Microsoft Releases SP1 Beta for Windows 2000

Christopher Rice

    Once again, if you have access to the MSDN, you can get the service pack for the Windows 2000 operating system.  

Once again, if you have access to the MSDN, you can get the service pack for the Windows 2000 operating system. If you are interested in the MSDN and don't have it, go to: http://msdn.microsoft.com There, you can sign up for a membership.

    If you are interested in the MSDN and don't have it, go to:


   There, you can sign up for a membership. 

   It is not yet known when this will be made available for shipping on CD, but is already 190 MB.

   I got this from a W2K mag e-mail:

According to the release notes, Win2K SP1 is a collection of current

fixes and updates to Win2K Professional, Server, and Advanced Server.

The fixes and updates focus on the following key areas:

- OS reliability, including fixes for data loss and corruption

problems, access violations, and memory loss issues.

- Win2K Setup, including fixes for conditions that cause Setup to fail

or not restart.

- OS functionality, including updates to existing OS features and

functions that have a demonstrated impact on customers.

- Application and hardware compatibility, including updates for

compatible products that have a demonstrated impact on customers.

- Year 2000 or politically sensitive content, including the latest

updates for Year 2000 support.

- Security, including the latest updates for known Win2K security


Additionally, Win2K SP1 incorporates a new update.exe installation

program that supports the following new features:

- Windows Files Protection (WFP) support. When you install the service

pack, the update.exe program installs a new catalog file that contains

the updated information for all the protected system files that have

changed since Win2K was released. The program updates the location of

the installation media to point to the service-pack media for these

files. Then, when the service pack updates the protected files, if the

old version of those files resides in the .dll cache, WFP replaces the

cache with the new versions of the files.

- Support for updating the driver cabinet (.cab) file. Win2K includes

a new driver .cab file, which contains all the files that Plug and Play

(PnP)?class installers install. Setup and other components in the system

use this file to install the drivers for new devices (such as a PCMCIA

or USB device) without requiring access to the Win2K CD-ROM or the

network. The update.exe program installs an additional driver .cab that

contains only updated versions of drivers in the original Win2K driver

.cab file. The update.exe program also installs a new driver index file

that points to the service-pack driver .cab file for all of the updated

drivers and to the original Win2K driver .cab file for all of the

remaining drivers.

- Automatic service update. The OS is aware of the service-pack

installation, the current state of the system, and the updated files.

When Setup installs a new service, it gets the correct set of files

from both the Win2K and the service-pack installation media--and you no

longer need to reapply the service pack after every system state

change. (In Windows NT 4.0, the update.exe program didn't let the

system interface directly with service-pack updates: the system

couldn't be updated dynamically. When the system state changed--for

example, if you added a service or removed a protocol--the service pack

didn't reflect those changes. To keep the system updated, you had to

reapply the service pack after every system state change.)

- Slipstream installation support. The update.exe program supports the

new slipstream installation method, which integrates (i.e.,

slipstreams) the service pack into the Win2K installation. You no

longer need to perform separate OS and service-pack installations.

- Logging. The update.exe program creates a log that lists every

change that occurred during the installation: It tracks file changes,

Registry changes, encryption file and other security changes, backup

file locations, and any installation failures.

- Improved uninstall support. The service-pack uninstall feature,

which adds a Win2K SP1 entry to Add/Remove Programs, completely

restores the system to its previous state. (In NT 4.0, installing and

uninstalling service packs sometimes resulted in an unstable OS.)

- Compressed data backup. After the Update.exe program completes the

file installation and Registry updates and all of the service-pack

backup data is present, the program compresses the backup data into a

.cab file to reduce disk space consumption. This way, a backup of the

pre-SP1 state won't take up too much disk space.

- Consolidated 40-bit and 128-bit encryption. By using the encrypted

installer, a single service pack can contain both 40-bit and 128-bit

encryption files. When you install the service pack, Setup determines

the encryption level of your current OS (either 40-bit or 128-bit) and

automatically installs the service pack with the same encryption level.

If Setup finds no encryption files on the computer, it installs the 40-

bit encryption files. (NT 4.0 service packs shipped the two formats


- Network fault tolerance. If you lose your network connection during

the service-pack installation, when you resume the installation, Setup

can always locate the update.exe program. (NT 4.0 service-pack

installations failed when the system couldn't locate the update.exe



   This OS was already pretty big to begin with.  I wouldn't count on this version staying this size before official release into the public market. 

   If you have access to this, take a look at it and tell me what you think (if you have time to download it).

This article was originally published on May 1, 2000
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