Yes, its true -- Service Pack 1 for .NET v1.1 really did break my ASP.NET application! And the weirdest part was that it only broke it for IE users -- it still worked just fine with Mozilla! Here's the story:
I should have updated my own development PC to SP1 already, but I had delayed it. Why? First, I didn't see anything that affected me in the fixes it contained, security or otherwise. Also, I was updating a WinForms application and didn't want to inadvertently require them to have to download and install a massive SP just to use my latest update. Yes, that probably wasn't a real issue but you never know with some of these updates, so I wanted to take my time instead. So today I made a couple of very small changes to an ASP.NET v1.1 web application. It worked great on my own PC, so I uploaded it to the server and deployed it without giving it much thought. Next, I of course tried to test the updated application -- and I couldn't get the login button to work! Note that it wasn't that my login failed, or didn't work in some way -- I literally mean that the login button no longer worked! I checked my files, and I made no changes to the login page, and I looked at the rendered html for the page and it looked fine too. On a whim I tried it with Mozilla -- and it worked!
OK, so time to think about what was different. Well, there's not much on this page -- just a userid textbox, a password textbox, and a submit button -- oh yea, and a couple of validators. Of course, validators aren't checked clientside by Mozilla, and if they were failing in IE then the page wouldn't even submit! Now why would my validators have started failing all of the sudden, after all the validation scripts don't just change for no reason? Oh yea, didn't my colleague tell me last night that he was going to install the latest critical updates, and maybe that included SP 1 for .NET v1.1? So I checked the Microsoft.NET directory and although there wasn't a new build folder, it did appear that the file dates for the validation files were indeed very recent (actually July 2004). So I copied these files to my domain's aspnet_client folder and everything instantly worked. Now the weird part is that my web app was working this morning, after the SP update, but before my update, so I can only assume that the SP update actually updated my domain's aspnet_client folder, and then I recopied the old ones over it. OK, so maybe I broke it technically, if that's really what happened -- but its still the Service Pack that was the cause.
Now my question, which has been asked by others here already, is why didn't they call this .NET v1.1.1 or something else? This would have not only hopefully have avoided my problem, but it also would allow you to run the new SP version side-by-side with the original version -- and that would have alleviated all my original concerns in the first place. And note that when you install this Service Pack it also tells you something about not being able to go back, so its quite legimate to worry in my opinion! I think Microsoft has done us all a big disfavor by slipping in updates like this into Service Packs and causing us to lose that side-by-side advantage of .NET! By the way, the end of this story is that I tried to install SP1 onto my development computer and it repeatedly failed. I searched and found others with similar experiences, and tried several of their suggestions without success. I finally found one that suggested uninstalling the entire .NET v1.1 framework first and then reinstalling it -- that worked and I was able to install SP1.