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Microsoft KB Archive/170817

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Knowledge Base

Article ID: 170817

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q170817


If, when Windows NT starts, an American Power Conversions (APC) Smart UPS is installed, its battery may be discharged or the UPS function may be shut down if the UPS has been placed in Smart Signaling Mode.


During the boot sequence, Windows NT sends configuration and detection code to the COM port to determine baud rate and FIFO information, and for mouse detection. The string sent to the port may contain the letter D, which the Smart UPS interprets as a command for Calibration Mode.

The Smart UPS interprets the string incorrectly only if it has already been placed in Smart Mode prior to starting Windows NT. The user must have already placed the UPS in Smart Mode using the software supplied by American Power Conversions; otherwise, the Smart UPS will be unaffected by the signal Windows NT sends to the COM ports.


To work around this problem, perform either of the following:

  • The adding of the /noserialmice:COMx switch, where x equals the comport number, stops the detection process of a mouse on that port. Also, the latest version of the APC PowerChute Software adds the switch automatically to the Boot.ini file.

    During the installation of a new copy of Windows NT or an upgrade using a compact disc on a local CD-ROM drive and the three boot disks, the only option, when using current retail media, is to disconnect the cable from the system. After Windows NT is installed, reconnect the cable and add the NOSERIALMICE:COMx switch to both lines of the Boot.ini.

          multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Windows NT"
          multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Windows NT
          [VGA mode]" /basevideo /sos /NOSERIALMICE:COM1


  • To install the fixed version of on a currently installed version, remove the attributes from on the root system partition. Copy the new version of over and reset the attributes. The default attributes of are read-only, archive, and hidden.


To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows NT 4.0 or Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

152734 How to Obtain the Latest Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack

If installations or upgrades are done across the network for a version of Windows NT shared on a hard drive, copy the replacement over the original.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Windows NT 4.0 and Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition. This problem was first corrected in Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4.0 and Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition Service Pack 4.

Keywords: kb3rdparty kbbug kbfix kbsetup KB170817