SP3 Y2K Issues List Will Include Several New Hotfixes

Microsoft Corp. will post several new Y2K hotfixes for Service Pack 3 (SP3) when it discloses a full list of the service pack’s Y2K problems, a company official acknowledged today.

Microsoft had planned to release a list of SP3 Y2K issues after recently changing its recommendation on service packs. Previously Microsoft said SP3, which is Y2K “compliant with minor issues,” would work beyond the Year 2000. Now the company is recommending customers move to SP4, released in October, for full Y2K compliance. At the time of the new recommendation, Microsoft officials said only new problems with SP3 would be fixed as they arose.

However, an update went up on Microsoft’s Windows NT Server page on Wednesday that listed 10 Y2K problems with SP3 and provided a link to a 937 KB hotfix that resolved the issues.

Don Jones, Microsoft’s Y2K product manager, says the page went up in error and the link from the Windows NT Server downloads page was removed today. "The part they posted, they posted too early," Jones says. "It’s not a complete view."

When the full document listing SP3’s Y2K issues goes up in the next five days or so, the hotfix will be reposted, and users will have a sequence of events to follow to ensure their version of SP3 includes all updates, Jones says. Anyone who downloaded the hotfix Wednesday should hold off on deploying it until the full SP3 document is posted, Jones says.

The SP3 Y2K hotfix page is a work in progress. The page was still live today, and the list of issues addressed by the hotfix showed one new issue and left off two others that had been on the previous day.

Some of the issues were fixed in earlier hotfixes, such as the User Manager failing to recognize February 2000 as a leap year, Windows NT skipping a day after changing the time and an incorrect custom date after the Year 2000 in the Shell Doc property dialog. Jones says the page included a mix of both old and new Y2K fixes for SP3.

Jones has said previously that SP3’s status will remain "compliant, with minor issues." "We strongly recommend that users upgrade to SP4," Jones says. SP4 fixed at least 15 bugs for Y2K compliance. SP4 also detects and exposes additional Microsoft components that require updating to resolve known Year 2000 issues.

Andrew Diamondstein, associate analyst with market research firm Giga Information Group (, says pressure from customers who have planned to stick with Windows NT 4.0 with SP3 through 2000 may explain Microsoft’s decision to fix some of the problems the company knows about. "I think that they got pushbacks from customers that they had to fix these issues," Diamondstein says.

The SP3 hotfix posted Feb. 17 and removed from the Windows NT Server downloads directory on Feb. 18 resolves the following issues:

  • User Manager does not recognize February 2000 as a leap year.
  • After changing the time, Windows NT may skip a day (gone from page Feb. 18).
  • The Shell Doc property dialog custom date is incorrect after Year 2000.
  • The error message, "Value entered does not match with the specified type."
  • The FPNW logout.exe incorrectly reports the year after Jan. 1, 2000.
  • Migration changes the expiration date of Novell Netware accounts.
  • The FPNW client gets an incorrect time or date after Y2K.
  • Find files or folders parameters accept an invalid date.
  • IBM PS/1 will not boot on or after Jan. 1, 2000.
  • Custom date properties in Microsoft Word documents fail to display (gone from page Feb. 18).
  • Date of print job may be displayed incorrectly in print queue (new Feb. 18).

-- Scott Bekker, Staff Reporter

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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