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Microsoft Releases List of Windows 2003 SP1's Broken Apps

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 causes problems with 14 high-profile server applications, including Exchange Server 2003, according to a Knowledge Base article published by the software vendor this month.

Most of the problems, including the Exchange issue, are minor or obscure, and patches or workarounds exist for 13 of the 14 affected applications, a Microsoft spokesperson said. Links to the updates and workarounds are available in the KB article (896367).

"Microsoft made a conscious decision to integrate critical security changes into SP1 knowing a few applications would be impacted. Microsoft communicated regularly, in detail, with customers and vendors who would be impacted," a Microsoft spokesperson said. The company strongly urges customers to deploy the service pack to secure their server infrastructures.

Like Windows XP Service Pack 2 on which it is built, Windows Server 2003 SP1 changes default settings to clamp down on security problems. Windows XP SP2 caused many more application problems, according to earlier Microsoft documentation.

According to the KB article, the Windows Application Experience test teams checked 127 applications spanning the most important server application categories. Most of the applications cleared the compatibility tests for primary functionality, functionality on hardware using no-execute technology, remote administration functionality from the server to the client and clustering scenarios for cluster-aware applications.

The problem that arises on Exchange when SP1 is applied occurs in clustered environments. Post-SP1, it is not possible to use Outlook Web Access (OWA) to access a user's mailbox that is located on an Exchange cluster.

In addition to Exchange, Microsoft applications that failed the test with SP1 included Application Center 2000 Service Pack 2, Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2004 Standard Edition, Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) 1.2.1 and Systems Management Server 2003.

Third-party applications that ran into problems included NetIQ AppManager 5.0.1 and 6.0, Computer Associates Brightstor ARCserve Backup 11.0, HP Insight Manager 4.0 and Compaq Insight Manager, NetIQ Group Policy Administrator 2.0, Kerio Server Firewall 1.0, Citrix Metaframe XPe FR3 and Trend Micro ServerProtect.

Editor's note: This story was updated on April 22 to include details of the problem with Exchange and add comment from a Microsoft spokesperson.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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