gp.ExtractByAttributes_sa will not work the same in python as in ArcMap

Discussion created by ska111 on Dec 14, 2010
I need to eliminate small regions from a raster.  I use the count field with the
InWhereClause = "\"COUNT\" >= 8"

When i use this same clause in arc map(9.3.1), i get a U16 raster with a nodatavalue =0 (the same as in the original raster)
a min of 1
and a max of 6430

However  when i execute this in Python (2.5), the result is a S32 raster with
a min of :  - 2147483647
and a max of :  2147483647

Can anyone suggest what might be going wrong in python vs ArcMap?