NOS vendors release service packs

Microsoft Corp. has issued a set of fixes for its Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4.0, released last month.

The fixes repair a bug that hinders some users from installing year 2000-compliant fixes that are part of the service pack. And another fix updates the Java virtual machine, bringing it into compliance with a federal court’s order to make Microsoft’s Java implementation follow Sun Microsystems Inc.’s standard, per Sun’s Java licence.

“The joke around here is, ‘Which bugs did the service pack fix and which bugs did it create?'” said Bob Frase, director of information systems at PACE International Union, a paper workers union in Nashville, Tenn. “Waiting a while before you download anything is almost becoming rule of thumb with Microsoft” because of frequent bugs in both initial software and subsequent service pack releases, he said.

“There were so many updates in that service pack — 600 new files — that I’m not surprised there were some problems,” said Bill Peterson, an analyst at International Data Corp. in Framingham, Mass. But he said few users would be affected by the original bugs.

The year 2000 bug affects users who have Site Server Express 2.0 and MSMQ 1.0 or 1.0E message queuing on the same PC. The service pack’s year 2000 update unintentionally uninstalled MSMQ, a Microsoft spokesperson said.

The fixes can be downloaded from Anyone who has downloaded Service Pack 4.0 already doesn’t need to download the pack again.

In addition, Novell Inc. released the first service pack for Version 5.0 of its NetWare operating system, which shipped in September 1998.

Available now, the service pack includes more than 100 fixes and a few additions, according to Brian Faustyn, Novell’s product marketing manager for NetWare 5.0. The pack can be downloaded from

Faustyn said the service pack will include a network address translator, a new utility designed to enable a single authorized IP address to represent an entire organization. This tool will help users easily migrate their existing IPX-based NetWare 3.x and 4.x servers to the pure IP-based NetWare 5.0. The pack also should have fixes for interoperability problems that existed between the directories in NetWare 4.x and NetWare 5.0.

The service pack is a fairly large one, according to Faustyn. “It’ll be a pretty big download,” he added.