A email from the mailbag today reminded me that we need to revisit a few things about SBS 2003 sp1

  • On Dell boxes, as long as you either (a) have Dell Open Manage 4.4 [located here] or (b) remove Dell Open Manage we no longer are waiting on that piece that was holding us up from installing SP1 on Dell’s.

  • Charlie Anthe [SBS release manager] notes in a blog posting that there is a possible Blue Screen issue on Dell OEM boxes but honestly I haven’t seen a lot of dead bodies out here BSODing and for another… remember that any issue during the application of a service pack is a free call to either client machines if you are a partner or your own machine if you are a DIYer.

  • READ

  • You heard me READ.  We find that many of the issues are due to the fact that people don’t realize this isn’t a ‘one patch’ that installs on the system, but a collection of 5 patches.  After all we ARE a collection of software pieces right?  So naturally our service pack is made up of parts.  Then we put together a document of all the wacky things that might go wrong that we found along the way.  Personally I found that if you pretty much stuck to the way to install SBS you’ll do just fine.  In our MVP ranks we had some pretty beat up beta boxes so what you see there is a result of putting it on some messy boxes.

  • We totally blew it on the ‘don’t install Windows 2003 sp1’ messenging.  You see because we HAVE to install Windows 2003 sp1 first before the rest of the parts you DO install that service pack.  So for that we in the community screwed up. 

  • Don’t panic.  I’ll say it again.  DON’T PANIC.  No matter if the worst happens [Sharepoint won’t load, monitoring is a bit mixed up], I haven’t seen a box yet that hasn’t been able to be fixed up.  That said, don’t go into this service pack thinking it’s a trivial matter.  Ensure you have backed up your system.  If you are a DIYer unsure of this process, this is the time to call in someone who is versed in this.  Oh…how about … a Small Business Specialist.  Yup we now have a special credential for those crazed enough to be doing small businesses.  Seriously, as a person who I would call in the advanced stages of insanity of a DIYer, if you don’t feel confortable picking up a phone and calling Microsoft for help, maybe you should consider calling in an IT Pro that handles SBSers all the time.

So folks… those that are on OEMs or support OEMs?  Always remember, no matter what happens, we’ll leave the lights on in the newsgroup and listserves and be there for you.



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