Technical Readiness for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 – June 7, 2007

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Windows Server 2003 Service Pack Information

Top 10 Reasons to Install Windows Server 2003 SP2


Security Updates/Hotfixes

Windows Server 2003 SP2 will get all of your Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional x64 Editions up to date with the latest Security Bulletin updates and Hotfixes, ensuring the highest level of security, reliability, stability, manageability, supportability and compatibility.



Deploy your operating systems more effectively

Building upon our previous deployment solutions, Windows Deployment Services (WDS) offers customers a complete ‘out of the box’ provisioning solution. WDS provides organizations with manageable image store, remote booting, PXE boot support, and more; all in a greatly improved management interface. WDS also uses the new file-based Windows Imaging Format (WIM) which facilitates deployments on Windows Vista and Windows Server “Longhorn”.




Improved networking performance

Windows Server SP2 offers solutions to network traffic challenges in an era of the multi-Gigabit Ethernet. Increases to CPU resources required to handle high network traffic can potentially inhibit scaling and effectively reduce the performance gains that are possible with increased link speeds. Windows Server 2003 SP2 Scalable Networking Pack (SNP), introduces technologies that helps organizations cost-effectively scale network-based applications to meet growing demands. The Scalable Networking pack Increases network and application performance by freeing up CPU cycles and more efficiently using processor resources. More information on the Scalable Networking Pack can be found at



Improved manageability for IPsec

Server and Domain Isolation are key security benefits offered on Microsoft Networks. By using Active Directory, domain memberships and group policies, Server and Domain Isolation allows companies to logically segment their networks. This means that you can restrict non-domain computers which aren’t managed at a corporate level (lab computers, guests or other unsecure systems) from communicating with non- domain members. Service Pack 2 improves Server and Domain Isolation by reducing the IPsec filter set that needs to be managed from potentially hundreds of filters to as few as 2 filters. More information on Server and Domain Isolation can be found at



Utility improvements

Making common tasks easier, SP2 introduces customer-driven improvements to the Domain Controller Diagnostics tool (DCDIAG) and MS Configuration (MSCONFIG) tool. SP2 also has an updated Access Control List (ICACLS) program to allow for greater flexibility when backing up Access Control Lists.



Management tools made easier

SP2 includes the Microsoft Management Console 3.0 (MMC 3.0). MMC provides a framework that unifies and simplifies day-to-day system management tasks on Windows by providing common navigation, menus, toolbars, and workflow across diverse tools. MMC tools (called snap-ins) can be used to administer networks, computers, services, applications and other system components. MMC does not perform administrative functions, but hosts a variety of Windows and non-Microsoft snap-ins that do.



Single install experience

It patches both the R2 and non-R2 versions of Windows Server 2003. This reduces the amount of patch management for an organization.



Support for additional languages

Service Pack 2 will be released in 9 additional localized languages for Windows Server 2003 x64 Editions including: German, French, Korean, Chinese Traditional, Chinese Simplified, Spanish, Italian, Russian and, Portuguese (Brazilian).



Performance improvements

Service Pack 2 offers performance improvements for Windows Server 2003 running as a Virtual Server guest under high Advanced Processor Interrupt Controller (APIC) rates. It also improves SQL Server performance under intensive workloads. Both of these improvements lead to more efficient data processing.



Manage new wireless settings without the hassle

SP2 provides the ability to manage the WPA2 protocol for wireless networks. This supports and simplifies the process of discovering and connecting to wireless networks in your home or on the road.


Notes at the time of Release

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) is released. The SP2 update can be applied to all Windows Server 2003 products and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.


Before installing this service pack please read the Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Technical Library covering:-


  • What’s new in Windows 2003 Service Pack 2

  • Windows 2003 SP2 installation and deployment guide

  • Installing and deploying updates for Microsoft Windows server 2003

  • Readme for Windows 2003 SP2

  • SP2 Release notes


SP2 on the Download Center

Download this version of SP2 if you need to deploy it to multiple servers over a network.

x86 on Download Center


x64 on Download Center


XP x64 on Download Center


ia64 on Download Center


SP2 Standalone ISO-9660 CD Image File on the Download Center

Download this version of SP2 if you want to create your own CD.

x86 ISO Image on Download Center


x64 ISO Image on Download Center


XP x64 ISO Image on Download Center


ia64 ISO Image on Download Center

Related Resources

·         Windows Server 2003 SP2 Home Page .

·         List of Updates in Windows Server 2003 SP2 .

·         SP2 FAQ .

·         Some scenarios to review Knowledge Base Article 932600 .

·         System Preparation tool for W2K3 SP2 Deployment (SysPrep) .

·         System Preparation tool for W2K3 SP2 Deployment (SysPrep x64) .

·         Descriptions of Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Support Tools;EN-US;926027 .

·         The KB Analyzer Tool (Oobmig.exe) is available to restore trust to out-of-band updates after you install Windows Server 2003 SP2 .

·         Hotfix Scan Tool for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Deployment

Known Issues

Known issues with Windows Server 2003 SP2 have been published to the Release notes.

Release Notes for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2


Below is a compiled list of other know issues that may or may not appear on the Release Notes page mentioned above.

Internet Explorer

The original release notes for SP2 indicated that “If you installed Internet Explorer 7 after installing Windows Server 2003 SP1, you must uninstall Internet Explorer 7 before you install Windows Server 2003 SP2." This was incorrect or at least misleading. This is not a problem for installations of SP2 on an existing Windows Server with IE7. It is only an issue for those who upgrade to SP2 via slipstreamed media (because Windows Server 2003 shipped with IE6 originally).  This is similar to any other out-of-order update that is generically described in
The release notes have been corrected and now read as follows:


You do not need to uninstall Internet Explorer 7 prior to installing Windows Server 2003 SP2.

If you have previously installed Internet Explorer 7 on a computer running Windows Server 2003 with SP1 and are now installing Windows Server 2003 SP2 using Microsoft Update, the downloadable SP2 update from the Microsoft Download Center, or the SP2 update CD, your computer will retain Internet Explorer 7 as expected.

If you have previously installed Internet Explorer 7 on a computer running Windows Server 2003 with SP1 and are now installing the integrated version of Windows Server 2003 SP2 (that is, the full operating system integrated with the service pack), the computer will have Internet Explorer 6 as the default browser in Windows Server 2003 SP2. You will need to reinstall Internet Explorer 7.

Custom hotfixes

Custom hotfixes that were created in the last few months and recently installed may need to be removed and updated:
Certain Windows Server 2003 hotfixes have been repackaged to be compatible with Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2):

Recommended Action: Please review the list of hotfixes in the KB article above. If any have been installed within the NASDAQ environment, they will have to be uninstalled and updated per the instructions in the KB article.

TCPIP receive scaling issue

In case someone encounter any network related issues

Task scheduler Acct issue

Note this issue will arise only if you uninstall SP2 for some reason

Help service issue

No hotfix. Configuration change is needed

Support tools update

WMI corruption prevention issue

Several Security Updates not showing up in Windows Update / Microsoft Update:

If you know that your Windows Server is missing some security updates but you notice that WU/MU or WSUS is not showing you those updates as long as SP2 is selected, this is expected behavior. That is because these security updates are superseded by Win2k3 SP2. So, MU/WU will show SP2 as being necessary and not the superseded updates.  The only way to get MU to show the superseded updates is to hide Win2k3 SP2.

Windows Server 2003 SP2 Hotfix Regression Scan Tool

Microsoft has released a tool that can be used to scan  Windows Server 2003 machines to determine if they have had any post-SP1 hot fixes installed that could cause regression errors.  This tool is detailed in KB 931940 ( and the tool is available at :   Below are some other details:



For Windows Server 2003 SP2, there are 26 specific hotfixes that must be reinstalled either before or after you install the service pack. To install Windows Server 2003 SP2, the recommended procedure is to first install the reissued hotfixes. Then, install Windows Server 2003 SP2 at a time that is convenient for you. The hotfixes will automatically migrate to the SP2 version of the hotfix.


If Windows Server 2003 SP2 is installed without replacing these hotfixes, the installation will complete successfully. However, the behavior fix that is previously provided by the hotfix will not be present after SP2 installation.


This issue does not affect any Windows Server 2003 hotfixes that are available publicly, either from the Microsoft Download Center or from the Windows Update Web site. This includes Windows Server 2003 security updates. This issue is limited to these 26 hotfixes that were made available only from Microsoft Customer Support to specific customers. Microsoft typically informs these customers when we deliver these hotfixes.


For more information, please review the following KB article:


Certain Windows Server 2003 hotfixes have been repackaged to be compatible with Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2)



You can use this tool (HotfixScanTool.vbs) to scan for hot fixes that may regress when you install Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2). You can also use this tool to determine regressed hotfixes after you install Windows Server 2003 SP2.



The Hotfix Scan Tool is a Visual Basic script file. After you install the tool, the HotfixScanTool.vbs file is located in the %windir%\System32 folder.


The Hotfix Scan Tool behaves differently depending on whether you run this tool in a pre- or post- SP2 installation:


·         Pre-SP2 Install:

o   Displays list of hot fixes that may regress

o   Blocks installation of SP2

·         Post-SP2 Install:

o   Displays list of regressed hot fixes


The Hotfix Scan Tool writes its output to a text file called ComputerName_log.txt in the folder where the tool is running.


There are several command-line switches that can be used to further assist you:


·         /d Unblock the installation of Windows Server 2003 SP2.

·         /v Log more detailed information in the output text file.

·         /q Run in quiet mode. In quiet mode, the tool logs information only. No output is displayed.

·         /help Display the syntax of this tool.

·         /? Same as /help.

·         /h Same as /help.


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