If there’s one thing we newsgroupers don’t do sometimes is properly communicate.  One of the misunderstandings around the SBS 2003 sp1 install is that we in the newsgroup went out and said “oh you don’t need Windows 2003 sp1” and then now we are saying you do as step one of the SBS 2003 install.  Also the next expectation that was set was that a service pack for SBS would just as easy as adding water and stirring. 

So let’s take the miscommunication… first off what we should have said was that “Don’t install the Windows 2003 sp1 service pack ‘just yet’.  I knew we needed it as part of our SBS installation and just said “don’t install it“ but we should have been clearer that we meant that you didn’t need to do it just yet.

As far as applying service packs, I’ve been patching SBS servers since SBS 4.0 days and because we have a lot of components, the service pack part is always done in a modular setup.  For those that haven’t worked with the SBS platform before, I’d strongly recommend that you order the cdrom media as the fabulous M&M’s have put together an exact how to with the cdrom install.  The cdrom install in my opinion is way easier.

I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again, I don’t like service packs in SBSland.  Give me a security patch, give me a non regression tested hotfix, but security patches have always been icky in SBSland.  I still remember how I found the newsgroups in the first place, I was running SBS 4.0 and doing either the patch to 4.0a or 4.5 and discovered the newsgroups around that time that let me know that there was a window you had to close to find the box you had to click to  say “Yes continue” or something like that.  So I guess I”m a bit jaded in that I think Service packs are just plain icky, period.


2 Responses to Setting expectations and better communication

  1. Tony says:

    I hear ya.

    I just got done with a 14+ hour extravaganza at work trying to migrate our W2K setup to SBS2003.

    I disconnected one of the servers and flattened it to install SBS. The install went fine and I decided to update the box to SP1 before the actual migration. All the service packs went on just fine, no errors. However, I could not load Computer Associates AntiVirus or the ADMT tool. Both failed in rather weird ways. The AV went part-way through the install, then terminated before the licensing was installed, which left the exe’s installed, but the RealTime service wouldn’t start and of course with no lic. installed, no way to enter the lic. number.

    The ADMT would start the install and get to the path part, then it would just sit there…not responding to any key presses. If you pressed next, it would depress, then nothing. Just sat there.

    So, I ended up flattening the box again and installing a vanilla install, sans SP1 for right now. The AV and ADMT went on fine this time.

    I haven’t heard of anyone having a similar problem with SP1, have you?



  2. Chuck says:


    I’ve been reading this blog since I became interested in SBS and have to say it’s been a life saver more than once.

    I followed your advice from a post a month or so ago and patiently waited for the CDs to arrive before appling SP1. To quote you "It’s just plain dumb to be the first on your block to install." I read many of the trials and tribulations of those who jumped in feet first on the various news groups and printed the complete install instructions from the M&M site, the most current release notes and install instructions from MSFT, and all went smoothly. Now it’s just a matter of learning the ins and outs of ISA 2004 and a few other small items.

    One note that you may want to pass on; the instructions on the m&m site are a bit out of order with the MSFT instructions i.e., after the Powerpoint part of the install. I used the order that were on the read me files of the CD and all went well. I’m not saying it wouldn’t have worked if i had done it in the order that is on the M&M site just that there is a difference.

    Thank you to yourself and all of the others who work so hard to promote and make SBS such a great product.