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Install Exchange 2007 service pack in CMD on SBS 2008 when setup splash screen does not work

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Since Service pack 2 has been released by Microsoft some adjustment were required in the registry to install it on a Small Business Server 2008. Later Microsoft released the Exchange SP installation tool for SBS 2008 to simplify the process.  

But some of us have been encountering during the Exchange 2007 Service Pack Update some difficulties when launching the service pack setup.  Setup was showing with just a blank box and a not working button.  Suggestions have been installing Windows installer 4.5, but as the majority of us already had the server up to date and used the Microsoft Exchange service pack tool or downloaded the new release service pack 3 and always had the same problem, the question remained:  How can we successfully upgrade Exchange?

The best mode is in command line. I always suggest for any major updates to image the server.  A suggested product is Acronis True Image.

Since you tried to launch the setup and it failed, the pending installations in the registry have been flagged so you'll need to delete it as the installation will fail. To do this you'll need to check first in the registry if there are any pending installations.

To check the registry for pending installations check in:
     HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\
and open PendingFileRenameOperations, clear the contents and close.

After rebooting, we can start the service pack upgrade.  In command line mode, position yourself in the Exchange Service Pack folder and type:
    setup /prepareschema
If all goes well, type
    setup /m:upgrade
An exchange environment check will start and once all has been verified, the installation will start.

For servers that use forefront you'll first need to disable the services:

At the Cmd prompt, change the directory to
    \Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Forefront Security\Exchange Server
and then type
    fsutility /disable
After service pack installation, type:
    fsutility /enable

I hope this article helped you
1 Comment

Expert Comment

Thanks very much Thethical.  I had a different scenario, which your advice has helped to resolve.  For the benefit of anyone searching EE, I'll add in a description with some keywords that you might be searching for.  My issue was with installing Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 3 (SP3) update onto Small Business Server (SBS) 2008.  It deleted the original Exchange files (as it should) but then failed to copy the new files, leaving me with it half-installed but ultimately completely broken.  I received Exchange setup error 1603.  Rebooting and running the SP3 setup again only gave me an option to add new roles, not to run the service pack install again.  Running the MSI from Windows Explorer did nothing.  Thethical's command line instructions allowed the service pack to install again, correctly this time, and then doing a reboot showed all of the Exchange services correctly started.  Thanks again!

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