Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) is released (UPDATE)

There have been a few questions regarding Windows Server 2003 SP2, so I wanted to provide some additional information.

Known issues with Windows Server 2003 SP2 have been published in the release notes:

1. Release Notes for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2

Theoriginalrelease notes for SP2 indicated that If you installed Internet Explorer 7 after installing Windows Server 2003 SP1, you must uninstall Internet Explorer 7 before you install Windows Server 2003 SP2." This was incorrect or at least misleading. This is not a problem for installations of SP2 on an existing Windows Server with IE7. It is only an issue for those who upgrade to SP2 via slipstreamed media (because Windows Server 2003 shipped with IE6 originally). This is similar to any other out-of-order update that is generically described in .

The release notes have been corrected and now read as follows:

Internet Explorer

You do not need to uninstall Internet Explorer 7 prior to installing Windows Server 2003 SP2.

If you have previously installed Internet Explorer 7 on a computer running Windows Server 2003 with SP1 and are now installing Windows Server 2003 SP2 using Microsoft Update, the downloadable SP2 update from the Microsoft Download Center, or the SP2 update CD, your computer will retain Internet Explorer 7 as expected.

If you have previously installed Internet Explorer 7 on a computer running Windows Server 2003 with SP1 and are now installing the integrated version of Windows Server 2003 SP2 (that is, the full operating system integrated with the service pack), the computer will have Internet Explorer 6 as the default browser in Windows Server 2003 SP2. You will need to reinstall Internet Explorer 7.

2. Custom hotfixes that were created in the last few months and recently installed may need to be removed and updated
Certain Windows Server 2003 hotfixes have been repackaged to be compatible with Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2):
Recommended Action: Please review the list of hotfixes in the KB article above. If any have been installed within your environment, they will have to be uninstalled and updated per the instructions in the KB article.

3. Several Security Updates not showing up in Windows Update / Microsoft Update
If you know that your Windows Server is missing some security updates but you notice that WU/MU or WSUS is not showing you those updates as long as SP2 is selected, this is expected behavior. That is because these security updates are superseded by Win2k3 SP2. So, MU/WU will show SP2 as being necessary and not the superseded updates. The only way to get MU to show the superseded updates is to hide Win2k3 SP2.