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When viewing a Microsoft hotfix, the following wording is tripping me up.

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table.

Does this mean that for the appropriate operating system, ANY LATER version of the file in question will contain the fix?

In this specific case (this question was germinated by the Windows 2003 CTCP hotfix) the following version of tcpip.sys includes hotfix KB949316.

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2, x86-based versions
File name  File version   File size   Date         Time   Platform
Tcpip.sys  5.2.3790.4241  390,144     21-Feb-2008  10:42  x86

The version of tcpip.sys on this particular server is 5.2.3790.4573. Does this mean that my version of the file specifically contains the functionality implemented by this hotfix?

(since we're talking about a specific hotfix, I also note that this particular one includes a registry entry. Is the best way to implement this hotfix to just install the hotfix package or manually add the registry key?)

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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I don't know if this answers your specific question...but I liked the question enough to research it out and found this:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ntdebugging/archive/2008/10/21/windows-hotfixes-and-updates-how-do-they-work.aspx

Specifically (in case the link goes dead):

Installing a Hotfix

By default, all components on Windows systems start on the GDR branch following each major release. When you install updates from Windows Update for a GDR component, it gets upgraded with the GDR version.

When you install a specific Hotfix, the files and components in the Hotfix package are migrated to the LDR branch. At this point, that particular component is marked as a LDR component. If you install a newer Update over this component, the Windows servicing technology will automatically install the appropriate latest version from the LDR branch for you. This is possible because each Update package ships with both the GDR and LDR versions of the component.

Once a component is marked as a LDR component, the only way to move back to the GDR branch is to uninstall all Hotfixes for that component, or move to the next available service pack.

What would happen if a user installed a Hotfix, and then sometime later installed the next service pack? Well, in that case it depends on the Hotfix and when it was built.

  1. If the Hotfix was built before the service pack, then the component will be moved to the GDR version contained in the service pack.

  2. If the Hotfix was built after the service pack, the component will be migrated to the post-service pack version of the component, and will stay on the same branch that it was originally on.

In order to make this work, these packages contain both the RTM GDR version, the RTM Hotfix branch, and the SP1 Hotfix and GDR version of each binary.

All fixes built for Windows are cumulative in nature by branch, i.e. a new update will contain the new fix, as well as all the previous fixes for that branch. Referencing the chart above, installing fix #4 can get you fixes #2 and #4 on the GDR branch. If the component is on the LDR branch, then the user would get fixes #1-4.

Finally, the servicing technology has to handle the case where you need the functionality of an older Hotfix (e.g. “Fix #1” in the diagram above) but you may already have installed “Fix #4” which might be a critical security update. What happens is that when the GDR branch of a fix is installed, it also places a copy of the Hotfix version of the same fix on the system. When you run the installer for Hotfix #1, it detects that a newer version of the file is already installed, but it also detects that it needs to migrate it to the Hotfix version of the binary that was previously stored on the system. The result is that you end up with the Hotfix binary for Fix #4, which has both the Hotfix you need plus the cumulative set of security fixes.

Hope that helps you.

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… and when you get the LDR version of a component via an update pack, you also get all the other hotfixes for that component as well? Or do, like this one, need to be activated? –  MikeyB Mar 27 '12 at 19:08
    
Hard to say with certainty. "Most" hotfixes get included in updates and service packs. For instance there are lists/xls files that list out the hotfixes included in Windows 7 sp1 for instance. I know your question is: "should I install this hotfix or do I already have it", but I'm not sure. I can't really tell without more research if a particular file version contains ALL hotfixes/patches prior to that file version. –  TheCleaner Mar 27 '12 at 19:47
    
The final word is: No, earlier hotfixes are not necessarily included. And even if they are, the registry keys to activate them may not be present (such as the case of the CTCP hotfix). –  MikeyB May 2 '12 at 20:19
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Yes your version is greater then the qfe version which means you are patched and the regkey only applies to xp.

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Actually that registry key is created on Windows Server as well, it's not specific to Windows XP. –  MikeyB Mar 27 '12 at 18:53
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