FIX: DCOM95 1.2 or DCOM98 Causes Data Corruption in RPC Calls

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Article ID: 216889 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q216889
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Under Windows 95 with DCOM95 1.2 update or Windows 98 with DCOM98 update, if you have a pointer to conformant structure as a field of a complex structure, the unmarshaling side receives uninitialized data. If the data structure is an [in] parameter, the server manager routine sees the corruption. If it is an [out] parameter, the client sees the corruption.

The same problem appears if your RPC application is running on Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 4 as documented in the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
216766 FIX: Windows NT 4.0 w/ SP4 Causes Data Corruption in RPC Calls
Data Structure:
typedef struct tagConformantStruct 
   unsigned long        size;
   [size_is(size)] char data[];
} ConformantStruct;

typedef enum tagColor
   Red, Blue, Green
} Color;

typedef union tagMyUnion switch (Color type) u
   case Red :  long  longArm;
   case Blue:  short shortArm;
   case Green: char  charArm;
} MyUnion;

typedef struct tagComplexStruct
   unsigned long numUnions;
   ConformantStruct* pConfStruct; // PROBLEM! pointer to conformant struct.
   [size_is(numUnions)] MyUnion myUnions[]; // Makes the struct complex.
} ComplexStruct;


A defect in the rpcrt4.dll shipped with Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 4, (DCOM95 1.2) and DCOM98 prevents the conformant part of the conformant structure to be marshaled. The unmarshaling side expects the conformant part and unmarshals from a possibly uninitialized part of the RPC buffer. This causes data corruption.


A supported fix is now available from Microsoft, but it is only intended to correct the problem that is described in this article. Apply it only to computers that are experiencing this specific problem. This fix may receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, Microsoft recommends that you wait for the next update that contains this hotfix.

To resolve this problem immediately, contact Microsoft Product Support Services to obtain the fix. For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services phone numbers and information about support costs, visit the following Microsoft Web site:;EN-US;CNTACTMS
NOTE: In special cases, charges that are ordinarily incurred for support calls may be canceled if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem. The typical support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.

   File name   Version     Date       Time     Size
   RPCRT4.DLL  4.71.3116   03-04-99   7:16a   321,296



Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in DCOM for Microsoft Windows 95, version 1.2, and DCOM98 for Windows 95 and Windows 98 (included with Microsoft Visual Studio 6). The fix described in the resolution section should not be applied to systems which do not have one of these products installed.


For additional information about Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition hotfixes, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
206071 General Information About Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition Hotfixes
For additional information about Windows 95 hotfixes, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
161020 Implementing Windows 95 Updates


Article ID: 216889 - Last Review: October 14, 2013 - Revision: 1.8
  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbhotfixserver kbqfe kbdswnet2003swept kboswin95fix kboswin95sp1fix kbprb kbrpc KB216889

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