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Microsoft fixes Windows 2000 update

The software maker misses Patch Tuesday but re-releases an update pack for Windows 2000 to fix several bugs.

Microsoft, which missed putting out its regular "Patch Tuesday" security package today, has re-released an update pack for Windows 2000 to fix several bugs.

The revamp to Rollup 1 Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 is a "high-priority" update rather than a security update, Microsoft said Tuesday, when it issued the pack. In its advance notification for Patch Tuesday, the software maker said it would deliver a nonsecurity update but did not provide any further details.

In that notification, Microsoft said it planned to release one security bulletin for September to address an unspecified number of flaws in Windows. The bulletin was deemed "critical," meaning that as a result of the flaws, users would be at risk of a malicious Internet worm attack that could spread without any user action. The company pulled the update Friday, saying more testing was needed.

The fixed Windows 2000 pack was expected. Last month, Microsoft said it would re-release the bundle because a number of people had reported problems with it. The first version of the update pack, the last major overhaul of the five-year-old Windows 2000 operating system, was released in June.

The "v2," or second version, of the pack tackles four problems encountered by Windows 2000 users after they installed the original bundle. There are additional glitches, but those will be resolved in individual fixes, Microsoft said in a posting to its Web site.

The issues addressed in the new update are a problem reaching the Windows Update Web site; a bug in restarting Windows 2000; an issue in systems with two dynamic disk drives; and a problem with saving Microsoft Office files to floppy-disk drives, Microsoft said.

People will have to apply individual patches if they encounter compatibility problems with products from Citrix Systems, Sophos and Internet Security Systems, Microsoft said.

Though Windows 2000 has been followed by several other versions of the operating system, it remains extremely popular among corporations and small businesses. It still accounts for nearly half of all Windows-based business desktops, according to a survey report released by AssetMetrix earlier this year.

The Windows security alert Microsoft originally planned for Tuesday is now likely to be released next month because the vendor typically sticks to its monthly cycle. However, the alert and fixes might be released sooner, if Microsoft deems it necessary to protect Windows users against attacks.