GuidesWindows 2000 Service Pack 3 - Notes from the Field

Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 – Notes from the Field

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Christopher Rice

Wow, I’ve received a ton of e-mail regarding SP3 and the different experiences that administrators have had in the real world.  I am going to paste a bunch of these in this document so that you can see what you can expect and to help out if you are sharing the same experiences as others.

Wow, I’ve received a ton of e-mail regarding SP3 and the different experiences that administrators have had in the real world. I am going to paste a bunch of these in this document so that you can see what you can expect and to help out if you are sharing the same experiences as others.

Here goes:


Other than being 20MB more than sp2 and taking nearly 4 hours to
install via 56K modem over win 2k pro, I had no problems.


I have installed SP3 on a number of W2K SP2 SQL 2000 SP2 Development boxes
without any problem. This is something since we have a lot of “interesting”
applications on our development boxes which are older HP Net Servers.

We have made the decision to put SP3 on our new HP Proliants 360’s, 380’s,
and 580’s. It is faster than doing SP2 plus patches.

My older boxes, about 4 years old and older, are running NT 4 SP 6a. They
will stay that way until they are retired.

I am a SQL DBA. My workstation experience is more limited with SP3. I had
a LAN printing issue (any printer) post W2K Pro SP3 with IE 5.5 SP2, but it
went away when I upgraded to IE 6.


I have been fighting problems for four months with a Visual Fox Pro 6
application running under Win2K SP2 Terminal Services. After working with the PC
manufacturer without any success I finally called Microsoft support and obtained
hotfix (and registry edits) that seems to have fixed most of the problems.
However, in the process I went ahead and updated one of my terminal servers to
SP3, now my VFP 6 applications that run from a remote share will not print!

I’m working with microsoft on that issue now, but I will probably end up going
back to SP2 with the hotfix.

Pass the advil please.


I GET IN ALL MY DCS while it’ installing it “An error in updating your system
has occurred” I’v checked the technet (Q324631) and everithing look like it is
suppossed to be
I have this problem in all my DC ***BUT*** tried it in a member server end the
Sp3 installed succesfull (?????????????????)


I installed SP3 on a generic white box AMD K6-3/400 running Win2K Pro. I had
just installed a new driver for the Matrox G200 video card a week before (this
was the “unified” package that installs the correct driver for your OS). After
SP3, the system came up, but the screen was unreadable, required hard reboot. I
booted into safe mode and tried to uninstall SP3. No go, I don’t remember
exactly, but the uninstallation failed(!). I rebooted into VGA mode, and
uninstalled the new video driver, rebooted, and Win2K reinstalled the old
driver, which worked OK. I haven’t tried reinstalling the new Matrox driver, I
think I’ll leave it as is.


Just finished reading you article “Windows 2000 SP3” and I installed it and have
had no problems.

I did not care for the new users license agreement though. We had our Network
team put SP3 on a test machine along with a network sniffer to see what info was
being sent to Microsoft. As soon as we installed the SP it was already sending

I asked what kind of information and they told me, it was nothing to important.
More like what version of windows build #’s ect..


We have been using SP3 for about a week and a half. So far, it has solved an
issue with Roaming Profiles not updating/converting when an NT4.0 user logs
onto a W2K system using a Roaming Profile. It has not raised any issues with

our desktops or laptops as yet, and generally we are pleased with it.
IMHO, I wouldn’t panic over a rare app causing a problem with a service
pack. I can’t figure out how, if he did a “clean install”, there were any
apps on his desktop. If all he did was install “clean” and re-boot to cause
a blue screen, I think it’s a little premature to sound an alarm over SP3.
Just my .02 cents worth.


We have installed the new service pack on about a handful of
workstations without an issue.


I found your post

from a google search of
sp3 “blue screen”

I ran sp3 update on 2 computers and got same results on both:
blue screens and automatic reboot.

I found a “get me by” solution somewhere on the web.
I removed

and my problem went away.
That was a half hour ago so I don’t
know of any side effects yet.

I don’t know how old your post is but
have you heard anything new since then.

I’m curious about how widespread this problem is

and what is causing it.

Also, what was the app that you removed to
get things working?


We have a situation that we have reproduced on all of our different SCSI
controllers (HDS, Adaptec, Compaq) on several different name brand
machines and clones. Without sp3 on those servers we are able to perform

a certain set of disk i/o evolutions that we do several times a day and
our disk queue lengths at peak average 9 under heavy load when we enable
write caching. When we install sp3, our disk queue lengths average 100
on RAID 5 hardware and 140 on non raid scsi drives. The evolution takes
15 – 19 minutes on sp2 and 65 to 80 minutes on sp3. The performance on
sp3 is consistent with our performance statistics without write caching
enabled on sp2. We have confirmed this with our clients. Related
knowledge base articles (below) lead us to believe that work has been
done on the associated drivers that affect write caching and disk i/o,

which may have resulted in this serious problem.;en-us;q299842;en-us;q290757

Hope this helps — I know it is not a formal document. If I have time, I
will rerun the winstone test and send you the logs in plain text with
the accompanying reports I wrote, so you can compare the real numbers
and track the results. Another individual is producing similar

documentation for MS who wanted us to reproduce it, so we did- on every
test server we had.


I saw your article on I thought I would drop you a few lines
regarding SP3 and the new “Set Program Access and Defaults” options now in
Add/Remove Programs. Microsoft went and put a link to this in the start bar and
it is in Add/Remove Programs. This allows you to hide/remove certain Microsoft
programs thanks to the DOJ lawsuit. I was more worried about hiding this option
from users so here is the way:

Policy Settings:

To hide “Set Program Access and Defaults” icon on Start Menu.
Create the following value under: HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorer

“NoSMConfigurePrograms”. This is a REG_DWORD value and set the value to 1
To hide “Set Program Access and Defaults” tab on Add/Remove Programs control
Create a key called Uninstall under HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPolicies

Under the Uninstall key, create a REG_DWORD value called “NoChooseProgramsPage”
and set the value to 1
You can also create the same under HKCU. In both cases, HKLM is checked first.
If the value is present, then its value is used. If 1, the policy is in force;
if 0 the policy is not in force.

If the value is not present in HKLM, then HKCU is checked. If the value is
present, then its value is used. If 1, the policy is in force; if 0 the policy
is not in force.

If the value is not present in HKCU either, then the policy is not in force.

Hope this is new to you.



Read your post on
http:// and wondered
what that “rare application” you installed was. I have the same results

when trying to install SP3 and it’s driving me nuts.


We have deployed SP3 on about 15 different pc’s from Compaq Laptops to Clone
PCs over the last couple of days. We run the standard Windows apps (Office) plus
a few in house software packages, and we have had no problems at all.


For your collection –

I attempted to install Win2k SP3 on one of my servers by just running the
downloaded executable and letting it extract and install itself. It failed
with multiple errors of not being able to find/copy source files starting
with ‘csapi3t1.dl_’ (there were others that followed it you hit ‘ignore’).
Even after browsing to the temporary extract folder and selecting the file
by name and then also renaming the target csapi3t1.dll – it failed. Then
when I canceled the installation, there appeared to be no ‘full rollback’

feature because I received a message box the several applications may not
function properly if I proceeded with that choice…. and I selected the
‘backup’ option!

I repeated the attempt one more time with the exact same results.

Since this was my production SMS server I decided not to experiment anymore
and restored the image of my c: drive (the SP3 install was at the request
of MS techical support to deal with other issues I’m having after installing
the SMS 2.0 post SP4 Hotfix roll-up).

My next attempt will be on a test server using fully extracted files – but I
may wait awhile.

Be interested to know if this is common…


My experience with SP3 was this.

I installed it the day after it was available on the windows update page. I

have a Dell Dimension 8100 1.8 GHz with 512M of memory. The day after I
installed it, I had to reboot. I got the blue screen of death. I turned off
the machine, rebooted. Same thing. I tried again and the 3rd time was able
to boot into windows. This happened several times over the course of the
following week and finally it took me 5 attempted to reboot. I checked some
message boards after entering “windows 2000 sp3 blue screen” into google.
Other people were having the same problem. Recommended course of action

was to uninstall sp3. I did so (from add/remove panel in control settings,
btw). Uninstall took about 7 – 10 minutes. That was last Wednesday (Aug 14).
I haven’t had a problem since!!!!


I’ve applied SP3 to 2 W2K pro machines and one server. I am noticing a
problem with http downloads, they hang and have to restart them. Have you
heard this from anyone else?


After installing SP3, my Windows 2000 end users had problems with MS Office
2000 docs either opening in read only mode or telling us that there were
“too many files open”. This problem only happened on files being served by
our AppleShareIP Server. Uninstalling SP3 fixed the problem.


Has anyone contacted you with problems relating to windows authentication vs sql
server authentication. It seems that when I installed SP3 I could no longer use
windows authentication. Let me know if anyone else mentioned this.


Installed Win2k SP3 yesterday with no problems so far. Only on my Win2k Pro
workstation though. Only strange features I have seen are the addition of a
Windows Update Wizard popping up in the SysTray and a link in the Start Menu to
Set Program Access and Defaults. This takes you to the Add / Remove Programs

Any way, my concerns lay more with applying it to my win2k terminal server and sql
server. Not to mention my upcoming migration from NT4 domain to Win2k AD.


I setup my W2k Advanced Server, running Exchange 2000 and SQL 7 with SP3 a
few days ago…
There seem to be no real problems with the implementing of the accumulated
HotFixes and PreSP3-
Updates. Though I am experiencing problems with the updating of Internet
Explorer 5.x shipped with
the original install files… New in SP3 is the Windows Automatic Updater,
known from XP. This isn’t

working. Trying to use the WAU results in an error, displayed on the M$
Homepage saying that no
updates could be handled. Well, the question is “Who uses automatic update
on an enterprise server?”.
I guess these problems can be dismissed, regarding that no pro would ever
use them. This of course
does not justify a bug/error in the software, does it?

For fairness I have to state, that the server I’m working with (including
the SP3) is a test/maintenance
machine. So there is no critical application here. Also there are no special
software (databases, SAP, or similar)
installed on the server jet.

This is meant to be a first impression.

Help where one can help…


Here is my “W2K SP3 success and ‘unsuccess’ story”:

Computer 1: P II 400 192 MB, Adaptec UW-SCSI, Matrox Millenium G400, W2K SP2
German. Update from the “full download” worked like a charm! Reboot,
everything worked fine, even my sporadic blue screens during high system

load seem to be gone.

Great stuff, I thought and went on to computer 2:
Update from the “full download” as well on a PIII 800 with 256 MB RAM,
IDE-system, W2K SP1 German.
first annoyance: Dr. Watson in Explorer.exe at the end of the SP3 setup.
Okay this can happen, I thought.
Reboot, system loads, logon all okay. Start testing apps… one app is for

my digital satellite receiver board … WHAM! BSOD … and from that moment
on BSODs just before the “Press CTRL-ALT-DEL” to logon”-Window appears. I
had to boot to Safe mode and remove SP3 (luckily I saved the uninstall
information ..). Everything went back to normal.
I then updated all system drivers like graphics, digital satellite receiver
board, ISDN card, etc. and reapplied SP3 (again Dr. Watson in Explorer.exe
atthe end of the SP setup!). Same procedure again … BSOD after starting

the satellite app, then BSODs just before I could sign on…

I’ll stay with SP1 for now on that particular machine, I might upgrade to
SP2. So this proves that you should save uninstall information EVERY TIME
you install a servicepack!


After i installed SP3 on a Dual PIII1000 Maschine (Via 694 Chipset – MSI) the
system only worked with one processor thougt the multiproz acpi-driver activ in
HW-Environment. Did you get any similar things ?


I thought I’d quickly respond to your plea for stories about W2K
SP3. We’ve been testing it
on several IBM M41s here for several days with no drama. It loaded cleanly and
has shown no real problems. One
of my fellow admins discovered that with Hummingbird Exceed 7.11 he had to
deselect Input Extensions or the app
ocassionally hung on exit, but even with the large number of diverse programs we
run we’ve noticed no other difficulty and have incorporated it into our basic
images. Hope this helps.


After installing SP3 I’ve had to reinstall MS Office 2000 for each user set
up on the computer. I first reinstalled Office logged on ad the
Administrator, but it did not propogate to each user set up on the computer.
There were several other applications that had to be reinstalled also, but
none as bothersome as Office 2000 Pro. Have you had any similar feedback
from other Microsoft victims?


In response, I think the Sp3 Does do a greatdeal for file protection, and the
“set-default” tool that it leaves in your start up is handy ,especially if you
play w/ alot of browsers and players for the internet.

I think it’s too early to tell what we really have here,but as far as
bugs….well isee them as more as “compatibility” issues. For example,Norton
system works integrated (or Not ) with the Norton internet security suites 2002,

seem to fail when trying to use thier “live update feature”. Nothing yet from
symantic in thier trouble shooting / service sections about this, the errror is
” live update failed to update ,internet security, speed disk, antivirus” and
when you check the details key in the error message all you see is “windows2000
service pack 3” then the name of the forementioned services, . also it seems my
Task scheduler scripts have all vanished, unable to initiate a full system
Anti-virus scan with Norton, not becuase of the ntask.dll,but due to the fact
that the task scheduler dll is now missing ( or most likely unrec! ognized).
However norton anti-virus does scan the e-mail;and Grisoft Anti-virus had no
problems,not that it was ignorant to the service pack,AVG just gave a warning
message that it was’t design for the operating system. and operated without a
hitch, I think cause it doesn’t rely on the OS’s scripts. I’m sure Norton will
have a solution soon. Also their is alot more activity detected by the
firewalls,both , tiny personel firewall and norton firewall show alot more sytem
services iether listening or sending packets. I think its because their was a
clause in the EULA that gave OS accessabilty permisions similar to XP. I already
have seen a few cracks that can allow you to by-pass the EULA without checking
off if you agree of not, but even so, they dont stop Microsoft access because
the administration policies still are changed for microsoft networks, allowing
more access. I can see why there isn’t any outgoing firewall on XP, most people
would phre! ak if they knew just how much they were being accessed.even though
its mostly by DOS based apps programs. And lastly, I found a “tracker scrap
file” in my winnt directory, I couldn’t crack it, couldn’t
identify it, so I overwrote gutmann 35x style, nothing happened to
functionality,I think it was a new form of a “.dat index ” since IE^6 does get
rid of it’s history and files(unlike previious versions) if you do so through
internet options. Oh ,those clever boys from Redmond….

Overall , I would say the SP3 is worthwhile. the 124 mb patch is cumulative so
the list ot fixes is seemingly endless. there are minor services changes that
mess up a few programs, perhaps it even evolves W2K into another OS, but not
enough to gripe about. I think it is one of the best sevice packs they have put
out I think its a sucess. I have T3 speed access, It would be interesting to see
how many “failures” and “sucesses ” are related to bandwith and bad
installations. but hey it’s a PACK not a PATCH.


Thanks for the link to sp3. You might find this interesting but apparently
Microsoft has also included a mole in sp3 to monitor the pc. Quite what by

monitoring is unclear. The reason I am asking you is if you have heard
anything as I have heard this from more than one IT source. I’m no longer in
the IT business as I have decided to take a less stressful career but like
to keep a dabble!!

Any info would be much appreciated.


Just saw your email requesting comments about SP3 during my hunt for problems
other may have been having. We are only looking at a very limited field of the
Service Pack on Toshiba Laptops. It’s only been taking place for two days so
it’s a long way from being conclusive at all.

Something which I observed an hour ago which may be related was a bug when
viewing the control panel of Windows 2000. Only the last 5 alphabetically listed
applets actually showed up with icons and names. All other applets appeared as
“nameless” folder icons that couldn’t be opened, nor would a “right-click” give
any additional options. Refreshing the control panel, changing the view options
or closing and restarting the control panel would make no difference.

As I had work to do with one of the applets I invoked it from DOS, did what I
needed to do and when I was finished I went back to the control panel. This
time, everything was back to normal!

This isn’t enough evidence to attribute this peculiarity directly with SP3, I’m
only now looking for similar faults reported by others but I haven’t seen this
on any machine before and the new component is Service Pack Three. It’s
certainly something we’ll be keeping an eye open for in the future.

Hope this is of some interest.


Hi. Just a note to say that I have installed SP3 on a stand alone w2k
box the day after it came out with no apparent probs. evident as a result.
Since this isn’t a networked station and it only does basic home
computing tasks and web site development work, there are a lot of areas
that this machine doesn’t use. But so far, I haven’t had a blip from SP3.


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