Windows 2000 SP4 Anecdotal ProblemsFirst, thanks to all of you that took the time to describe the different problems you encountered. You know who you are. Second, do not see this as an attempt to knock SP4 and tell you to not deploy it. This SP has hundreds of important security fixes, so it is important. The main thing I am emphasizing is that you need to TEST, TEST, and TEST in a non-production environment FIRST.
Names have been removed but otherwise left exactly the way they were sent, so that you can get an idea of the general problem areas. We hope that this will help some of you and help prevent some unplanned downtime.
Now, keep in mind that these problems are coming up in site-specific configurations, and that you would never see these in your own environment. So,... test. These problems were not really put in categories, but when you read them you will readily recognize similar problems with earlier SP's like third party apps breaking, BSOD's, applications hanging and the like. Here goes!
Eric wrote: I support a W2K/IIS5 web server running Citrix NFuse which acts as a access point to Peoplesoft apps for 1000 users. After applying Q811493, NFuse stopped working. We determined that this patch "secures" IIS and thus locked down NFuse (and broke it). We removed the patch and it works fine again. I had to rebuild the server, apply the patch, and then install NFuse to get everything to work and be "secure".
Have you seen the list of post SP4 fixes? This alone makes me want to wait for SP4a(b) possibly (c)...
These are the current known issues with Win2k SP4 (from thethin.net):
From Download.com: http://downloads-zdnet.com.com/3302-2098-10210714.html
I just wanted to add my 2 cents concerning SP4 problems with high cpu utilization. During updates at client sites ( 3 weeks after installing at our test, and production servers.. no issues) we noticed some systems with high cpu utilization. The culprit turned out to be the spool.exe service. Task mgr. showed that spool.exe was using 80+% cpu, and the amt of memory was increasing dramatically. We used the spool.exe that was backed up to the archive folder, and all was well.... unless there is some buffer overflow / security issue with the version of spool.exe dated July 1999.
One thing I didn't see is something unique to my box at home with win2K and a new Geforce video card. Why bother having icons on your desktop if they all get 'frigged up'. I have a bunch of icons on my desktop all where I wanted them to be. Now it seems that after installing SP4 the almighty Bill Gates makes it so that (even with the option NOT checked) it arranges all my icons to the left after I reboot.
Just some more on the Service Pack 4 fun: I regularly disable the Automatic Updates and the BITS services on my servers (still don't like the idea of the servers talking to Microsoft, regardless of the intent - I have users to support and need to ensure servers are running). It seems SP4 will set those two services to run again (setting the Automatic Updates service to Automatic). I've not looked in depth for other "features", yet, but thought this one interesting enough to pass on.
One of the issues was that Photodraw no longer worked... I have Photodraw 2000 version 2 and it still works perfectly from going from SP3 to SP4. heck, i just used it to create a bunch of backdrops for a movie yesturday without any problems. whoever posted that photodraw crashed on them needs to reinstall windows.
Thanks all. I finally managed to get SP4 installed. It would seem that various programs in my DLLCACHE directory were unhappy. Running sfc /purgecache and then running the SP4 installer seems to have cleared up the problem. I first tried deleting and renaming smss.exe but got an Access Denied error even after killing the process. I had to take ownership of it first before I could do anything. Other programs in the DLLCACHE directory started complaining as well during the install (same symptoms, just sitting at an installer screen). At which point I ran sfc. All seems to be good now. Thanks for everyone's help.
Installed SP4 on a Compaq Presario laptop after doing a full backup. The backup was fortunate as the system would reboot shortly after coming up and it did this without exception. Restored the backup and will wait until Microsoft figures out how to ship a tested SP4 before installing it again.
Here's another SP4 issue to add to your list, and this one is particularly irritating. If you install SP4 on a domain controller,
you'd better have plenty of room besides what's required for the file update process. A hotfix that's rolled up in SP4 increases
the USN Journal Log size for NTFRS SYSVOL replication (in %SystemRoot%\ntfrs\jet folder) from 128MB to 512MB! After upgrading a
DC with 300MB free on it, the NTFRS service failed to start and the netlogon/sysvol shares weren't available anymore. There is no
mention of this space requirement in the SP4 documentation that I could find. Adding a registry value to force it back to 128MB
solves this. (Trivia: NT4 was ~100MB fully installed).
We installed the new "service pack" and of course have had some problems. I guess I never learn. Dell blade server with Broadcom nic, has an issue with the driver. Had to reinstall it, but still having issues. Our webserver won't allow our clients to download our software. Since our tech didn't archive the files, we can't un-install it. Does any one have any suggestions as to how to get our system back to SP3?
We found here that once SP4 was applied, running Novell GroupWise blue screened the system, without fail every time. It also went if running memory intensive stuff in sequence with Internet Explorer. I wish Microsoft would test their products!
I had the Indexing Service running on one of my W2K Pro Workstations, and SP4 screwed up the Indexing Service so bad that I had to disable the service and stop using it all together after the upgrade. My advise to anyone using the Index service is to turn it off before you do the SP4 update. I also had problems with the web site installation. It failed on my two test machines. So I downloaded the service pack and created a batch file to execute it from a network share. Worked like a charm.
Here's a good one. Once SP4 is installed, PHOTODRAW is no longer usable.
Another oddity, it does not seem to remove it's temporary install files.
I have used it about 5 times so far and I am always left with one of it's randomly named folders on my root drive.
Very slow logon after installing Windows 2000 Service Pack 4. I am running Citrix Metaframe 1.8 for Windows 2000 Release 1/SP4. After installing Windows 2000 Server Service Pack 4, the logon to published applications is very slow. The Windows 2000 Server banner screen displaying: Applying your personal settings remains on the screen for about 2 minutes then disappears, logon then continues to process in the background. After about another 90 seconds the application finally comes up. If anyone has a solution or suggestions, I would appreciate the help. More on this at:
Slow logon related to Redirection of Client Printers (if you disable Client Printer Redirection or have no printers on the Client, issue goes away). According to forum, Microsoft acknowledges the bug. Interestingly enough, the RDP protocol doesn't suffer the same problems.
I have tended to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt in times past in its judicial battles but this like the (NT 4 SP6 fiasco which screwed my clients who used Lotus Notes) feels like another power play.
MS W2K SP4 may be hazardous to your operation. Upgraded 5 W2K SP3 Dell servers on Sunday without any indicated problems. At noon on Monday, the user called in that one of the 3 "drives" was unavailable. Each drive is ~1Tb. He was receiving "F:\ is not accessible error performing inpage operation." I found additional errors indicating that a "delayed write filed on \DEVICE\HardDriveVolume2\". Viewed the comments being generated in the MS Community boards with still no luck. Also, I was getting incomplete results from the Dell Open Manage software. I was getting a blue screen of death (KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED) with no indicated faulting module. Dell and I traced the problem to the 3rd party driver (QLogic). Seems that SP4 overlays the existing 3rd party SCSI card drivers with their own version. We reloaded the correct version and the machine is up and running. Your mileage may vary but I am looking for my current installed working drivers before I install SP4 on anymore servers, I still have 6 more to do.
We support a SQL 7.0/2000 environment here at our company. After installing Windows 2000 Spak 4 I began getting an error every time I load SQL 2000 Enterprise Manager.
We installed W2K SP4 on two of our machines. Both of them took several minutes to process the initial login after a reboot and are also slow at other times, too. We uninstalled SP4 from one of them and the problems cleared up.
Regarding problems with SP4 for Windows 2000, here's two more to add; After installing, Speedisk, from Norton Systemworks 2003 wouldn't even launch, complaining about Windows NT & an unsupported service pack level; and, Diskeeper Lite launched & promptly hung, needing to be blasted out with Task Manager ...
From a high grade network/security expert. "DONT TALK TO ME ABOUT SP4!!!". Apparently it blatted his VPN functionality by fragmenting previously integral VPN packets. It may not be permanent. He thinks he may be able to tune it with parameters like MTA. My personal experience is from installing it on my graybox workstation at work as a gunea pig.
After installing the SP4 I have noticed that my asp_wp.exe does not have rights to launch. so I thought to myself: "Huhhh??" evidently the username/password in the config file no longer properly authenticate. ( machine in question is a backup DC) So I guess my asp.net sites are down until I figure it out.
Issues with SP4. It does not upgrade the JVM to the "necessary" version 3810. I loaded this onto an existing server with SP3 and JVM 3805. It kept the same JVM. SP3 updated it. If SP4 is loaded first and you try the upgrade it will tell you it will not do it because the update was designed for SP3. I am waiting to see if MS fixes this before rolling it out.
After installing W2K SP4 on my laptop which also has Novell client 4.83SP1, the machine simply will not see the Novell network at login time. The workaround is to just login to Windows, then login to Novell after the Windows login is complete.
One problem I've found is with Application Center Test... No longer does the testing app work. Can't connect to itself (single client) for stress testing. Registration errors and such. I've followed some of the KB articles to repair, uninstalls, reinstalls of ACT do no good. Opening a case with MS today. KB's to fix old ACT probs: 318956 318849
If you haven't seen this one yet: Captaris has notified us that Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 is not supported by RightFax. If SP4 is installed on a RightFax server or on a client that has the RightFax application installed Enterprise Fax Manager will stop functioning. The same issue occurs when installing EFM on Windows 2003. Captaris is aware of the issue and currently is testing a Hotfix.
SP 4 - Killed IIS. I installed SP4 on a non-production machine first. Everything went well for several days of testing, so I decided to upgrade ONE of the production boxes. The one with the least amount of 3rd party stuff installed to eliminate problems. It only serves webpages. I figured that was safe... Wrong. SP4 for some reason killed URLSCAN. URLSCAN was so messed up that it was rejecting ALL verbs to IIS (including GET - which you kind of need!). After about 4 hours of troubleshooting and many posts to the newsgroups I was getting ready to uninstall IIS when I remember that URLSCAN was on the machine. I uninstalled it and everything started working. Reinstalled and everything works now as well. Went back and reviewed the logs and at the exact time of the SP4 install URLSCAN lost the INI file. Could not read it so it decided that no verbs should be processed. Strange.
Well, being ultra conservative on SP3 (or just now getting around to feeling the need ...) we just put that on a box and found the relay restrictions change there too. There may be several patches over time that 'fix' that setting for you.
I installed W2K SP4 on my desktop at home. The next day it was uninstalled. Seems it causes the processor to run at 100% all the time. A real pain. Now my system is running as normal. Bill better shape the testing department up.
I did trust Microsoft too much and updated SP4 on my W2K-Server. After that
Installed on a DC with exchange running, I have had to reboot 3 times since SP4 was put on it. I haven't pin pointed the real problem, but think it's IIS and or OWA. Processor runs higher now at 75-80% constant during reg. day. I have a 2nd processor to go in it, to see if it's a fix (band-aid). Since the SP4 fixed some kernel problems, it might have created some. The Processes now take 50% of processor, then 30-40 % is users, so add them together, server is running hard.
After installing Win2k SP4 on two boxes (one standard server, one professional), I noticed some spontaneous reboots. When reviewing the event logs for the nodes, I concluded this only started happening after the SP4 deployments. The boxes have different hardware and apps running on them... so I'm not chalking it up to a software incompatibility. Anyways, before upgrading the bulk of my network, I might wait until an "SP4a" comes out (or at least wait until a larger userbase performs the upgrades to see how they fare).
Another gotcha with fixpack 4. Norton Systemworks 2001 will no longer install.
When I installed SP4 on my development box, the installation went without and error messages. However upon re-start of the machine, the WWW service would not start and remainined just in the "starting" state. I had to disable the WWW service and re-boot before I could get SP4 to de-install. Full details were reported at:
Needless to say SP4 is not going near any of our production IIS servers, until SP4a comes out and works on my development box.
SP 4 simply won't install on my workstation. Turned off my virus scanner before I started. Failed anyway. It's a ComPaq Evo 6000. Pretty new machine. I run the Windows update and keep it up-to-date. Only thing I can think of that's possibly different: it has Cisco's VPN client on it and Novell's Client 32 with all that other Novell stuff...
I haven't had a chance to see the MS KB Articles yet, but I know that when I installed 2000 SP4 on 3 of my computers last week, that 2 went okay, but one had it's internal, and external (Internet) connectivity cut down to the level of a 300 baud modem. Acckkkk.... I checked, uninstalled, and reinstalled all hardware involved in my system (nic, etc.) and nothing fixed the problem, I had to roll that PC back to SP3 to get it's network connectivity back to a normal status.
We've had very poor luck with SP4 so far. The first test system I loaded it onto finished installing, and then proceeded to blue screen at every reboot. Turned out that SP4 doesn't like the Pinnacle DV capture card we were using. Once we pulled the card, the system would boot properly. The second system we loaded it onto we attempted to use the system recovery options when it immediately started rebooting prior to reaching the logon prompt. That was a mistake - the system just started blue screening. We ended up scrubbing and reloading the second system. I'm incredibly unimpressed with MS tech support's stance on this - "Yes, our web site does list SP4 as a critical update. Yes, we told you to install it. Now pay us $245 to help you fix the problem." Makes me reconsider our position on Novell and Linux.
Service pack 4 removes the settings on the Netmeeting and have to configure it all over again.
Installed it on a perfectly working sp3 with all updates system. (My personal one). Wouldn't finish loading windows just sort of froze and could only complete in safe mode. After troubleshooting this to no avail and only being able to do a safe mode boot I booted safe mode and uninstalled the sp4. Then I could only boot to unexpected kernel blah blah blah blue screen. No safe mode etc. Tried repair console, auto repair, didn't have ERD (yeah I know) or image so tried parallel install, no dice finally had to totally reinstall. The reinstall and several other installations have allowed sp4 to install without problems. Bad karma, don't know.
We have about 50 machines here. We test-installed SP4 on a relatively new Dell desktop (mine), and immediately got a blue screen. Booted into Safe Mode and uninstalled SP4, and the machine works fine. Reinstalled SP4 and more blue screens. Uninstalled it for the time being. Dell is uninterested in solving the problem, and refers me to MS. I haven't had time to really delve into the causes of the problem yet.
I am running Office 2000 with Office 2000 SP3. Immediately after the application of Windows 2000 SP4 (i.e. I had previously been keeping up with post-SP3 Hotfixes too) it trashed my mapi32.dll. Now I cannot email meaningful attachments & while attempting emailing attachments mapi32.dll pukes. Sidebar .. I currently run Norton Antivirus 2002 (i.e. with current signature files) running and scanning all inbound & outbound attachments. As a bandaid I turned off outbound scanning on email .. this did not fix problem either. That's the scoop on my end RE experience with SP4.
Well Stu, love your articles, but I just installed service pack 4 on more than 15 Servers and everything seems to be fine for now, will get back to you when something looks different. P.S servers are Oracle, SQL, IIS, Exchange 2000, Exchange 5.5, DC, File Servers......
Downloaded from Microsoft their install file and ran it last night. After about a half hour, as the install was wrapping up, I got a setup error and was given the choice to cancel (reverse out of the upgrade) or accept (accept partial upgrade). Being ever suspicious of Windows, I chose the first and returned, thankfully, to my pre-SP4 state. I am operating as before but I wasted an hour. I suspect I am not going to be alone in this. I'll wait for the upgrade to the upgrade.
We installed SP4 on several workstations and a couple of scientific instruments that use W2K as their host OS. Zero problems. Issues may be limited to server apps (which still is pretty bad).
I installed SP4 on my home computer to resolve minor problems. Now, I see an increase in the CPU and NIC processes to the point that periodically I lose my IP Address provided by my ISP. I opened a ticket with MS and was told that this condition was seen with several 3Com and Intel NIC and that I should try a different NIC. My NIC is a DLINK and when I reported that back to MS, they told me that I needed to turn off my Virus Scan and my Firewall (McAfee and ZoneAlarm) software. Are they nuts or what. ZoneAlarm has blocked several attempts to "hack" or scan my computer recently and I won't run a computer without some sort of Virus Scan software on it. I think the only solution is to back off SP4 and wait for SP4 w/hotfixes.
SP4 was failing on any machine with IIS running. Here is Microsofts Response, basically you must stop IIS and all related services prior to the service pack install.
"We are experiencing problems with SP4 installation with IIS running, and our Development team is aware of the issue and is looking into it. We might have an update coming out soon but its too early to say. In the mean time If you are looking for an easy way to work around this you could use a batch file that stops the services before launching the SP4 installer. This would be done by issuing the following command in a batch file before the SP4 installer is launched.
Here's something to add to the SP4 headache list. Everything ran fine until the update tried to register sp4iis - regsvr32 gave an "Error Code: 5" and the update stopped, warning me to repair my system. I remember "Repairing my system" under NT basically fried my active desktop and meant that I was pretty much starting from scratch again, so I'm not tempted to do THAT again. With great trepidation, I rebooted my system (just to see if it would come up). Everything booted fine, told me I was still running SP3 and four subsequent attempts (even in Safe Mode) to install SP4 ended the same way. I guess my system just wasn't meant to run SP4 ;-)
I've got problems with Exchange 2000 after installing SP4. The system attendant won't start. The Eventviewer reports an MsExchangeSA error.
SP4 trashed my sony VAIO laptop. I had to get the repair console on floppies and run fixmbr, fixboot, and also copy the ntldr and ntdetect.com files from my XP machine to get it to work. Luckily, MS helped me for free. After the install, I got black screens of death. First Trap 6, then Trap D. Yuck
We recently installed Windows 2000 SP 4 on a PC we were using as a console to our IBM AS/400. The PC had W2kSP3, iSeries Access software with latest service patch, that's all. After we installed Service Pack 4 we could no longer connect to the AS/400 Operations Console, we constantly received the "cwbopcon.exe has generated errors". Once I uninstalled the SP4 I could connect to the Operations Console without a hitch.
Regarding SP4 - after installation computer started to reload itself constantly even without letting me to logon. After safe mode uninstall computer came back to usual behavior Microsoft teaches as lesson again and again: "wait couple months after new product comes.
Win 2000 SP4 broke my ASPX websites :-( Unhelpful security errors, but in fact re-routing the aspx App Mappings in IIS to pick up the .Net v1.0 aspnet_isapi.dll instead of the .Net v1.1 version of it got us all back and running nicely again.
So far the only thing we have come across is that applying SP4 re-configures the MS SUS to interact with the MS Internet service. We close it down and use a local update server to perform the update of workstations. BTW You may wish readers to reminisce about the biggest stuff-ups with Windows SP's. Here are the ones I have come across in Windows NT/2K/2K3 service packs have been (in order of severity):
Maybe another issue in w2ksp4? Exchange2kEnterprise Front end server with sp3 as http proxy for OWA, previously installed IISLockDown tool 2.1 and Urlscan-SRP 2.5, WebDav disabled. After installing w2ksp4 I found WebDav enabled ! I will investigate further for additional critical changes.
I tried installing Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 on computers that have the Windows 2000 MSDN version installed and it does not work at all. When you start the upgrade, there is an error message that comes up that says: "The cores system file (kernel) used to start this computer is not a Microsoft Windows file. The Service Pack will not be installed. For more information, see Knowledge Base article at:
Guess what: there is no Knowledge Base article that mentions anything about this issue yet! Am I going to have to upgrade my MSDN machine to the full working copy? I pasted a screenshot of this error below for your enjoyment. I'm sure I'm not the only one...
We installed SP4 on a relatively new build. That is, I had a crash and rebuilt the server. I had put SP3 on at the start, then all the hot fixes, and then started reloading apps. At the end, I found SP4 had been released, so like a plonker, I installed it. Bad mistake. This made the uptime of the server measured in hours! The thing would crash and reboot at whim. Sometimes, I would be working on my desk on papers, and the system rebooted infront of my eyes. Taking SP4 off did not improve the situation.
So, back to a clean install, and this time I loaded W2K then SP4, then all hot fixes and it is now very stable (well, it's been running for 5 days!).
Funilly enough, I was in an office earlier in the week and I saw a helpdesk techie standing by the senior traders desk, and the screen seemed to have lost horizontal and vertical sync. It was rolling in both directions, just like those old TV's used to. And this on a new 18" flat screen monitor. Needless to say, techie was looking unhappy and not at all looking forward to telling the trader his main PC was now just a buncg of black-legging binary bits. I asked what he had done - installed SP4. This one cured itself with a couple of reboots, and now seems stable.
I think sp4 brought this one back in:
Since applying Windows 2000 SP4, the "see also" links in Excel 2000 Help do not work.
With SP3 the links are fine. I know Microsoft wants to kill off java, but Excel is one of their own!
Update: It looks like Windows 2000 SP4 may have just been fixing a security hole. I think Excel 2000 Help is using an unsigned activeX control for the "see also" links, and one of our Group Policies disallows unsigned activeX controls. The combination of Windows 2000 SP4 and Excel 2000 works fine on a standalone machine where there is no policy applied.
So the fault is not really with Windows 2000 SP4, but with Excel 2000's Help. Maybe Office 2000 SP4 will one day fix it!.
We run our accounting software clients on a 2000 Terminal Server. It uses Pervasive SQL 2000 as a backend. After installing SP4, one of the accounting software modules no longer worked properly. We uninstalled the Pervasive engine on the Terminal Server and reinstalled it and everything was fine. I haven't had time to look at the file lists for SP4 and Pervasive SQL but it would appear that SP4 updated a file that Pervasive used and broke it's functionality.
I'm not sure if this is the right place to send this, but here is my anecdotal problem with Windows 2000 SP4. If SP4 is installed on my Dell Dimension 4100 along with the Nvidia video driver and Etrust antivirus, the boot up fails with a kernel32 trap mode error and the machine reboots itself. Running with SP3 and the latest hotfixes has no problem. Removing either the Nvidia driver or Etrust antivirus allows the machine to boot normally with SP4.
With this strange combo of three elements needed to cause the problem there is plenty of opportunity for finger pointing by all involved. Etrust declared that although they were able to replicate the problem, they are not in the business of fixing Microsoft problems. Dell responded from their support center in India with a link to a knowledge base article that was so far off point I haven't pursued it with them. Nvidia and Microsoft haven't responded to my notes as yet.
I've gone back to SP3 and now keep my drive image backups more up to date.