Cisco Unified MeetingPlace

Field Notice: FA00161 - Any Existing MPWeb and MPOL Using Local MSDE Needs to Have its System Administrator (SA) Password Set to Blank Before Upgrading to MPWeb 4.2.7

May 20, 2004

Products Affected



MeetingPlace Web and MeetingPlace Outlook

Any MPWeb 4.1.3 to 4.2.5 versions, any MPOL versions

Problem Description

Note: This Field Notice is a legacy Latitude Field Notice that has been converted to the Cisco format so the information would remain available to their customers.

This Field Alert applies only if both conditions are true:

  1. Local Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE)

  2. System Administrator (SA) password is not blank

You have local MSDE if you previously installed MeetingPlace Web (MPWeb) and/or MeetingPlace Outlook (MPOL), and you did not provide a full version of Microsoft SQL Server. Rather, you chose to let the Latitude gateway install a free copy of Microsoft's SQL desktop engine called MSDE.

All previous versions of MPWeb and MPOL come with the MSDE component from SQL Server 7. However, MeetingPlace Web 3.0 version 4.2.7 comes with a newer version of MSDE, which is from SQL Server 2000. If the InstallShield detects that you have the older version of MSDE, it will attempt to install the newer version of MSDE. However, it requires that your current (old version) MSDE be setup to use sa account with a blank password.

Recently due to a flood of SQL worm attacks targeting SQL and MSDE installations with blank password, most of our customers running MeetingPlace Web or MeetingPlace Outlook have changed the sa password from its default of blank to some string. Unfortunately, this will cause MPWeb 4.2.7 upgrade to fail.

If you are using local MSDE, AND your sa password is not blank, then before you upgrade to MeetingPlace Web 4.2.7, you must change sa password to blank.

After you upgrade to MPWeb 4.2.7, you can then change the sa password from blank to some valid string.

Problem Symptoms

Upgrade to MPWeb 4.2.7 will fail if customer's MeetingPlace Web/Outlook uses local MSDE and its password is blank



Change sa password to blank before upgrading.


  1. Change sa password to blank

    1. Use Windows' "Find Files and Folders" feature to first locate the file osql.exe on your MPWeb/MPOL server. Assuming MSDE installed along with mpweb, since this osql file comes from MSDE.

    2. Open DOS window and navigate to the location of osql.exe

    3. In the following steps, replace the variable oldpassword with your existing sa password

    4. Enter the following command and press ENTER. The prompt changes to >

      osql -U sa -P oldpassword

    5. Enter following command and press ENTER. Replace oldpassword with your current sa password

      sp_password oldpassword, null, 'sa'

    6. Enter following command and press ENTER. The system will return the message "Password changed"


    7. Enter following command and press ENTER.


      In the DOS window, the complete sequence looks like below, where the password is changed from abc123 to blank.

      C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\80\Tools\Binn>osql -U sa -P abc123
      1> sp_password abc123, null, 'sa'
      2> go
      Password changed.
      > exit
      C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\80\Tools\Binn>
  2. Modify MeetingPlace Web to use the new password

    1. Open regedit

    2. Navigate to \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Latitude\MeetingPlace WebPublisher\ODBC\

    3. Double-click on the key "DataSource" and change its string value:

      from: MPWEB;UID=sa;PWD=oldpassword;

      to: MPWEB;UID=sa;PWD=;

    4. If you see another key "DBPassword", make sure its value is also blank

  3. Configure ODBC to use this new password

    1. Open Control Panel, double click ODBC Data Sources. On Windows 2000 Server, go to Start > Programs > Administrative Tools > Data Sources (ODBC).

    2. Click on "System DSN" tab

    3. Highlight MPWEB and click on Configure button

    4. Click Next

    5. Second screen:

      1. Verify that "With SQL Server authentication using a login ID and password entered by the user" is selected

      2. Verify that the login ID is 'sa', and leave the password blank

      3. "Connect to SQL Server to obtain default settings for the additional configuration options" should be checked

      4. Click Next to move on to third screen

    6. Third screen:

      1. Verify that "Change the default database to:" is set to MPWEB

      2. Click Next to move to next screen

    7. Click Finish

    8. Click "Test Data Source...". You should get a response of "TEST COMPLETED SUCCESSFULLY!". Click OK

    9. Click OK to finish

  4. Reboot NT server

  5. Open MeetingPlace Gateway SIM eventlog and make sure everything is running fine without error. Once you have ascertained that your existing MeetingPlace Web is running fine, you can then upgrade it to MeetingPlace Web 4.2.7.

For More Information

If you require further assistance, or if you have any further questions regarding this field notice, please contact the Cisco Systems Technical Assistance Center (TAC) by one of the following methods:

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