I have just tried the SP2a for the first time today. A good job, but I would like to make a few comments. Why has the update Q313829 been omitted, the Microsoft update site said that it is a recommended update. The animated logon logoff logos are truly awful only their creator could love them. They should be removed from the service pack.
To my knowledge, 313829 is in there. In any case, for the record, there are a whole lot of issues that need to be addressed in order for 313829 to serve everybody [if possible]
1) The basics are that it updates to a newer version of SHELL32.DLL from NT4 to fix a security hole.
2) It is normal for it to be the first update mentioned within Internet Explorer under IE Help/About. Within this update string it is known as "q313829" as opposed to "Q313829" which is the signature format of all of the other updates to IE/OE [starting with a capital "Q"]. As an accomodation to 98lite when used with the SLEEK [V1] or MICRO shell, the normal installation of the hotfix Q313829 cannot be made, since SHELL32.DLL is actually the one from Win95B. However, the file is in there, just renamed to SHELL32.W98 as part of the overall SLEEK [V1] or MICRO implementation of 98lite at the time [as opposed to the OVERWEIGHT or CHUBBY shell versions which uses the standard SHELL32.DLL file].
In this situation, the Win95 versions of icons are all that are present in SHELL32.DLL and presumably a smaller head count of icon choices. [Some people care about this!]
To my knowledge, the SP 2.1a correctly does update this situation as well. In any case, I personally manually modify the designation to "Q313829" to indicate this subtle alternative should it apply. If no one objects, I would ask that this sublety become part of the SP. [Or it become an installation option; arguably others may want the capital Q just for consistency with the other updates!] [Note: There are restrictions on the use of the Win95 shell; it clearly isn't a free ride. However, while having many restrictions, it also offers many benefits that could be of use to many users. Curiously, it may also be of transient use to cause a cleaner/better installation of IE 6.0 or 6.0 SP1 and then abandoned in favor of the standard version.]
3) The update makes SHELL32.DLL change only in terms of updated files.
4) The updated SHELL32.DLL as provided is slightly incompatible with some known packages that use I believe "transparent" icons. A small patch restores this compatibility. [Contact the appropriate authors or MGDX.]
5) SHELL32.DLL is the home of some system icons and some possible alternative ones. Apparently portions of the O/S know of these icons by their relative position within SHELL32.DLL [presumably unchanged by the Q313829 update in this regard]. The reason we know this is that if you patch the icon pixels, your updated icons are used. Thus, nothing is checking or anything of the sort; just using an area designated for a particular function.
There is an SP option to use the more "modern" icons associated with WinME/Win2K/XP. By some means I'm not sure even matters with respect to 313829, the associated text verbiage can be made to match such as "My Network Places" instead of "Network Neighborhood". Regardless, these changes are part of the option as well. The net result is a SHELL32.DLL consistent with Q313829 but icon-wise patched for ME cosmetics.
There is a consideration with regard to the icon patch I don't think has been addressed, albeit a minor one.
In theory, any icon-bearing file can be used for any system icon pretty much. However, there is a nuance to the situation: Unless the Recycle Bin icon is within the designated file [and perhaps more specifically is the one in the designated position, I am not sure of this aspect!], then a display anomaly occurs where the displayed main Recycled Bin is updated, but when you open a drive window to display a drive-specific "local" Recycle Bin, the icons used there are the original ones, not the updated ones.
Thus, the designation of the "standard" icons in terms of being within SHELL32.DLL and perhaps being in the standard positions [recycle bin empty and recycle bin non-empty] is important to maintain.
The minor problem is that within SHELL32.DLL is about 1.5 sets of icons for this, not two. So, if the main set is chosen for the ME variant, there aren't enough alternate icons to fulfill a reasonable alternative and avoid the display anomaly.
Thus, I would suggest that if the ME design is opted for, some other icon be replaced by the standard one to at least have an alternate set of reasonable icons for this purpose; this allows the user to change their mind freely without having to regret letting in the ME icon option in the first place. [Just look at all of the icon choices within SHELL32.DLL whether ME-oriented or standard to see what I mean. Clearly something can be designated within the ME-modified one to have essentially the standard type still also available without having to dump the entire ME modification overall.]
6) QFECHECK is not a factor for Q313829, so don't look there for proof it's installed; only within IE Help/About.
If all else fails, check the version number of SHELL32.DLL. Q313829 installs version 4.72.3812.600 stemming from December 6, 2001 11:25 PM. The original release should be version 4.72.3612.1700 from April 23, 1999 10:22 PM.
Hope that helps.
I agree, those optional files are pretty funky! Perhaps there should be a way to specify alternate files to be applied. My personal favorite was part of an earlier release, which is essentially the original 98 FE logo screen, except tastefully modified to clearly say Second Edition.
The main thrust of the SP is to make it easier to install what you want/need. I can always hand copy alternate logo.sys, logow.sys, logos.sys files. But wouldn't be nice if I can specify which ones I want to optionally apply? On the 98lite [litepc] site are a bunch of others that should be looked at, created by other users of 98lite [I have no art skills whatsoever!]
ps: Someone modified the standard logos.sys, the one black with orange lettering that says "It is safe to shut down Windows" to instead say "It is safe to shut down Windows, or is it?"