So tonight I was taking some vmwares of SBS’s and I had already played a bit with Acronis and Paragon’s disk partition and I hadn’t tried gpart on a SBS box.  Someone in the newsgroup said they used Gpart with no issues on all of their repartitioning.  Well I tried it and on vmware it didn’t want to work.

So did my confidence in gpart go down?  Yup.

Did it work this weekend like a champ on my sister’s XP box?  Yup.

Someone else had wonderful experience, my real experience on a real box was wonderful, and now with one virtual experience I go…hmmmm…..while others had lots of great experiences, my one experience means I don’t have confidence in that process.

It reminds me of our Service Pack 2 experience.  In Andy’s chat tonight I asked how many had installed Sp2 and many of them had not or just started installing.  When I asked why they hadn’t, one person said “Because you haven’t given your seal of approval on it“.  I guess I haven’t been blogging my seal of approval on it, because like every other Service pack I personally install on any system it’s not something to say “oh let ‘er rip” without planning for.  It’s like a vacation.  I don’t take madcap trips at the drop of a hat, I plan and pack a bag… or two… oh and the makeup has to go… oh and the wireless router… and the laptop… and the extra battery pack…. I’m basically high maintenance when it comes to traveling.  A hotel without room service is roughing it in my book.

And that’s what we have to do with SBS’s Windows 2003 sp2 experience.  Consider this like a vacation that you have to book and plan for.

During the SBS 2003 sp1 era SBS had our “own” Windows 2003 sp1.  In the SP2 era, we have our own “process”.

Windows 2003 sp2 process for SBS includes:

But part of the problem here is we hear of someone’s misfortunes and we think everyone will have the same issues and the chances are good that we won’t.  I won’t sugar coat this and say that you’ll not see any issues whatsoever, just that when I ask folks who have installed SP2 some say they’ve already done it on all of their servers with no issues, some say one machine with a help and support, but I think we’re freaking ourselves out a bit here by seeing one person’s misfortune and thinking it will impact all of us.

The SBS platform to me still has a bit of a “us” versus “them” mentality when it comes to server.  Just the other day someone said to me… “I wrote a e-mail to my SBS EMEA friend and asked him when MS will start to se SBS 200x as a entity instead of many parts.” I’ve heard this sort of request before, in the patch category, that all patches, all service packs, all whatever should explicitly state that it’s supported on SBS.  But I’m not sure that that asking for service packs to have separate and distinct articles and notes that make folks go to SBS specific sites is the right thing?  Or should the known issues with something be a part of the Windows 2003 service pack notes?

When you install something, do you read the release notes?  Do you look for SBS specific information, and if so where do you look for it?  We tell everyone to MAKE SURE YOU WATCH THE SBS BLOG, but I think that goes back to the fundamental question of ..what are we?  A product unto itself?  Or a product under the Windows server team?

While I will still say that one shouldn’t beat oneself up about this Service pack and not applying it yet, at the same time, “Our” service pack 2 is indeed out.

Windows 2003 sp2 process for SBS is (I’ll repeat the steps):

Is there a chance you might hit issues?  Maybe.  Is there a good chance you won’t?  Yup.  If you are worried, set up a task to reboot the server about an hour or so after you start the process, and you may even want to look into a temporary alternative way to get to the server and not depending on RDP on the off chance you lose that.  Most of the time though, if you ensure you have the latest nic drivers, I’ve seen more dependable results when those are in place.

Do a bit of pre-planning your chances of being just fine go up.

I still say, does it need to go on your box this very instant?  No.  Should it go on during a maintenance time that you plan for with your clients, yes.

One Thought on “Confidence

  1. Hi Susan

    Nice post. That almost makes it Susan approved!

    I said in chat last night (this morning!) that i’d done SP2 to one of servers. It only occured to me this morning that i hadn’t actually checked to see if Help and Support was working

    I just have..and it wasn’t 🙁

    followed the workaround and it’s back up and running

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