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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Bogus Windows File Protection errors?

    Fresh install of Win2K about 3 weeks ago. We installed service packs and
    hotfixes. After installing SQL Server 7.0, I noticed a few "Windows file
    protection" errors, but told it not to replace the files until I could
    investigate. Now, we are periodically getting a huge number of these errors
    (hundreds at a time), and they really look bogus.

    Sample messages:

    "The protected system file odbcjt32.dll could not be restored to its
    original, valid version. The file version of the bad file is 4.0.6019.0 The
    specific error code is 0x800b0100 [No signature was present in the
    subject.]."

    "The protected system file winmgmtr.dll was not restored to its original,
    valid version because the Windows File Protection restoration process was
    cancelled by user interaction, user name is administrator. The file version
    of the bad file is 1.50.1085.0."

    The file names it gives seem to be mainly files that are in the Win2K
    service packs. I've even seen it complaining about msimn.exe (Outlook
    Express).

    The online manual says that service packs, etc. are exempted from Windows
    File Protection. (And surely it wouldn't complain about SQL Server
    either...?) So why are we getting all these messages, and how do we get rid
    of them without turning off the REAL file protection?

    I've read several MS tech articles but find no help there, except things telling
    me how to get the ORIGINAL files back from the Win2K CDROM.
    Obviously I don't want to do that.

    Thanks -- Warren

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Bogus Windows File Protection errors?

    Did you try to install <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.microsoft.com/sql/downloads/sp3.asp>Service Pack 3 for SQL Server 7.0</A> ?

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Re: Bogus Windows File Protection errors?

    > Did you try to install Service Pack 3 for SQL Server 7.0 ?

    Sure did. But I'm not sure what you are getting at. What difference would that make? I thought I made it clear that (1) the problem started even before I got as far as that, and (2) the problem also relates to the Win2K service packs (obviously, because it complains about Outlook Express also). Installing a SQL Server service pack wouldn't fix this problem. In fact, since it (presumably) changed more files, it probably caused even more bogus messages.

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Bogus Windows File Protection errors?

    Have any user rights been changed on the server, either before or after the installation of SQL? Were the service packs and SQL installed as a user with admin privileges? How were the service packs for 2000 installed, via slipstream, hard drive installation, or CD?

    My first attempt at fixing it would include running the System File Checker (SFC /SCANNOW). Any system files that have been replaced with service pack versions should be updated as well. It might also not be a bad idea to run a CHKDSK /R to make sure there are no errors on the disk that could be causing the error messages.
    -Mark

  5. #5
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    Re: Bogus Windows File Protection errors?

    > Have any user rights been changed on the server,
    > either before or after the installation of SQL?

    We've added new users, and also certain rights needed to be set after installation. This server was a complete rebuild of an existing one, so we had to match everything. This was sort of an ongoing process, although (if I recall correctly) I suspect the majority of the user setup was completed before installing SQL Server.

    > Were the service packs and SQL installed as a user with admin privileges?

    Definitely.

    > How were the service packs for 2000 installed, via slipstream, hard drive installation, or CD?

    Slipstream? Not familiar with that terminology. We went to the Windows Update page and installed the service pack (and hotfixes, etc.) from there, following the instructions.

    > My first attempt at fixing it would include running the System File Checker (SFC /SCANNOW).

    Already tried that. I alluded to this in my original posting. All it wants to do is restore the ORIGINAL file versions from the CD. But that would be the equivalent of a partial uninstall of the service pack, which would result in version mismatches. No thanks. So at that point I had TWO error message boxes instead of one, both saying it can't copy the files and for me to please insert the original CD. I had to cancel both.

    What I think I need to do is to get it to accept the new versions as correct--but I can't find a way to do this. I'm thinking of turning off the File Protection feature entirely--I've found a couple of articles about how to do it. But it requires rebooting the server, which is now in production 24/7, so I have to pick my time carefully.

    > Any system files that have been replaced with service pack versions should be updated as well.

    ???? Updated? I already have the most up-to-date versions, by virtue of installing the service packs.

    > It might also not be a bad idea to run a CHKDSK /R to make sure there are no
    > errors on the disk that could be causing the error messages.

    We actually did this once, about 2 weeks after building the server. There were some errors that inexplicably occured, apparently when a hard drive failed (the latest in a long line of failures--hence the umpteenth rebuilding of this server) and the RAID-5 controller apparently didn't handle it properly. 3 nonessential database backup files were corrupted, and the CHKDSK /F deleted them.

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    Re: Bogus Windows File Protection errors?

    Hello, Mark, I answered your questions for haven't heard anything back from you. So I thought I'd ask what you were thinking of trying, that depended on my answers.

    One more thing--on re-reading your post, it almost seems like you may be advocating effectively removing and reinstalling Service Pack 2. At least that's one possible interpretation of what you said. Is that what you meant to imply?

  7. #7
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Bogus Windows File Protection errors?

    There was one thing that I mentioned that I think was misinterpreted, regarding the System File Checker and "recent versions." When you install a service pack in 2000/XP, the updated system files should be stored in the DLLCACHE folder, so that when you run the SFC tool, the files that are being reported as "incorrect" will be replaced with the service packed versions.

    The other solution I would try is to boot with the CD and run the repair process from the CD. Let it check everything, it does a great job of repairing problems with the OS files and registry. I don't think that a wholesale removal and reinstallation of Service Pack 2 would solve much, but from my days with NT 4, re-applying it over the top of the existing installation doesn't hurt and can certainly help.
    -Mark

  8. #8
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    Re: Bogus Windows File Protection errors?

    > When you install a service pack in 2000/XP, the updated system files should be
    > stored in the DLLCACHE folder, so that when you run the SFC tool, the files that
    > are being reported as "incorrect" will be replaced with the service packed versions.

    Well, yes, I know they SHOULD be. But how do I GET it to do that? I still don't see in this commentary any instructions on how to fix it. As I said in an earlier message, the SFC tool won't do anything unless I put in the original CD, in which case (correct me if I'm wrong!) it would get the OLD files off it, effectively deinstalling the service pack (or at least most of it).

    > The other solution I would try is to boot with the CD and run the repair process
    > from the CD. Let it check everything, it does a great job of repairing problems
    > with the OS files and registry. I don't think that a wholesale removal and
    > reinstallation of Service Pack 2 would solve much

    I presume by "run the repair process" you mean "run SFC" (correct me if I'm wrong). So what would running SFC from the CD do other than what I already discussed above (delete the service pack files and replace them with old versions)? I guess I must be missing something somewhere, but I sure can't figure out how the net effect of this is much different from removing and reinstalling the service pack, which you say you don't think will solve much.

    Not to mention that if it puts the old file versions in there, I don't know how it would affect other applications (including, but not limited to, SQL Server) installed on the same machine.

    -- Warren

  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Bogus Windows File Protection errors?

    When I stated to run the repair process, I was referring to the one that is available by booting with the Windows 2000 CD. However, I came up with a better solution for you to try, one that will hopefully take care of the file protection errors with an updated/service packed version of your files.

    You'll need enough free space to dump the contents of the CD's i386 folder and also the extracted contents of the full service pack 2 installer. What I am suggesting is that you create a slipstreamed version of Windows 2000 on the hard drive that contains the service pack files as part of the base installation. I use this method to install Win2000, by slipstreaming and then creating a CD with the updated installation. There is an <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.ntcompatible.com/faq232.shtml>excellent explanation of how to create a slipstreamed installation</A> at NTCompatible.com. You don't need to do it in a batch file form as they suggest, but it's great information with or without that step.

    The following blurb was taken from the Microsoft KB article <A target="_blank" HREF=http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q222473>Registry Settings for Windows File Protection (Q222473)</A> and describes how to set the SFC tool to look for a local file source.

    <hr>NOTE : The Windows 2000 source files location information is stored in the following registry location and can be modified to point to the drive letter of a volume that has an I386 flat folder of the installation files
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentV ersionSetupSourcePath:REG_SZ:<drive letter>:

    and

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionSourcePath:REG_SZ:<drive letter>:
    where drive letter is the appropriate drive letter.

    Example:

    If the I386 directory is at C:I386, the SourcePath value would be C:.

    If the I386 directory is at EirectoryI386, the SourcePath value would be Eirectory.

    After you restart the computer, WFP and SFC /SCANNOW uses the new source path instead of prompting for the Windows 2000 installation CD-ROM.<hr>
    -Mark

  10. #10
    New Lounger
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    Re: Bogus Windows File Protection errors?

    OK, this time I can see what you're talking about--and as a side benefit, now I also know what "slipstream" means. The article you referred me to looks good, even with its typos. So thanks, and I'll try it out.

    -- Warren

  11. #11
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    Re: Bogus Windows File Protection errors?

    > I came up with a better solution for you to try, one that will hopefully take care of the
    > file protection errors with an updated/service packed version of your files.
    >
    > What I am suggesting is that you create a slipstreamed version of Windows 2000 on
    > the hard drive that contains the service pack files as part of the base installation.

    OK, I was diverted from this task by other pressing matters, but now I've gotten back to it. I followed the instructions and now have a slipstreamed W2K version with service packs, on my hard disk. I also ran SFC /PURGECACHE and SFC /SCANNOW to try to do a "forced" update of the files.

    The good news is that it no longer prompts me to insert the CD to get a copy of the "good" files. The bad news is that it's giving messages like this:

    The protected system file instips5.dll could not be restored to its original, valid version. The file version of the bad file is 5.0.2195.2940 The specific error code is 0x800b0100 [No signature was present in the subject.].

    The protected system file msvideo.dll could not be restored to its original, valid version. The file version of the bad file is unknown The specific error code is 0x800b0003 [The form specified for the subject is not one supported or known by the specified trust provider.].

    The latter message above occurs only a handful of times, but the former message occurs about 400 times. (At least this is better than the previous situation, where I got close to 1,500 messages whenever I canceled the Windows File Protection message box.)

    So does anyone have a clue why these messages are occurring? I have SP2 now, and am contemplating installing SP3 soon.

    -- Warren

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