XFOR: CDONTS Not Thread-Safe, Crashes Under Stress

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The Collaboration Data Objects for Windows NT Server (CDONTS) Send Mail function is not thread-safe.


CDONTS initializes the RTF/HTML converter each time it is used. This initialization is not thread-safe, and is not protected with a critical section. This permits a race condition where one thread can shut down the converter while another thread is still using it, causing memory corruption, asserts, and failures (crashes).


To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows NT 4.0 or the individual software update. For information on obtaining the latest service pack, please go to:
  • 152734 how to obtain the latest windows nt 4.0 service pack
For information on obtaining the individual software update, contact Microsoft Product Support Services. 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:


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Microsoft Exchange Server version 5.5. This problem was first corrected in Windows NT version 4.0 Service Pack 5.


Article ID: 214685 - Last Review: October 14, 2013 - Revision: 4.6
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 Standard Edition
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