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NT Service Pack In Need of Repair

-- by John D. Ruley

If Windows NT 4.0 is giving you headaches, you might be happy with Microsoft's Service Pack #2 (SP2) for NT 4.0, a download that's intended to fix the bugs in the initial release. Then again, you might not-the fix apparently needs some fixing of its own.

For example, SP2 can cause a "blue screen" crash when you make repeated attempts to access a floppy disk drive. SP2's sheer size-15MB-doesn't help either.

For the most part, SP2's new and updated features, unavailable for the initial release of NT 4.0, are what make it so large. Included are Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.01 and version 3.0 of Microsoft's Internet Information Server for NT. Unfortunately, if you don't need these features, you're out of luck-at press time, no "light" version of the service pack was available.

Microsoft does say that an updated NT kernel patch is undergoing regression testing for Service Pack #3, which will fix the SP2 floppy disk problem-along with problems like the security bug demonstrated by CPUHOG.EXE (a demonstration program that locks up NT systems on which it is run). This time around, the kernel patch will be available by itself . . . if you've already downloaded SP2. Otherwise, get set to download a full SP3, including everything in SP2 and the kernel patch. Service Pack 3 should be available by the time you read this.

Copyright (c) 1997 CMP Media Inc.

Windows Magazine, March 1997, page 53.

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