[Today’s tip comes to us courtesy of Mark Stanfill]
All component service packs are fully tested against SBS and, in general, can be safely applied to SBS as long as there are no other issues described in the release notes. Windows Server 2003 SP2 was released yesterday to Microsoft Update/Windows Update. WSUS servers will show it set for ‘Detect only’ (i.e. it will not automatically install – you have to approve the installation):
Like the download page says:
“Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 (SBS 2003 customers – Please read Knowledge Base Article 932600 before installing SP2)”
A very limited number of SBS users should be aware of the issue described in KB 932600:
• Users who upgrade from an evaluation copy of Windows Small Business Server 2003 to the full retail version.
• Users upgrading (“supersizing”) from Windows Server 2003 to full retail version of Windows Small Business Server 2003.
• Users migrating to Windows Server 2003 from Windows Small Business Server using the Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Transition Pack.
You probably already know if any of the above apply to you (or will apply in the near future). If you know that you will be upgrading or transitioning via any of the 3 scenarios above, you should avoid installing Windows Server SP2 until after the upgrade. It is possible to back out of the service pack install afterwards, but it is a lot more work. The steps in KB 823836 (referenced in 932600) walk you through the correct uninstall procedure for SP1 and SP2. The Readme for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 has the full command line to remove the service pack. If at all possible, this is something most people will want to avoid. It is obviously a much cleaner process to upgrade then install the service pack rather than install the service pack, uninstall before upgrade, upgrade, then reapply the service pack.
The usual caveats apply – you should always make a backup before applying the service pack, read the readme, etc. Transition Pack customers should also be aware of this issue with IE7 installs – http://blogs.technet.com/sbs/archive/2007/01/29/activation-loop-after-completing-the-sbs-transition-pack.aspx.