Almost a month ago the SQL Server 2008 SP1 was launched. I had a question or some kind of complain that it cannot be installed or it hangs. So I decided to test it. Well, installation was ok, it passed successfully no matter if the instance is stopped or started. So you could apply SP1 on working or not SQL Instance, it is not a problem. But I found out that setup documentation mentioned if you want to bypass the system restart you have to prepare somehow before running the SP1 installation. Along with backing up your user and system databases, which you definitely should do, you have the following options to prepare the setup:
Stop Services and Applications — To avoid a possible restart of the system, stop all applications and services that make connections to the instances of SQL Server that are being upgraded, before installing SQL Server 2008 updates. These include SQL Server Management Studio, Business Intelligence Development Studio, Control Panel, and Add or Remove Programs.
I passed this step attempting to avoid the restart. BUT it didn’t help. Finally the restart was required. Beside that the document says:
Actually the setup didn’t say anything about locked files. It just passed and wanted a restart at the end. As for any SQL installation there was a log file generated during the setup. It is placed in <your installation folder>\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Setup Bootstrap\Log\<date and time of your installation>
SQL Server 2008 SP1 download link here
All SP1 fixes: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/968369
Probably the main improvement we have with SP1 is the Slipstream and Uninstall features. We actually experienced some kind of slipstream with SQL 2008 setup where we had to fix the installation before actually installing the product. It included the installation of CU1 first to install the fixed setup files without expecting some messages but just checking add/remove programs/control panel that they have been installed, and after that run the actual SQL Server 2008 Setup (a very good css posting on this). Creating a slipstream where you can pack installation of SQL 2008 with its SP consists of some similar steps. There is a very detailed post on creating a slipstream here.
A couple of days after releasing the SP1 the first CU1 for SQL Server 2008 SP1 was released too. It is actually a CU4 for those who want to have SP1 and CU4, they have to install SP1 and CU1 for SP1. SP1 contains CU1-CU3. There is a very important point – if you have already applied CU4, don’t install SP1, you will loose the fixes coming with CU4. There is a very good posting again from the CSS for what to do in this case: