Why is Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Best Practices Analyzer reporting that I have an outdated system driver?

Posted on 2008-10-10
Last Modified: 2011-10-03
The report shows the following.

Outdated system driver [C:\WINDOWS\system32\ntkrnlpa.exe] of System [CRM1] that can cause paging detected. File version is [5.2.3790.4035]

The version of the file is 5.2.3790.4035 and I believe that this is the latest version. Is there a later versiobn of this file that I'm unaware of.
Question by:MDAVIS-BATER
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LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Mark Wills
ID: 22693570
Depends on the version of the op system...

4035 was realeased in March 2007 as a security update. There has been more recent versions...

for example, there is a hot fix version ; Ntkrnlpa.exe 5.2.3790.4301  27-May-2008  and because it is not "formally" released (ie it is a hotfix), then there is a more recent version, but just not part of the public / service pack down loads yet...

see :

Author Comment

ID: 22701008
So  your saying that the  Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Best Practices Analyzer is aware of this hotfix although it has not been publically made available yet?
LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Mark Wills
ID: 22701125
Sounds a bit like it...  Hotfixes are available to the public if there is a requirement for it, it is a "pull" release though (ie you have to ask). But, what I am saying is, it is checking each version that is available (regardless), I do not think it is cleaver enough to determine / ascertain if it is public domain or not, or, if you may need it or not. And that was just the one instance I found, there may have been in-between releases.

I guess the bottom line is the analyzer was correct. It does seem that there is a more recent version available... It is supposed to alert you to these incidents, and allow you the opportunity to uprade - but only if appropriate, it cannot decide that for you, just bring it to your attention. Would be good if it gave you the direct link, but then, would be bypassing the whole Hotfix > Cumulative Update > Service Pack philosphy of MS releases.

The tool was updated Jan / Feb 2008 (version  9.00.1007.00) and did have a few improvements, including (I thought) reasons for the "rules" and better documentation - one of the "big" improvements was explanations for the rules and the addition of about 60 new rules...

It has been updated again in August (mainly for SQL2008), and is available from : 

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LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Mark Wills
ID: 22701145
Found these couple of postings from the team weblog - describes what we are discussing... from the program manager himself...

Paul A. Mestemaker II
Program Manager
SQLCAT - Best Practices

the full article is :
scott_a said:  
So I have 1 critical issue but in order to resolve it, apply some hotfixes, I have to log a support request with Microsoft.
Surely if it is a recommended best practice I should be able to download the hotfixes without opening a support request with Microsoft. The how to resolve it link points to the following KB's  937745, 933564, 927396 or says I should simply apply cumulative update 3 which also isn't available for download.
This is the text for the critical issue:
"On versions of SQL Server before 9.0.3171.0, a known issue can degrade query performance on 32-bit and 64-bit systems with 2 gigabytes (GB) or more of memory..."
# January 22, 2008 5:28 PM 
Paul Mestemaker said:  
Hey Scott,
Thanks for your feedback.  SQL BPA is a tool meant to identify *potential* causes of problems as determined by Microsoft.  We think it's pretty good, but cannot perfectly detect 100% of issues.  If we could detect when something is definitely wrong, we'd just build that logic into SQL Server itself.
In this specific instance, it is a very broad recommendation (every 64-bit server below 9.0.3171.0 with 2+GB of memory)... the fix is to get a CU that you can request from the web.  Cumulative Updates are, well, cumulative :).... so you can request CU#5 from the web... or if you don't want to pick up the other fixes, you can probably call CSS and request access to CU#3.
CU#5 Knowledge Base:
CU#5 Download:
There are risks associated with changing your environment without proper levels of testing.  So please keep that in mind.
Paul A. Mestemaker II
Program Manager
SQLCAT - Best Practices
# January 22, 2008 6:23 PM 

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Author Comment

ID: 22701193
Hi Mark,

I have the August 2008 version installed ( I don't know if I am getting the memory issue at this stage, I might know if I apply SP2 on SQL2005.
LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Mark Wills
ID: 22701529
Sorry, did not explain why I included that.

That was an example of the BPA suggesting a newer version which was a hotfix or a Cumulative Upgrade. Was not suggesting that it was the same reason, just another example of BPA finding a "later version", and the Program Managers rationale saying that it will do that ie suggest a new version which is a hotfix (which is what happened to you albeit a different hotfix) or a CU where you need to request it from MS.

Does that make sense ?

Author Comment

ID: 22701543
Yes that does make sense. I think I will wait for SP2 to be installed then I will re-look at this issue. SP2 logs errors in the event log. If I start getting the issues then I will request the hotfix.
LVL 51

Accepted Solution

Mark Wills earned 500 total points
ID: 22701581
Definitely update to SP2 if not already done so. Mind you there are a few new hotfixes that BPA might still report on. And really, would not worry too much if it does, just use it as a guide and decide if the reasons for the hotfix is something that concerns you "now" versus waiting for the next SP release.

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