Windows Server 2003 SP2 breaks SFU

We have already seen too many people reporting this - Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 installation breaks two functionalities in Services for UNIX 3.5 installations - Interix subsystem and Password Synchronization.

The root cause lies with SP2 unintentionally replacing the SFU 3.5 Interix binaries and Password Synchronization binaries with corresponding R2 binaries. The specific files that get replaced after installing SP2 are psxss.exe, psxdll.dll and pswdsync.dll. First two are part of the SFU 3.5 Interix subsystem and the last belongs to SFU 3.5 Password Synchronization component.

Microsoft is aware of this problem is working on a patch to address this issue.

Until the patch is ready, the only way out is to manually put the right binaries back in place. To do that, you can either copy the above mentioned files from some other working box that has SFU 3.5 installed or get the right drivers from Microsoft support.

While you ask Microsoft PSS for the right drivers, I would recommend asking for the binaries that were included with the Services for UNIX Security and Reliability rollup package 913030 since it contains the necessary SFU 3.5 binaries for Interix subsystem and Password Synchronization components.

After you've obtained the above hot fix 913030, follow the steps below -

  1. Download and extract the hot fix on your system.
  2. Among other files, you will get SFU35-KB913030-X86-ENU.EXE which you need to install.
  3. Double-click on this file and complete the installation. At the end, the installation will prompt you to reboot the server and this prompt features just the OK button. DO NOT click on it yet.
  4. Open a Command Prompt window, change to the folder where you have the SFU35-KB913030-X86-ENU.EXE file and run this -

    SFU35-KB913030-X86-ENU.exe /x
    This command extracts the files from the hot fix instead of kicking the hot fix installation.
  5. That'll again ask you a folder location where the files from this hot fix should be extracted. Type a path and click on OK.
  6. After extraction is complete, open this new path in Windows Explorer. Open the sfu35eng folder and here you can see all the files this hot fix updates.
  7. Depending upon which component is broken on your system, copy the psxss.exe, psxdll.dll and/or pswdsync.dll files after verifying the version number (it should be 8.0.1969.38) to your %systemroot%\system32 folder.

    Manual update of these drivers is needed since the wrongly replaced drivers have a version number corresponding to Windows Server 2003 R2 which is higher than that of the SFU 3.5 driver versions.
  8. Come back to the hot fix window which is still waiting for you to click on the OK button. Click on OK and let your system reboot.
  9. All should be fine now. If not, you probably need Microsoft PSS to help you with this.

There is likely to be a fix very soon. I would update this post whenever that happens.