Rule of Service packs in Susanland.

On March 14, 2011, in news, by

Rule of Service packs in Susanland.

Never be first.
Never be last.
Never be in a position so late in deploying it that you are past the time that the bulk of the folks remember the issues.
Never be so behind that you MUST get it on in order to be supported.
Be sort of in the middle between when you are bleeding edge….and when you are dying off edge.

With the vista/7 era gawd bless it have a backup.  Given that there is no such thing anymore as slipstreams and in place repairs, if you blow up down here in SMB it is not pretty.

The only service pack I ever attempted to do via Shavlik was XP sp2.  I nailed two workstations that lost video.  Tried it again with SP3, didn’t lose a workstation felt comfy.  When Vista came out, however, I went back to being nervous Nellie when it comes to service packs and I did it with a full download, no Shavlik, no WSUS.  Walking around the office over several weeks, one at a time. … or rather with Vista remotely with a backdoor (logmein) stuck on the machine as a possible back door should something happen to rdp.

And then came Windows 7 sp1.  Where I totally forgot that the default of SBS was to approve service packs on Workstations.  And when it showed up on the WSUS/SUS content KB indicating that it would come out on WSUS it didn’t register in the brain enough to warn people that it would be out.  And then “C34” hit.

So I’m back to not trusting service packs through automated means again.

And yes, it may take me all summer, but I will be doing Win7 sp1 one at a time, sneakernet after a backup on each workstation.

On workstations there’s no rush to install this.  The tortoise wins here, not the hare.


2 Responses to Rule of Service packs in Susanland.

  1. SeanPT says:

    I’m with you 90% of the way there with a small exception. I don’t keep any data on the workstations. If I can push SP1 out to 9 out of 10 workstations automatically and 1 fails, I’ll be upset. I won’t like it. But I can live with that more than I can going one by one sneakernet style.

    I have 7×64-SP1 on a thumbdrive already. I have ninite to help with the small apps. Office and other LoB apps I have scripted installs for. Total turn-around on system rebuild is about an hour to two hours on a slow machine.

    Then the user logs back on and rocks and rolls.

    But then again, I’ve been lucky to never been badly burned by an SP. I’ve only had one machine ever go tits up on me. The closest I had was this 7-SP1 launch where I had people calling me saying “WHY IS THIS UPDATE TAKING SOOOOO LONG?! I WANT TO TURN MY LAPTOP OFF AND GO HOME!”

    So I’m with you most of the way and if anything I would hope more people would take your safe in the middle approach.

  2. Dean says:

    “it may take me all summer”


    You have to work faster. 🙂