The importance of being up to date

One of the best tips my mentor gave me when I started at Microsoft 7 years ago was the following:

My young Padawan! Thou must seek the latest binary for the component you're troubleshooting and check if the problem still occurs with that binary installed.

Obediently ignoring the fact that I was at least 10 years older than him I reflected on this for some time over a warm cup of coffee from Outlook Café.

…as the motes of caffeine coursed through my veins and fired up dormant brain cells the rationale for his words of wisdom became clear to me; sometimes one issue is fixed as a side-effect of fixing another issue even if the actual hotfix you're installing isn't specifically addressing your particular issue.

There are drawbacks to this approach of course and I would not recommend this in general for a production environment, as introducing new versions of a binary can also introduce new problems as the developers tinker around while attempting to attain the elusive IT Nirvana where the binary has reached absolute perfection.

In general though; always check the build number of the diagnostic binaries you're working with and investigate if a more recent update is available.

For example:

· GPRESULT (early versions of gpresult.exe have been observed to potentially cause high CPU load on DC's that are servicing customers with a large number of sites).

· ADPREP (early versions of Adprep did not include the /nosyntaxcheck option for example).

· SETSPN (the W2k8 versions have some useful options for detecting duplicate SPN’s)

· REPADMIN (tons of new options have been added in the later builds of this binary)

Another thing to look out for is packets that include their own versions of binaries, for example the MPSReports tools which come with their own versions of GPRESULT and REPADMIN for example.

If you have an older version of MPSReports it will have an older version of GPResult (5.2.3790.0) which may cause 100% CPU load in LSASS on DC’s and consequently problems for Exchange while it is being run for example.

Domain controller becomes unresponsive when you run GPResult.exe from a Windows XP Service Pack 1-based client computer

Newer versions of MPSReports: