Hi everyone—it’s time for the year-end summary of Knowledge Base articles. This year, I've organized the entries into five categories: "Justifying Overtime," "Native User Irritation Features," "Back to School," "Can’t Get There from Here," and "Native Systems Management Server (SMS) Irritation Features." I found myself laughing out loud at the incredible SMS glitches as I perused the articles this year, so I decided to give SMS its \[its\] own category. As I review the titles, I’m amazed at the thousands of troubleshooting scenarios we deal with every year. I’m sure you’ll recognize many of the entries that made it to this year’s summary. On bad days, I visualize pooling our comp-time dollars to purchase an island in the Caribbean where we can learn to fish and build sand castles—and then I immediately wonder how many days would pass before a techie in withdrawal decided to import a Palm Pilot or a laptop. Once a nerd, always a nerd. Enjoy!

Justifying Overtime
When your boss asks why you requested 160 hours of comp time this year, refer him or her to this section. You might find additional justification in the "Can’t Get There from Here" section.

  • Q250654: Winmsd May Cause Dr. Watson Error Message (This is a diagnostic tool?)
  • Q258727: Web Site Accepts Revoked Certificates (Security auditor’s test)
  • Q271211: Deleted Users Repeatedly Processed (To make absolutely sure that they’re gone)
  • Q270056: Indexing Service Catalog Updates Take Several Hours/Days to Show
  • Q270057: Upgrade to Windows 2000 Indexing Service Deletes Custom Catalogs (And once you create them, it’s immediately deleted)
  • Q255233: Windows NT 4.0 Enterprise Edition Domain Controllers May Hang (An admin irritation feature)
  • Q221107: File and Folder Attributes Not Replicated by the File Replication Service (So what does it duplicate?)
  • Q256137: Cannot Log Off or Shut Down a Windows NT Server (Foil for users who say you have to reboot daily or weekly)
  • Q246860: Server Configured for OSPF Does Not Select Optimum Path (So what does it select?)
  • Q246799: Drive in Volume Set Is Missing After You Use Repair Process (Repair?)
  • Q247066: Windows NT DHCP Server May Not Add BAD_ADDRESS Entries (Is this a problem?)
  • Q243436: DHCP Audit Log Reports Wrong Address for BAD_ADDRESS Entry (Or not?)
  • Q243850: Cannot Gain Access to Microsoft Encrypted File Systems (Real security=no access)
  • Q273877:IIS 5.0 Shuts Down and Restarts for No Apparent Reason (Admin frustration feature)
  • Q194336: An NTFS Directory May Become Corrupted (A native test for restoring from backup)
  • Q258080: Digital Drives and Drive Letters Disappear with Clustered Server (Admin challenge)
  • Q225025: Setup Changes Drive Letters After a Partition Is Deleted and Reinstalled (ALWAYS use descriptive volume labels)
  • Q135844: WINS Manager Shows WINS Servers That Are Not Present (Our favorite utility)
  • Q234897: Still Able to Use Drives After Applying Hide Drives Policy

Native User Irritation Features.
Some native features keep frustration levels growing in an exponential fashion. No additional comment required.

  • Q253861: Windows NT Desktop Turns Gray and Icons Disappear
  • Q269595: Active Desktop Wallpaper Appears Scrambled
  • Q247886: Computer Stops Responding to Mouse or Keyboard Input
  • Q242115: Computer Is Slow Locally But Is Normal Over Remote Connection
  • Q247178: Programs May Hang When Accessing Files from a File Server
  • Q243777: Nothing Happens When You Click Save in "Save File As" Box
  • Q261186: Computer Randomly Plays Classical Music
  • Q263307: Excessive Browser Announcements May Force Computer Shutdown
  • Q247515: Program Is Not Listed in Add/Remove Programs After Installation
  • Q256369: Internet Explorer Renegotiates SSL Connection Every Two Minutes
  • Q228275: Computer Name Setup Allows Invalid Characters in Computer Name
  • Q185322: Windows NT 4.0 Setup Restarts Continuously
  • Q197184: Serial Mouse Functionality Lost in Windows 2000

Back to School.
I’ve included this category, whose abbreviation has another more disparaging meaning that we can’t print, as a universal gesture of sympathy for all the unappreciated and overworked Help desk folks—we feel your pain.

Who takes the time and makes the effort to report these issues?

  • Q275017: Misspelled "Microsoft Corporatoin" Is Listed as Manufactucturer (Manufactucturer?…)
  • Q256573: Services for UNIX 2.0 NFS Gateway "About" Command Shows Nothing
  • Q131109: Exploreapedia Earth Rotates Backwards (The Microsoft-centric view of the galaxy revealed)
  • Q258020: "Object Not Found" Error Message Accessing "The Known Universe"
  • Q262434: PRB: Errata for the Toaster Sample (TOASTER???)
  • Q264221: Year 2000 Product Analyzer Database Not Updated After March 2000 (I wonder why? How far behind are you, anyway?)

Problems that knowledge can solve:

  • Q262640: Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack Does Not Install on Windows 2000 (It barely installed on NT 4.0 . . . )
  • Q264057: Cannot Install IIS 5.0 on Windows 95/98 or Windows NT 4.0 (On Win9x???)
  • Q247900: Cannot Log On After Removing Everyone Group from Permissions (Don’t mess with something you don’t understand)
  • Q242044: PDC Cannot Validate Account on Member Server or Workstation (Yup)
  • Q246142: Missing Screen Savers Do Not Lock Computer (True statement)
  • Q243251: Missing Password-Protected Screen Saver Leaves Computer Unlocked (Ditto)
  • Q159865: How to Distinguish a Physical Disk Device from an Event Message (Is this a serious problem?)
  • Q256070: Deciding Whether to Upgrade from Windows 95 or Windows 98 to Windows 2000 (Is this a hard question?)
  • Q242438: Windows 2000 Upgrade is Cancelled by Starting Windows 98/95 During Windows 2000 Setup (When you change your mind)
  • Q257619: Access Violation When Path/File Name Is More Than 260 Characters (Who can REMEMBER a path name this long?)
  • Q104429: Installing MS-DOS Version 6.2x After Windows NT is Installed (DOS does have fewer bugs)
  • Q236995: Files Manually Copied to the DLLCache Folder Are Not Used Until the Next Reboot
  • Q137155: Users Without System32 Permissions Cannot Log On (Why did you change the ACLs?)
  • Q227756: Incorrectly Configured Service Does Not Start (Yup)
  • Q249321: Unable to Log On If the Boot Partition Drive Letter Has Changed (Where is the system root?)
  • Q240267: Administrators Cannot Be Restricted in Windows 2000 (Somebody needs to be in charge)
  • Q228218: Error Message Installing Windows 2000 from an MS-DOS Boot Disk (Maybe you should accidentally disconnect this call)

Can’t Get There from Here.
Ah, the classic catch-22 section, and this year we have a very fine selection. Refer your manager to this list if you need more justification for your comp time.

  • Q262076: Start Button Does Not Work
  • Q259538: Eventrap Uses 100% of CPU Resources Enumerating Event Source
  • Q259428: Manipulating Removable-Media Partitions Depletes Drive Letters (Isn’t A-Z a DOS convention?)
  • Q258839: Space at End of Batch File Name Causes Server to Hang (Whitespace challenged?)
  • Q273573: IISADMPWD Password Change Pages Fail to Change Passwords
  • Q248113: Files That Are Not Removed When You Uninstall SP6 or SP6a
  • Q246836: User Manager for Domains and Server Manager Cannot Find PDC
  • Q263221: Memory Leak in Pdh.dll Querying Performance Counters That Do Not Exist (Uh oh)
  • Q251382: PPTP Connection Does Not Transfer Any Data over the Connection
  • Q232948: Selecting Recovery Console Causes Computer to Stop Responding
  • Q233042: Remote Disk Management Has No Reconnect Functionality
  • Q249003: DHCP Clients Receive Identical IP and Default Gateway Addresses (Duplicate addresses . . .)
  • Q245036: Cannot Delete DHCP Reservations ( . . . You can’t fix)
  • Q242435: Error Message: Microsoft Windows 2000 Has Detected Software That Is Not Completely Installed on Your Computer (Been there, done that)
  • Q235456: Status Information Displayed for Components You Did Not Install (Aaaaarrrrrrgh)
  • Q248026: HTTP Error 410 - Permanently Not Available (So is the Web master)
  • Q246526: Cannot Browse Secure Web Site Using Secure Sockets Layer
  • Q262981: Internet Explorer Uses Proxy Server for Local IP Address Even if the "Bypass Proxy Server for Local Addresses" Option Is Enabled

Native SMS Irritation Features.
Below you'll find some of the most humorous entries in the Knowledge Base. I extend serious respect and heartfelt sympathy to all those who've encountered any of these issues. No comment required, but I couldn't resist making a few!

  • Q263594: SMS 2.0 Fills Windows NT Registry to Capacity
  • Q263401: SMS: Software Inventory Recalls All Remote Offline Storage
  • Q263387: SMS: "Run Once for Every User Who Logs On" Makes Ad Run Twice
  • Q263388: SMS: Cordless Mouse May Not Work After Remote Control Install
  • Q263384: SMS: PCBIOS Date Reported Incorrectly in Hardware Inventory
  • Q263382: SMS: Logical Disk Has Two Instances of Each Drive After Upgrade
  • Q263376: SMS: Distribution Manager Deletes Entire Source in Shared Folder
  • Q263336: "NOT" Operator May Cause Software Distribution to All Computers
  • Q261265: SMS: Files Are Not Removed by "Delete Aged Collected Files" Task
  • Q254644: SMS: Network Monitor Experts Increase CPU Use and Finish Slowly
  • Q256869: SMS: Network Printers for Windows NT Clients Are Not Reported
  • Q256586: SMS: Backup May Delete Contents of Target Folder
  • Q255980: SMS: Incorrect Domain or Computer Name Added as a Logon Point
  • Q255820: SMS: SMS_NT_Logon_Server_Manager Component Is Now Multithreaded (More potential error conditions this way!)
  • Q246651: SMS: Package Resent Continuously If Distribution Set to None
  • Q246592: SMS: Tracer Tool May Cause Watched Service to Hang
  • Q255263: Windows Client Hangs When You Use "SMS Restarts Computer"