Microsoft 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' 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 Tennessee. "Waiting a while before you download anything is almost becoming the 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. 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 spokesman said.
The fixes can be downloaded from www.microsoft.com/ntserver. Anyone who has downloaded Service Pack 4 doesn't need to download the pack again.