0x8000FFFF "Catastrophic failure" Message with SQL Server ODBC Driver


The following error may be generated by the Microsoft SQL Server ODBC driver, especially when you are using the ODBC driver in connection-pooled environments such as Internet Information Server (IIS):

Error 0x8000FFFF Catastrophic failure
The typical symptoms are that the driver is used successfully for a varying amount of time, but the error then occurs when you attempt to open a connection object.

This problem occurs with the 3.70.0690 build of the Microsoft SQL Server ODBC driver (Sqlsrv32.dll) but does not occur with earlier builds. Also, the problem does not occur when you use the native Microsoft SQL Server OLE DB Provider (Sqloledb.dll).


The Microsoft SQL Server ODBC driver is loading the Winmm.dll file for timing functions. While Winmm.dll is primarily a multimedia DLL, it contains some timing functions that resolve down to the millisecond level, and the Microsoft SQL Server ODBC driver is using these functions for internal timing issues.

In the 3.70.0690 build of the Microsoft SQL Server ODBC driver, Winmm.dll is being unloaded prematurely, and the function pointers are not being zeroed out. Therefore, the function pointer appears to refer to a valid address but the location it points to in memory is no longer valid.

This access violation (AV) is being caught by the exception handling in the OLE DB Service Components, and an 0x08000FFFF "Catastrophic failure" message is then returned to the client.


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 Microsoft Data Access Components service pack 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: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.

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

Date Time Version Size File name Platform

10/4/99 3.70.0737 25KB odbcbcp.dll
10/4/99 3.70.0737 505KB sqlsrv32.dll


  • Revert back to an earlier build of the SQL Server ODBC driver, such as the 3.70.0623 build.

  • Use the SQL Server native provider (Sqloledb.dll) instead.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

This problem was corrected in MDAC 2.5.

More Information

If there is some doubt as to whether or not this bug is the cause of an AV you may be encountering, a utility such as TList.exe (from the Windows NT Resource Kit) or ListDLLs.exe (from sysinternals.com) can be helpful in determining whether Winmm.dll was initially loaded in the process but is unloaded at the time of the failure.

Manual Installation

  1. Close or stop any applications or services that are using the Sqlsrv32.dll file. This may include Internet Information Server (IIS), Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS), and any ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) or ODBC applications.
  2. Download the hotfix (CatastrophicFailure.exe) into a temporary directory and run it to extract the following files:

    Odbcbcp.dll Sqlsrv32.dll
  3. Locate and rename the current version of these files, which should be in the \Winnt\System32 folder for Windows NT computers, and in the \Windows\System folder for Windows 9x computers.
  4. Copy the hotfix version of the files into the same location, and restart your services and applications.

Artikelnummer: 243349 – Letzte Überarbeitung: 22.09.2009 – Revision: 1