Looking for Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack Updates

Recently, a reader asked for information about Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack updates for Service Pack 6a (SP6a). After a fruitless search of Microsoft Support Online, I decided that it would be faster to ask you folks whether you have installed any recent Option Pack updates, specifically anything designated SP4 or later. If so, let me know where you got the Option Pack update and which components it updates. I’d also like feedback about whether the updates work as advertised (and you’re welcome to surprise me with good news).

I found a few articles about Option Pack installation and several articles relating to coexistence with Microsoft Cluster Server (MSCS). Microsoft has posted two general white papers about Option Pack installation particulars. Each white paper discusses Option Pack-supported cluster availability models—including many of the roadblocks you can encounter during Option Pack installation. The first white paper cautions that many Option Pack components that function properly in a single server Microsoft IIS 4.0 installation won't function properly in a clustered IIS environment. Index Server, Certificate Server, FrontPage, Search Bots, Outlook Web Access, Site Server 3.0, and Commerce Server are on the list of products that won't operate properly if you install them on an IIS/MSCS server.

The second white paper , which outlines the steps necessary to set up Option Pack components on a cluster, cautions that Option Pack components might fail if you don't install them in a prescribed order. The document includes instructions for creating and configuring a clustered Web site, describes common problems that prevent a successful Option Pack installation on a cluster, and outlines best practices for IIS administration on a cluster. It also includes Microsoft SQL Server/Option Pack planning considerations, information about the impact of NT and SQL Server service packs, and instructions for managing and replicating Web content. The appendix provides additional information to help you overcome problems that the Option Pack encounters when you use it with certain versions of the Microsoft distributed transaction coordinator (DTC) service.

If you plan to install the Option Pack on MSCS, read Microsoft Support Online article Q191138 before you begin. If you plan to install the Option Pack on a system running SQL Server 6.5 or 7.0, consult Microsoft Support Online article Q223258.

I found some other relevant articles about installing Option Packs:

  • Microsoft Support Online article Q255184 indicates that when you install the Option Pack on a MSCS-based computer running DTC, DTC might cause errors during the installation or might not start after the installation completes. The article includes a workaround for the errors, but I can’t verify whether it produces the desired results.
  • Microsoft Support Online article Q254319 states that when you install the Option Pack on a MSCS machine, you must not include Index Server as an installed component. Although Index Server installs on MSCS, it doesn't fail over or function properly because it isn't a cluster-aware component.
  • Microsoft Support Online article Q246535 documents a procedure you must follow when you upgrade a subordinate Certificate Authority (CA) from Option Pack Certificate Server to a Windows 2000 CA. You must perform a CA renewal operation with the Basic Constraints field set to True in the CA certificate. Win2K checks this flag to determine whether you are installing a CA for the first time or performing a CA renewal.

    - If you run out of patience with the Option Pack, refer to Microsoft Support Online article Q244988, which presents a long procedure for removing IIS 4.0 and the Option Pack from an NT 4.0 server. The instructions detail removing the Option Pack and default IIS 4.0 accounts, resetting the DCOMCNFG default impersonation level, updating the Emergency Repair Disk (ERD), and reapplying the most recent service pack.

TAGS: Security
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