Prerequisits to Exchange 2003 sp2 on SBS 2003

Posted on 2006-04-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-19
A new client of mine has an SBS 2003 exchange message store at capacity (16Gb.)  I've bought them a little time with a temporary message store increase to 17Gb but they're closing in on that fast.   Unfortunately, this server hasn't enjoyed regular maintenance so I'm concerned about making too many changes at once.  What's the consensus option:
1) Resolve the issue at hand - Install Exchange 2003 SP2 on a SBS 2003 at SP0.  Apply SBS SP1 later after the dust settles on the first change.
2) Slow it down - Bring SBS up to SP1 first.   Apply Exchange SP2 later.
3) Stop worrying so much - Roll the dice and upgrade both in sequence.

Microsoft's documentation on Exchange SP2 recommends SBS SP1 but only in reference to a new feature in Exchange SP2.

Thanks for your consideration!

Question by:pnkljohnson2

Accepted Solution

mattridings earned 2000 total points
ID: 16454149
First things first, go to the event viewer on the server and see if they are experiencing any issues they may not be aware of.  Rectify any issues if they are there before proceeding (or post them here if assistance is needed).


Install SBS Service Pack 1 first (it's required for supported installation of Exchange SP2).

You must *exactly* follow the instructions for  SBS Service Pack 1, and in the *exact* sequence, as it's really a combination of several service pack installs in one (5 different downloads, including Exchange, Win Server 2003, Sharepoint Services, etc.).  Link here:  


After that you should be able to install Exchange SP2 by following its SBS installation instructions.  If however there were any error issues during the SBS SP1 installation, or upon the final reboot after the SBS SP1 installations you notice errors in the event viewer post back here about those errors first before installing Exchange SP2.  Note that Exchange SP1 is *not* required prior to installing Exchange SP2 but as a part of the SBS service pack install you should install it in its sequence anyway.

After installation your message store will increase to 18gig automatically, after that you have to modify the registry to increase it (up to 75gig).  See


for detailed information on doing this.


Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting

Expert Comment

ID: 16454198
I am assuming the documentation you refer to is the Release Notes. In a test environment I tried the "what me worry" method. I installed SP2 without having Windows Server 2003 SP1 installed, and I broke the network. I would do it one step at a time. Install all the prereqs for SBS SP1, then SBS SP1, then Hotfix 898060, then Exchange 2003 SP2.

Hope I was helpful,

Author Comment

ID: 16455800
Thank you for your responses.  I appreciate it.

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