September 1999

The Hunt For Windows 2000 Gold Bugs

ALTHOUGH WINDOWS 2000 is still a few months away, the hunt is already on for Windows 2000 gold bugs -- that is, bugs that Microsoft has decided to live with rather than fix before the long-awaited release of its self-proclaimed flagship OS.

If past Windows experience is any indication, many Windows 2000 (W2K) gold bugs should be showing up right now in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (MSKB). With prior versions of Windows, problems that were added to the MSKB late in the beta period tended to appear in the final product as well.

And now, less than three months from W2K's purported release date, W2K items have started popping up in the MSKB like mushrooms after the rain in Redmond -- in fact, Microsoft just added Windows 2000 to the drop down list of products for which you can search.

We recently went gold bug hunting in connection with our forthcoming book, Windows 2000 Secrets (IDG Books), and here's what we found.


Although W2K makes huge strides toward overcoming Windows NT's chronic problem with poor hardware and peripheral support, it's easy to see traces of the old NT in the late beta additions to the MSKB for W2K.

MSKB Q Number Synopsis of Compatibility Problem
Q240371 Dell Inspiron Screen Turns Black During Windows 2000 Setup

The display on your Dell Inspiron laptop may turn black when installing Windows 2000. Although Setup may seem to progress, you are unable to see anything on the screen.

Q226031 NEC Card Wizard Does Not Work After Windows 2000 Upgrade

If you upgrade from Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 to Windows 2000, the NEC Card Wizard program may no longer function.

Q226380 Epson Print Utilities Removed During Windows 2000 Upgrade

If you upgrade to Windows 2000 on a computer that has Windows 95 installed and an Epson Stylus Color 800 printer, the Epson print utility programs will no longer be available.

Q227967 Cannot Use Internal Touchpad When You Connect an IntelliMouse

With Windows 2000, if you connect a Microsoft IntelliMouse to a laptop that uses an internal touchpad, the touchpad may be disabled.

Q211241 Problems with SoundBlaster Live and Windows 2000

If you restart your computer after loading and selecting the "8MB midi bank" in the AudioHQ SoundFont program included with the Creative Labs SoundBlaster Live sound card, you may get the blue screen of death.

Q227425 CD-ROM Changer Mapped as Single Drive Letter in Windows 2000

Upon installing or upgrading to Windows 2000, you may find there is only a single drive letter for your ATAPI CD-ROM changer.

Q227452 PS/2 Mouse May Not Work on Laptop Docking Station

If you install Windows 2000 on a laptop computer that is set up to use a docking station with a PS/2-style mouse, the mouse may not function properly.

Q236216 Hewlett-Packard 2000 Err Msg: Homepub.exe Caused a GPF in Module Hpfdjc07.drv

If you try printing an envelope with Hewlett-Packard Home Publishing 2000, you may receive the following error message: "Homepub.exe caused a General Protection Fault in module Hpfdjc07.drv."

Q202581 IntelliPoint Mouse Software Reports Errors in Windows 2000

When you start the Microsoft IntelliPoint software, the Mouse Properties dialog box may open with some options disabled.

Q239600 Hewlett-Packard LaserJet 2100 Config Utility Is Not Supported

Using the configuration tools included with the Hewlett-Packard LaserJet 2100 computer is not supported under Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000.

Q239722 Error Message: Setup Cannot Load the Keyboard Layout File Kbdus.dll

You may get an error like "Setup cannot load the keyboard layout file Kbdus.dll." when you try to boot your computer from the Windows 2000 installation CD-ROM.

Games & Entertainment

Another historic area of weakness for Windows NT, games still prove pesky for W2K. It has been estimated that nearly three quarters of all existing DOS and Windows games will not run on W2K.

Here are some "late breaking" game and entertainment issues...

MSKB Q Number Synopsis of Compatibility Problem
Q206675 Need for Speed III Not Compatible with Microsoft Windows 2000

If you upgrade Microsoft Windows 95 or Microsoft Windows 98 to Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, the Electronic Arts Need For Speed III game will not run properly.

Q227367 S3 Virge Video Problems in Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2

Playing Jedi Knight: Dark Forces 2 by Lucas Arts Entertainment on a computer running Windows 2000 may produce a bunch of display problems, including bad colors, visible raster lines and flickering.

Q227652 Cannot Install You Don't Know Jack Sports in Windows 2000

If you try to install the You Don't Know Jack Sports software in Windows 2000, you will find you can not.

Q237267 Encarta 2000: Cannot Start Program After You Upgrade to Windows 2000

After upgrading to Microsoft Windows 2000, you may not be able to start Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2000, Microsoft Encarta Reference Suite 2000 or Microsoft Encarta Research Organizer.

Q240378 Computer May Hang During ActiveMovie Installation

Your computer may freeze while installing Microsoft ActiveMovie if a non-administrator installs or runs ActiveMovie for the first time after the installation.

Competitors' Products

Yes, Martha, Microsoft is apparently willing to live with some problems in W2K which hose competitors' products, to wit...

MSKB Q Number Synopsis of Compatibility Problem
Q219301 Unable to Detect Folder Limit on Novell NetWare-Based Server

When using Microsoft's NetWare Client for Windows NT version 4.10 or version 4.11a, Windows Explorer may not report the correct folder size on a NetWare server unless it is "map rooted" to the restricted folder, meaning programs may be unable to save files.

Q226042 Error Messages with Netscape Communicator 4.04 After Windows 2000 Upgrade

After you upgrade a computer running Microsoft Windows NT 3.51 with Netscape Communicator version 4.04 installed to Windows 2000, you may get the error: NETSCAPE caused an access violation in OLETHK32.DLL

Q227467 Access Violations Opening Multiple Documents in Corel Quattro Pro 7

If you open multiple documents in Corel Quattro Pro 7.0, your computer may freeze.

Q228086 America Online 4.0 Cannot Establish Modem Connection in Windows 2000

If you upgrade from Microsoft Windows 95 or Microsoft Windows 98 to Windows 2000, America Online (AOL) 4.0 may not be able to establish a modem connection.

Will these bugs make it into the final "gold" version of W2K?

We hope not, but if any of them affect you, you should definitely make SURE they were fixed before you upgrade to Windows 2000.

In fact, if you bookmark this page, you can easily come back later and call up the MSKB articles in question to see if the fix is in.

-- Bruce Brown

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