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When Is RTM Not RTM?
Friday 11th April, 2008 15:04 Comments: 0
When it's RTMa. Yes, that's right. Microsoft originally released the RTM version of SQL Server 2000 as v8.00.194. RTMa is v8.00.311, but it tells you (including in Enterprise Manager) that it's RTM and 194. In fact, it's only certain tools (e.g. Nmap, SQLPing, SQLScan) that will tell you the true version number. The latter tool still reports RTM even when it correctly detects the version number 311.

Why is this important? Well RTMa appears to be the RTM code with patches for the two big exploits (although this doesn't appear to be documented in many places). This can be confusing if you think you've installed RTM and well known public exploits (e.g. Metasploit Framework, THCsql) don't work. Thankfully there is a workaround. You can install SP2 on top of RTMa and re-introduce the vulnerabilities! On the downside, Microsoft no longer distribute older service packs, so you'll need to use Google to find SQL2KSP2.exe (for example). I tried SQL2KSP1, but it seemed to be missing files and couldn't locate things, so installing SP2 seemed like the easier option.
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