Printer Bug Fixes; an XP and Win2K Redirector Bug Fix; and a new Win2K SP4 Uninstallation Option

Add Printer Wizard Bug Fix
Here’s a bug I’ve encountered a few times on Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 platforms. When you use the Add Printer Wizard to add a local or network printer and you ask the wizard to print a test page, the wizard doesn't successfully add the printer or report an error. The reason the printer doesn't show up is that the Print Test Page dialog box hides the confirmation screen on which you need to click OK to complete the printer installation. You can work around this annoying problem by adding the printer without asking for a test page; instead, print a test page after the printer is connected. Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) has a bug fix for this problem on three Windows platforms: The Windows 2003 fix updates 11 components, the XP fix updates 9 printer-related files, and the Win2K fix updates 3 spooler components. Most of the files in the print spooler fix have release dates from late June to mid-July. You can view a list of files included in the bug fix for each platform in the Microsoft article "Add Printer Wizard Does Not Complete the Installation of Your Printer" (

Win2K Print Spooler Bug Fix
Occasionally, the print spooler will stop unexpectedly on a system on which you have configured and shared a Line Print Remote (LPR) printer. This print spooler stop occurs when you reconfigure the LPR printer port properties. A timing problem in the TCP/IP port monitor causes the spooler failure—one thread releases the port before the second thread is finished adjusting the port properties. Microsoft has a new version of tcpmon.dll that corrects this timing problem on all Win2K versions, up to and including Win2K Service Pack 4 (SP4). The file has a release date of July 21 and the fix is available from only PSS. Reference the Microsoft article "Spooler Service Stops Responding When You View and Change the Configuration of the Port Properties" (

Win2K AD Printer Search Bug
Have you experienced a long delay when you search for a printer by using the Entire Directory? If so, you’ll be happy to know Microsoft has fixed two bugs that are responsible for the delay. A network trace that runs during the Entire Directory query shows that after the query locates the printer in the Global Catalog (GC), the local system asks the search utility to provide the printer properties from the GC. The problem is that the printer’s properties aren't in the GC; they're in Active Directory (AD). To satisfy the request for the printer’s properties, the system redirects the search to the closest domain controller (DC). If the requesting system can obtain the properties from a DC, the query successfully adds the printer. However, according to the Microsoft article "Cannot Connect to a Printer or the Connection Is Slow from the Search Printer Dialog Box" (, if the system on which you initiate the Entire Directory search can't contact the root DC, the search fails without issuing an error message and you'll be unable to connect to the printer. PSS has a bug fix for this problem on all Win2K versions up to and including SP4. The fix updates two AD components: dsfolder.dll and squery.dll. Both files have a release date of June 20. You need to reboot to complete installation of the patch.

XP and Win2K Redirector Blue Screen Bug Fix
The latest bug involving the redirector on XP and Win2K platforms causes both OSs to crash when you exit NTBackup. If you see a blue screen with either of these stop codes—0x00000076 (PROCESS_HAS_ LOCKED_PAGES) or 0x000000CB (DRIVER_LEFT_LOCKED_PAGES_IN_PROCESS)—the redirector is most likely causing the problem. According to the Microsoft article "You Receive Stop Error 0x00000076 or 0x000000CB When You Quit Your Backup Software" (, the code doesn't correctly release locked user pages when the backup software cancels the original I/O request. The Win2K fix contains updates for both redirector components, rdbsss.sys, and mrxsmb.sys with file release dates of August 1. The XP fix updates the same two components, but these files have release dates of August 6. You must obtain the updates directly from PSS.

New SP4 Uninstallation Option
As with all previous service packs, Win2K SP4 by default creates an uninstallation folder ($NtServicePackUninstall$) in the system root. In this folder, you’ll find two uninstallation utilities: spuninst.exe, which runs when you remove the service pack by using the Control Panel Add/Remove Programs applet, and a new script file, spuninst.bat, which you can run from the Recovery Console (RC). If the system is running and you want to remove SP4, do so by using Add/Remove Programs. If hardware problems prevent an SP4 system from booting successfully, you can remove SP4 in two steps: first run spuninst.bat, then use Add/Remove Programs. To recover an SP4 system that won’t start, boot to the RC, change to the uninstallation directory in the system root, and run spuninst.bat to copy archived files from the previous version back to their original locations. At this point, the system should restart successfully. To complete the uninstallation procedure, go to Add/Remove Programs, click Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, and click Change/Remove. Note: To start the RC, you must know either the local Administrator’s password or the alternate RC-specific password if you changed it from the default.

TAGS: Security
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