Notes from the field: upgrading Exchange 2007 to SP1

So far, I did a couple of clean Exchange Server 2007 SP1 installations and they went really, really smoothly. I can say that the setup experience is much better than the RTM version.

Meanwhile, I also had the chance to upgrade existing Exchange Server 2007 RTM version to Service Pack 1. The experience was not so good compared with clean installations, nothing serious, but there are some caveats I would like to share with you.

  1. Read the Release Notes for Exchange Server SP1 and How to Upgrade to Exchange 2007 SP1.
  2. SP1 requires a Schema extension (again). Although the Setup Wizard will do it for you, I strongly recommend that you do it separately. Just follow the instructions from this link: The process is identical to the RTM version.
  3. Install .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 *before* running the Exchange 2007 SP1 setup. Remember that you must also install it on your Schema Master in order to extend the Schema from this server.
  4. If you are currently using Forefront Security for Exchange, install Forefront SP1 *before* upgrading Exchange Server 2007 to SP1 (I’ll write another post about this subject). Forefront for Exchange SP1 is backward compatible with Exchange 2007 RTM. Read more details at
  5. Upgrade server roles in this order: CAS > HT > UM > Edge > Mailbox.
  6. Before running the SP1 setup, perform the following actions on that server:
    1. Restart the server (this is very important, especially on cluster nodes, since the Setup can run for ages before finishing (the problem has to do with time it takes to register the new performance counters).
    2. Stop all services/processes that can have open handles to performance counters such as MOM Agents.
    3. Restart the Remote Registry service.
    4. Stop all Exchange and Forefront services.
    5. Disable Forefront by running FSCUtility /disable (don’t forget to run FSCUtility /enable afterwards).
    6. Start the Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service. This service is disabled by default in Windows, and you must set its Startup type to Manual or Automatic for the service to be started
    7. Run the SP1 setup.
  7. If you’re installing SP1 on an SCC cluster, follow the procedures from this link: (start by doing a restart on each passive node).
  8. If you have previously customized an OWA theme, you’ll need to copy the modified files to the new version of OWA (there will be a new folder on each CAS). You may need to do some further customization, since there are new features, such as the monthly view on Calendar.
  9. You cannot uninstall Exchange 2007 SP1. After you install SP1, the only way to remove it is to uninstall Exchange 2007 from the computer

I would also like to share the SP1 setup behavior when it is interrupted:

  • On one occasion (when the Performance counters were taking ages to register) I had to restart the server. Luckily for me, the setup resumed from the stage it was before.
  • On another occasion, I forgot to copy the Scripts folder (it’s part of the setup files) to the server where I was installing SP1. The setup stopped because it couldn’t find the necessary files. There was no option to retry the operation. When I run setup again, I had the following error:

    The World Wide Web (W3SVC) service is either disabled or not installed on this computer. You must exit Setup, install the required component, then restart the Setup process.

    Setup cannot continue with upgrade because ‘C:\Program
    Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\bin\ExchHelp.chm’ is open. Close the file and restart setup.

    I found the solution on this link:

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