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Patch bug brings down Enterprise servers

Some Netscape customers face system outages due to a buggy "Enterprise" server patch, which was inadvertently left in beta mode.

Some Netscape customers faced system outages today due to a buggy "Enterprise" server patch.

As it turns out, the fix, Enterprise 3.0F Patch, was inadvertently left in beta mode, which contained a timer that caused it to expire today.

So anyone who had downloaded the patch found that their servers stopped. John Dawes, group product manager for Netscape, said he doesn't know how many were affected, because it was a free download available for anyone.

Only the domestic version of the Windows NT patch, available since November, was affected.

"It appears to be a fairly limited number of customers who are using the patch," Dawes said. "We're getting calls from customers, but not an onslaught."

However, one customer said he estimated the bug affected "thousands of Web sites."

Dawes said he expected a patch update on Friday. Meanwhile, customers can get their servers up and running by simply uninstalling the patch.

The patch in question "fixes a problem in HTTP/1.1," according to Netscape.