) and computers (e.g., vpnserver$, webserver$). However, a License Manager bug causes the license component to charge an extraneous license to the same computer account in two instances:

  • When a computer connects to the Sysvol share on a domain controller (DC) to obtain policy information.
  • When the computer connects to a server that shares a Windows Installer package.

Over time, the number of licenses that Win2K assigns will far exceed the number of seats on the network. I’ve experienced this problem and wondered why the number of licenses exceeded the number I calculated for network systems. As a temporary workaround, I manually flushed the license database to reset the license information. For a permanent solution, you can call Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) for a bug fix that eliminates the extraneous licenses. The update includes five Win2K files—llsrpc.dll, llssrv.exe, ole32.dll, rpcrt4.dll, and rpcss.dll—that have release dates of September 17. This update isn't available for public download. See Microsoft article Q300930 for more information.

Configuring Infrared Devices
Infrared keyboards and mouse devices are great when you want to move about your office while you work or type with a keyboard in your lap. Infrared printers, scanners, and digital cameras also have advantages—the best being that you’re not limited to a length of wire when you want to place devices in a conference room or office.

If you’re considering using wireless devices, you’ll be happy to know that configuring infrared devices in Win2K is straightforward. You start by using the Add/Remove Hardware applet in Control Panel to add the infrared device or devices. After you define one infrared device, Win2K adds a new applet called Wireless Links to Control Panel. The Wireless Links applet includes several tabs that let you display the properties of wireless devices, enable and disable wireless file transfer, and configure file transfer parameters and digital camera image transfers.

To add a wireless device, start the Add/Remove Hardware applet in Control Panel. Click Next on the Add/Remove Hardware Wizard screen and, on the Choose a Hardware Task screen, click Add/Troubleshoot a device. In the Devices box, highlight and double-click Add a new device, which is the first option on the list. On the Find New Hardware page, select "No, I want to select the hardware from a list" and click Next. In the Hardware types box, double-click Infrared devices, and in the Manufacturers box, double-click the device's manufacturer. In the Infrared Device box, click the device that best matches your hardware. If you have an installation disk, click Have Disk, click Next, and follow instructions to install the device.

To display the properties for an infrared device, start the Wireless Link applet. On the Hardware tab, highlight the device and select Properties. Microsoft article Q302011 contains a more detailed description of this procedure and instructions for configuring a serial infrared device.

Configuring Infrared File Transfer
If you want to use an infrared printer, scanner, or digital camera, you must first configure the infrared device and enable infrared file transfer, which lets you move data between the infrared device and the system (e.g., print a file or upload an image from a scanner or camera). Start the Wireless Link applet in Control Panel, select the File Transfer tab, and check the option to "Allow others to send files to your computer using infrared communications." To specify an alternate location to store files that you transfer from wireless devices, click the Browse button next to "default file location," and select the directory of your choice. If you're working with an infrared digital camera, make similar selections on the Image Transfer tab. If you leave the office for a day or two, you should disable wireless file transfer for security reasons. See Microsoft article Q301951 for more information, including instructions for enabling and disabling the wireless icon, which tracks the status of infrared transfers.

Shortcutting the Shutdown Process
If you need to shut down a system quickly—without waiting for standard shutdown code to execute—you can use the Ctrl key to expedite the process. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to bring up the familiar Lock/Logoff/Shutdown/Task Manager Screen. Next, hold down the Ctrl key and select the Shutdown option. Win2K will then display the message, "If you continue, your machine will reboot and any unsaved data will be lost. Use this only as a last resort." Use this method only on test systems or for emergency purposes; when you interrupt the usual shutdown sequence, Win2K doesn't flush transaction logs to disk, which can produce a host of disk and file problems. For more information, see Microsoft article Q279134.

Removing and Reinstalling NetMeeting
NetMeeting presents an open door to security vulnerabilities and is a source of wasted bandwidth. However, because NetMeeting is tightly integrated into Win2K, you can’t use Add/Remove Programs to delete the component; nor can you use the standard installation utility to remove it. Instead, you must use a manual procedure to expunge NetMeeting from Win2K systems. Microsoft article Q267958 describes several situations where you might need to use this method to correct problems that older versions of NetMeeting have caused. I plan to test the uninstall command and, if it works, apply it to all end-user workstations.

To remove NetMeeting, open a command prompt and type the following command exactly as it appears (note: the command is case-sensitive):

%SystemRoot%\System32\rundll32.exe setupapi,
InstallHinfSection NetMtg.Remove 132 msnetmtg.inf

To reinstall NetMeeting, copy the file msnetmtg.inf from the %SystemRoot%\Inf directory to the desktop. Next, right-click the file and click Install. The install might prompt you for the Win2K CD-ROM. When the install finishes, reboot to complete the installation.