Has anyone ever had this bug? Any ideas how to solve it?

Background:
Running MSAccess 2000 with MSJET 4.0 SP6 on WIN2K SP3

Problem:
I have a msaccess table (say t1) with long integer primary key (1 to 16000) generated by another application.
When I run an append query which adds all records from t1 to an empty msaccess table (t2) with Autonumber primary key, Autonumber counter gets somehow reset to 2902. I mean that populating the Autonumber field with the existing index values (1 to 16000) works fine, but when I try adding records to t2, autonumbering for some reason starts with 2903, thus createing duplicate primary key values.
Even after compacting&repairing the database, the counter remains at 2902.

Access 97 handled it correctly though.

Can it be a problem with converting the databases from 97 to 2000?

Microsoft claims that msejt 4.0 sp6 fixes this problem, but it hasn't for me.

Any ideas?

Thank you