Wednesday, 29 December 2010

CaseWare and SMB2 Update – Install A Hotfix

A while back we indicated that we had started to disable the SMB2 protocol at accounting firm sites due to file corruption issues.

CaseWare’s KB on the subject has been updated:

From the updated KB Update on file corruption when using Windows Vista/Window 7 or Windows Server 2008/Windows Server 2008 R2 with SMB2:

We recommend that clients working in this environment install the hotfix (documented here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2028965), to limit their exposure to file corruption.

If you require assistance implementing the hotfix, please contact our support department for assistance.

Windows 7

Microsoft has acknowledged that data corruption can occur when multiple users perform read and write operations to a shared file in the SMB2 environment. Microsoft has issued a hotfix (mentioned above) which we have tested on Windows 7 workstations and confirmed that the potential for corruption no longer occurs. As long as the hotfix has been applied to all Windows 7 workstations running Working Papers, and there are no Vista workstations accessing Working Papers engagements, SMB2 can be enabled.

Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008/Windows Server 2008 R2-based Terminal/Citrix Servers running CaseWare® Working Papers

The hotfix outlined above has reduced the potential for file corruption for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008/Windows Server 2008 R2-based Terminal/Citrix servers running CaseWare Working Papers environments. However, we have still noticed crashes of our application even with the hotfix applied.

Microsoft has acknowledged that SMB2 may cause problems with applications that require our level of performance/access to data files and have recently provided a number of possible recommendations. We are in the process of testing these recommendations to confirm whether they address the Working Papers corruption issues in these additional environments.

We expect to provide an update for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008/Windows Server 2008 R2-based Terminal/Citrix Servers running CaseWare Working Papers environments in early January. Until that time, we still recommend disabling SMB2 for these environments to avoid any potential data corruption.

Note the exception for the server OSs as well as Windows Vista.

This looks to be a client based hotfix at this time, so we will start updating the problematic Windows 7 machines and wait to see what CaseWare has to say in January.

Here is a direct link to the Request Page:

A link has been placed in our Hotfix Quick Links in the left hand column of the blog for later access.

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

To quote from your earlier blog post:
"Those that put Microsoft on the hook may need to take a step back as the software vendors may be the ones on the hook for this."

Now that MS has admitted to YET ANOTHER major SMB2 bug, where's the apology to CaseWare and other innocent software vendors.

They are victims of MS's bad testing and then to make it worse, IT "experts" like yourself make idiotic accusations.

"We think that we are seeing legacy components failing to work with the new structures to be found in SMBv2". Really? That sentence doesn't even make sense. The move from SMB1 to SMB2 should have been INVISIBLE to application programs using the Win32 API. If SMB2 doesn't behave the same way as SMB1, IT IS A BUG in SMB2. Plain and simple.

Can you produce any MS documentation that states application developers such as CaseWare should do ANYTHING different if their program is running on SMB2 vs SMB1? I don't think so.

Just apologize to CaseWare on your blog. It's the right thing to do.

Philip Elder SBS MVP said...

A.,

I am not an "expert", Expert, or anything else beyond someone that publishes their day to day experiences, along with contributions from others, on this blog.

From the "About Me" on the blog:

"Blog posts represent my opinion right or wrong, and should be taken as such."

I make no claims to being infallible.

As to the CaseWare situation with SMBv2, we have had a number of other product related issues. So, colour my glasses red, but it sure makes things difficult to _not_ pin the problems on the product itself.

Now, as to an apology, yes, you may be right about the need for one, however, before that happens how about I throw the ball back your way.

The KB 2028965 hotfix mentions that it is for users that work on the same file together.

All of our issues have been with either roll-forwards or when the user is populating a new CaseWare file with the client's info. CaseWare would just stop working. At no point was more than one user working on that file for any reason when the crashes happen in CaseWare.

If the problem was purely SBM2, then CaseWare would stop functioning on _all_ files located on that network server. This does not happen.

So, it is not so easy to wash responsibility for the problem away from the vendor.

Philip

Anonymous said...

For anyone who is interested: while MS has released the hotfixes and while one is included in win2K8SvrR2 Service Pack 1, both hotfixes will not install on SBS 2011 even though the platform is based on win2K8SvrR2. the error message indicates "the update is not applicable to your computer"