Microsoft KB Archive/255924

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WMI Does Not Return SMBIOS Data in Windows NT 4.0


The information in this article applies to:

  • Windows Management Instrumentation, version 1.5


On a System Management BIOS (SMBIOS) 2.1 or later computer with Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4 (SP4) or later and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) 1.5 installed, the Win32_Bios properties (that is, Win32_Bios.BiosCharacteristics) are empty.


During the Windows NT 4.0 boot process, the Smbios.sys device driver creates a data file named Smbios.dat. This data file contains a copy of the system board's SMBIOS information. The device driver should create the data file in the %SystemRoot%\System folder, but instead creates it in the %SystemRoot%\System32\Drivers folder. Because the data file is created in the wrong folder, the WMI Win32 provider cannot obtain the Win32_Bios properties.


A supported fix is now available from Microsoft, but it is only intended to correct the problem described in this article and should be applied only to systems experiencing this specific problem.

To resolve this problem, contact Microsoft Product Support Services to obtain the fix. For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services phone numbers and information on support costs, please go to the following address on the World Wide Web:

NOTE: In special cases, charges that are normally incurred for support calls may be canceled, if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem. Normal support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.

The English version of this fix should have the following file attributes or later:

   Version        Size    File name    Platform
   1.50.1085.18   3,720   Smbios.sys   Intel 


To work around this problem, manually copy the Smbios.dat file from the %SystemRoot%\System32\Drivers folder to the %SystemRoot%\System folder.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows Management Instrumentation version 1.5.


This issue does not affect Microsoft Windows 2000.

If the computer does not support SMBIOS 2.1 or later, the size of the Smbios.dat data file is four bytes. In this case, the WMI Win32 provider cannot obtain the Win32_Bios properties.

SMBIOS upgrades may be available from the computer manufacturer.

Additional query words:

Keywords : kbGrpDSPlatform kbWMI150bug
Issue type : kbbug
Technology : kbWMISearch kbAudDeveloper kbWMI150

Last Reviewed: February 24, 2001
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