An SP6a Drive Letter Fix; A Registry Vulnerability Fix

Service Pack 6a Drive Letter Bug Fix
When you install a removable drive, such as an Iomega Jazz or Zip drive, on a Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 6a (SP6a) system, you typically use Disk Administrator to assign a drive letter to the device. If you delete the partition, create it again, and assign a new drive letter, you won't see the previously assigned drive letter in the available drive list until you reboot the system. Call Microsoft Support for a new version of windisk.exe that returns the drive letter to the available drive list without a system restart. This glitch doesn't interfere in any way with the operation of the removable media or other storage devices and applies only to drive letters you assign to removable media. See Microsoft Support Online article Q259428 for details.

Registry Vulnerability Hotfix
A malicious user might be able to log on interactively to a shared computer and compromise the cryptographic key security of other users who later log on to the same computer. This vulnerability involves a Registry key that specifies the DLL for a hardware accelerator in the default Cryptographic Service Providers (CSPs) included with the Cryptography Application Programming Interface (CryptoAPI). By design, such a DLL has access to users' public and private keys. Although only administrators should have permission to add such a DLL, the key's permissions could let any user who can interactively log on to the computer add the file. By writing a DLL and installing it, a malicious user could compromise the keys of other users who subsequently logon to the same system.

Microsoft Support Online article Q259496 indicates that all NT 4.0 platforms share this vulnerability and states that the computers at risk are primarily Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition (TSE) workstations and servers. Visit the Microsoft Download Center and get hotfix q259496i.exe (Intel) or q259496a.exe (Alpha) to tighten the Registry key ACL.

Australian Daylight Savings Time Change
We thought we were done with date and time problems, but the folks in Australia will have to address a one-time daylight savings time change to accommodate the 2000 Olympics, scheduled for September in Sydney. The Australian states of Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, and Tasmania have rolled back the daylight savings time start date from the last Sunday in October to the last Sunday in August.

According to Microsoft Support Online article Q259474, the official daylight savings time transition dates for 2000 for the Australian states are

  • South Australia, October 29, 2000, through March 25, 2001
  • Victoria, August 27, 2000, through March 25, 2001
  • Australian Capital Territory, August 27, 2000, through March 25, 2001
  • New South Wales, August 27, 2000, through March 25, 2001
  • Tasmania, August 27, 2000, through March 25, 2001

    Clocks advance 1 hour at 2:00 A.M on the start day to begin Summer time and move back 1 hour at 3:00 A.M. on the end day to begin Standard time. The change to daylight savings time affects the transition settings for the GMT + 10:00 (Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney) and GMT + 10:00 (Hobart) time zone rules.

    The bad news is that when governments modify daylight savings time parameters, IT departments have to modify every piece of software that uses date and time information. Some of the most popular Microsoft products that will feel the effects of the change include Windows 2000 (Win2K), Windows NT, Windows 9.x, Windows CE, Microsoft Schedule+, and Microsoft Outlook.

  • OS time zone updates. Microsoft has updates for Win2K, NT, and Win9.x that add a new time zone rule to the Registry. The rule for the new 2000-only time zone--GMT + 10:00 (Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart)--instructs the OS to initiate the daylight savings time change on the correct date. Unfortunately, you have to update every server and workstation in the affected time zones, and you have to reset the time zone again at the end of the calendar year (or at least before March 25, 2001).

    The good news is that you can download self-expanding updates from One download contains updates for Win2K, TSE, and NT 4.0, and another contains updates for Win9x. The updates contain utilities that allow for the automatic addition (and later removal) of the new time zone rules; for details, check the readme.txt and the sample files that accompany the updates. Microsoft has tested the updates on the English variants of Win2K, NT, and Win9.x, but wasn't able to test all possible interactions because of the large number of available programs and products.

  • Windows CE. If you support Windows CE, you need to create a custom city and set the city’s time zone to GMT+11 (Magadan, Solomon Island, New Caledonia). The OS should use this custom city for daylight savings time from August 27, 2000, through October 28, 2000, then change to the normal Sydney (New South Wales) city setting on October 29. For details about how to create a custom city, check out Microsoft Support Online article Q257178.

  • Outlook, calendaring, and Schedule+. No solution currently exists to handle the time zone transition for Microsoft Schedule+; Microsoft Outlook for Windows 3.x, Exchange Server Edition; and Microsoft Outlook for Macintosh, Exchange Server Edition. The change will also affect programs built upon Microsoft Collaboration Data Object (CDO), such as Microsoft Outlook Web Access. Microsoft is investigating a possible solution for CDO to account for the change in transition dates and will post additional information if it makes a solution available. For more information about Outlook, calendaring, and scheduling appointments, see Microsoft Support Online article Q259474.

  • Third-party products. If you use a Web-based or third party email or calendaring solution, check with your supplier for time zone solutions.
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