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W2K SP2 Technical Overview

Microsoft Corp.'s second service pack for Windows 2000 lists more than 350 fixes, including several hotfixes for enterprise functionality. Microsoft does not rate SP2 as a required upgrade.

Meanwhile, the download files are fairly large and will command significant disk space during the installation, according to Microsoft's SP2 documentation.

What's in There?

Generally, the bulk of the 366 listed fixes included in SP2 apply to the base operating system (105 fixes), networking (86 fixes), directory services (73 fixes), security (61 fixes), management/administration (54 fixes) and Internet Information Services (45 fixes). Other patched areas include the shell, setup, mail, printing, Terminal Services, MDAC/data access, application compatibility and MSMQ.

SP2 also includes all updates provided in SP1, which Microsoft posted last summer. Users do not need to uninstall SP1 to install SP2.

SP2 corrects about half a dozen clustering issues, a problem with multiprocessor systems and a problem with the Physical Address Extensions that allow Microsoft's 32-bit operating system to address more than 4 GB of RAM.

Eight fixes appear to correct various problems introduced with the first service pack for Windows 2000.

The service pack includes performance enhancements in two areas. The NTFS was enhanced for Services for Unix so it performs better when many file handles are opened.

SP2 also tunes COM+ to reduce lock contention and optimize COM+ threading, enhancements Microsoft says will be most apparent with ASP and COM+ applications running on multi-processor computers.

Installation Details

Complete versions of the service pack for a network installation are a 105 MB download. Microsoft is also providing express versions that require an open Internet connection during installation. The express SP2 for Windows 2000 Professional is a 10 MB download. The express version for server is 22.3 MB.

Raw fixes for the service pack, both Professional and Server, represent just 20 MB, but there's a lot more to a service pack than the fixes.

Add service pack files and uninstallation files and SP2 will consume 550 MB of disk space in the server version and 440 MB in the client version.

Disk space usage during installation will peak at 830 MB for server and 710 MB for Professional, according to Microsoft. – .

Related article:
W2K SP2 Officially Released

Some hotfixes in SP2 relative to enterprise customers:
Q257577 gethostbyname() Does Not Return Cluster Virtual IP Addresses Consistently
Q275704 Cluster Disks May Be Incorrectly Accessible from All Nodes
Q278710 No Global Groups Are Available Creating File-Share Resource Permissions in Cluster Administrator
Q289218 Bringing Cluster IP Address Back Online After Resource-Related NetBT Device Failure Generates Sharing Violation
Q295082 Windows File Protection Does Not Protect Cluster-Specific Files
Q277700 NodeID Change in the Registry Cause Access Violation in Clussvc.exe
Q266251 Memory Dump Stops When the PAE Option Is Enabled
Q289171 Error Message on Multiprocessor System Cites Unreadable File but CHKDSK Finds No Corruption

About the Author

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

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