Service Packs

by Johannes Helmig [Published on 2 Dec. 2000 / Last Updated on 2 Dec. 2000]

Nobody is perfect, and no software is perfect !

Although Microsoft has done its best to test Windows NT4 before releasing it, some "bugs" are only found by the users, sometimes in very specific configurations.
The fixes are made available to users as: Service Packs
(Dec. 1, 2000: current version for Windows NT4 : Service pack 6a, often just called: SP6a,
note: there is a
Encryption Conflict between IE5.5 and SP6a )

There are now software packages/updates on the market, which check (and insist), that a minimum level of Service pack is installed (so sometimes you have no choice, you are forced to install it).

Important Note:
The Service Pack MUST match your Windows NT version in the Language
and version
(and the US-version is NOT the same as the English-International version !)


They are getting delivered with new NT4 systems as additional CD-ROM (at least with new HP systems), but they can also be purchased.

The Service Pack CD-ROM is Auto-Play and starts up your web-browser:



Just click on "Install Service Pack" to start the installation.

But you can also download the Service Pack from http://www.microsoft.com , follow the links to "Free Downloads" / "Windows NT Service Packs":

Do you really like to download 18 MByte for SP4 or 34 Mbyte for SP6a ?

The downloaded file needs to be expanded for installation.
Also, since you will need the Service Pack fairly often (see below), even if
I have the CD-ROM, I prefer to copy all files of the Service Pack from
CD-ROM to disk location (I use: C:\SP3)(to have it in fast and convenient access).
To start then the installation, locate and start: UPDATE.EXE:


You get the Welcome message.
You need to accept the
Microsoft License Agreement.
Select to install the Service pack.
(running UPDATE.EXE can also
be used to
un-install a Service Pack)
But to be to UN-INSTALL later
the Service Pack, you have to
create an UNINSTALL directory
(so that the system can save the files
of the current s/w version)
Files are copied
and you will need to reboot.

I hope, that you did read (and memorize) the above message:

If you change or add any component to your system,
you will need to reapply the Service Pack

that means: install the Service Pack again !

This is a MUST !
(Example: Service Pack 3 was installed on a system without networking,
you install networking and without reapplying the Service pack, your network will
NOT work and you get in the event-Log the message: Not Enough Server Storage )


Need to know, whether (and which level) a Service pack is already installed on your system ?


Start the "Windows NT Diagnostics":

Although it shows "Service Pack 6",
it could also be "Service Pack 6a",
but which is installed ?

To my knowledge, the ONLY
method to identify an installed
SP6 or SP6a is the "WINVER" program
(run it the START-menu, RUN-window or
from a command-window)

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