We're starting to see a handful of computers across our campus freeze up
with explorer.exe (or occasionally nalagent.exe) pegging CPU usage at
100% and a relatively fast, steady climb in memory usage. (The task
manager shows the memory indicator steadily rising - looks like one of
those linear graphs from high school algebra.) Eventually the resources
will be so spiked that a "Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime Error" window
will appear with explorer.exe as the culprit. If I click OK on that box
the machine completely freezes up.

We noticed this a day after we started deploying the Zen 7 SP1 + Hot
Patch 4 across campus. We're running that alongside the Novell Client
4.91 SP3, but that's been rolled out for months now without any
problems. Troubleshooting the combination of causes is a pain, because
not all the systems with zen have this problem...that we know
of. One other very common theme (happens on most but not all affected
systems) is that the problem is only showing up for one user on the
computer - if a user calls in with problems, the tech that comes over
and logs in won't usually have the problem. Here's what we know so far:

XP SP1 - if the memory spikes and explorer.exe is at 100% CPU,
recreating the problem user's profile seems to fix the problem.

--recreating the profile does NOT solve the problem
--the NAL icon is typically (but not always) spinning wildly in the taskbar
--a reinstall of the Novell Client (4.91 sp3) usually fixes the problem
--the problem usually only exists for network users (both Power Users
and Administrators); if a tech logs in with a local admin account,
there's no problem
--the problem can happen for multiple network users on the same machine,
but not necessarily the same user on multiple machines (ie. it appears
to be machine- and not eDir user-specific)

Since the client has been stable for months now, typically running with
the ZEN agent, I don't think the problem is with the client.
Right now I'm wondering if this is some sort of conflict with the
workstation manager components? Is there something in the Novell Client
side of the workstation manager that gets hosed when HP4 goes on that's
fixed by reinstalling the client? If so, is there any way of tracking
down exactly what's getting changed and revert just those changes? I've
got 3000 computers to upgrade this summer, and if I can avoid
reinstalling the client on each and every one of them that would save me
a lot of time and headache. I've also got two symptomatic boxes here in
the shop that I can use for further troubleshooting as needed. Thanks.