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With the federally mandated changes to Daylight Saving Time fast approaching, many companies are scrambling to get all of their systems patched. Only the absolute newest of Microsoft products (Exchange 2007, Windows Vista, and Windows Mobile 6) have these changes built in. Many workstations, servers, and handheld devices need to be updated to reflect this change. In this article we will look at several of the major patches available and how to find them and get them onto your servers.
One of the fist patches that should be applied is the Microsoft patches for Windows XP, and for Windows Server 2003. The patch for Windows XP can be downloaded here (the version for 64bit XP is here), and the Windows Server 2003 patch can be downloaded here (the version for X64bit server is here and the version for Itanium 2003 systems is here).
These are standard Microsoft patches that can fully fit in with your standard patching methodology. It can be deployed via WSUS, or many other patch distribution packages. It can also be installed by an administrator without the need for a reboot, which is very useful in shops where patches are applied manually. You will want to check to make sure this patch (KB931836) is set for distribution, as it is not listed as a critical update. If you only typically push or install critical updates then you may need to manually add this patch to your systems. It should also be noted that the patch for Windows XP requires XP SP2 to be installed, if you have not already done so.
If you are still running Windows 2000 you will have to do a bit more work for the time change. Microsoft has released KB article 914387 which outlines the process you must go to for the change. There are two methods by which you can change the time zone for Windows 2000 (Professional and Server). The first is to download the TZEdit tool from Microsoft. Once installed, you can run this tool (it installs by default to c:\Program Files\TZEdit\) to manually create and change your time zones. This method will require you to manually change every computer. While this is not a major task if you only have a few Windows 2000, it can be quite daunting if you have a large number of systems to update.
The second method provided by Microsoft for updating Windows 2000 is a combination of a registry edit and a VBS script. These are both available here, though you must copy the text for each of them and save them locally with the proper file extensions (.reg and .vbs respectively). You must then import the registry settings change (by double clicking the .reg file you created), then run the vbs script to perform the update. This process can easily be automated.
Microsoft provides steps to automate the process through group policy (by making a simple command file), but it can also be done using a batch file or another VB script. The only requirement again is that administrator privileges are used to run the files or the script created. This can be mitigated by using group policy to assign it as a startup or shutdown script for a computer not a user.
There is also a separate patch for Microsoft Exchange 2003 that can be downloaded here. This patch requires Exchange SP1 to be installed. Like the standard Windows patch the installation of this patch does not require a reboot of your system, but it does require your Exchange Information Store to be restarted.
If servers in your Exchange environment are clustered, you will need to follow the steps for a standard cluster installation. These steps involve moving all of your cluster resources off of one node at a time, then stopping the cluster service on that node before applying the patch. This patch may cause the Send As issue described in this article, if you have not applied any of the other patches that add this behavior to Exchange. If you are unsure whether you have previously applied patches that cause the Send As issue, you can check the version of your store.exe file in Exchange. If you version is lower than 7650.23, then you will be affected.
If you are running Exchange 2000 or Exchange 5.5 there are currently no patches available. Microsoft asks that you contact your Microsoft account manager, or a technical account manager for assistance with these products.
One last thing you will need to do in your Exchange environment is the running of the Outlook Time Zone Data Update Tool available here. This will update the appointments scheduled during the new DST period. This tool does not require administrator privileges to run, just a defined MAPI (Outlook) profile to that users mailbox.
Because it will be very difficult to verify that all of your users run this, Microsoft has released the Exchange Calendar Update Tool. Technically this tool is simply a wrapper for the Outlook Tool that allows you to run it against all your users or a group of users in one batch. This tool contains a command line executable named MSEXTMZ.exe that is used to run the updates. There is also included MSEXTMZCFG.exe which is a GUI tool to provide the configuration necessary to run MSEXTMZ. This tool does require a good deal of configuration to run, and goes well beyond the scope of this article.
Your portable Windows devices will also require updates. If you are using Windows Mobile 5, Windows Mobile 2003, or Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition you will need to apply the update available here. If you synchronize your device with a PC, you simply install the update on your PC when your device is connected. You will then need to manually change your setting under Clock & Alarms | Time to reflect the new time zone.
These steps are slightly different for smart phones versus Pocket PC's. You will want to check the article from Microsoft to verify the steps for changing the time zone if you are unsure. If you are using an older Windows CD device, you will need to manually change the time. This is done under Date | Time Properties. While there you will also need to uncheck the option to automatically update for Daylight Saving Time. Unfortunately, you will need to make this change twice a year when DST rolls around.
Many other vendors have patches available too. You can the patch for most Blackberry devices here. Palm has promised for their Treo devices by the end of February. You can also find a list of several patches here. If you have a product that you cannot find, be sure to contact your vendor to ask about their update strategy. While not receiving the hype of Y2K this is still a significant change that you need to have worked out before the change rolls around.