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Installing SQL Server SP2 update remotely

Posted on 2007-04-03
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I need a bit of advice. I run a SQL server that hosts patient billing software that is accessed by our 12 health care centers via Terminal Services. The SQL server has never been updated, and I want to install SP2 on it. Since I am about 75 miles away from the physical server, and since the clinics are open from 8:30 am to 7:30pm M-F and on Sat., I would prefer to install SP2 after hours from home via my remote desktop connection. I am somewhat nervous about doing it this way, however, since I understand that if something goes wrong with the update, I cannot just roll back the SP2, I would have to reinstall the whole SQL server. If that were necessary, I would not be at the server to insert the required CDs. And when I recently updated our Blackberry server to SP2, there were explicit warnings not to do the update remotely.
So my question is: how risky is the install of SP2? Should I not worry about it and just install it remotely, or not take any chances and drive the 75 miles on Sunday to do it?
Any advice would be appreciated.
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Question by:Rohidas357
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AnthonyP9618 earned 500 total points
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Rohidas357,

The SQL Server SP2 install (I assume were talking 2005 right?) is pretty straight-forward, so you shouldn't hit any snags.  That said, SP updates are pretty lengthy and sometimes complex and can cause some serious problems if the correct steps aren't taken (e.g., make sure you check your backups!!).  I would probably recommend that you do a combination of both.  Wait until Sunday to do it, but do it remotely.  This way if something DOES happen you have the time and ability to drive there and fix it on-site.
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by:Rohidas357
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That actually sounds like an excellent suggestion. Would you mind elaborating a bit about your reference to backups? I was certainly going to make sure I backed up all the databases before performing the upgrade, but are there specific ways to check the backups to make sure they are viable?
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by:AnthonyP9618
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The best test would involve setting up a new SQL Server instance and restoring the backed up databases to that new server.  If that's not possible, you could always rename the backup database files and attempt to restore them back into the same SQL Server instance.  Either way, you want to ensure that all the data is captured in the backup before proceeding.

This Technet article goes through the backup procedures.. It really relates to WSS, but a lot more to SQL Server in general: http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/WSS/en/library/2a005b70-2f53-42a1-89e0-f907a8e986231033.mspx?mfr=true
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by:Rohidas357
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Thank You!
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by:AnthonyP9618
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Good luck... Although I think you should be fine!
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