Roll out SP3 to all computer in Windows SBS 2003 environment

Posted on 2008-06-11
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Whats be best pratice for installing Windows XP SP3 on all computers. I've looked at, option B. But will this install SP3 on every computer, even when programs (not just SP3) need questions answered (the installation wizard), so I don't need to run onto every computer and complete the wizard?

Is there a better way for which this could be done? I guess Windows Update wouldn't install SP3 automaticlly?

Another question. Will this way of deploying software work even if users isn't logged on. Like, if a laptop is shut off. Will the installation be done when the computer/user is online next time?

Question by:fjk_no
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Accepted Solution

Redwulf__53 earned 250 total points
ID: 21758830
Your suggested method is not suitable, has nothing to do with Windows XP.

(I've just noticed MS took down the deployment guides for SP2 from the site and there is no guide for SP3... so I'll need to explain it myself):
Two methods are available without extra cost:
1. Distribute using WSUS. This is a Server application you can install on your SBS server to replace the Microsoft update server for your workstations, so all workstations will download the updates from your own server instead
If you use this method, you will need to start managing your entire Windows Update strategy/policy, it is not just for the rollout of SP3.
2.  Using Group Policy. this is the article for SP2, but it also applies to SP3:
This method is easier to do than method 1, if you *just* want to roll out the service pack and leave everything else as it was before. Note: it will be a silent install if you follow the article, so no questions will be asked to the users. The install will take place the next time the computer is started up (although I've seen some computers need another reboot) before the user logs on.

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Assisted Solution

tigermatt earned 250 total points
ID: 21761505
Undoubtedly the easiest way is to use Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). The advantage is that you can use this package not just now, but for ALL Microsoft Updates for workstations - XP and Office updates - and updates for servers - Server 2003, 2008, SBS and Exchange.

Once you have set up WSUS, you need to ensure it is configured to download Service Packs, and that it is downloading Windows XP updates. All the updates will then synchronize down, and you will be able to approve the XP Service Pack 3 for distribution to client workstations.

This approach is good because it means you can manage ALL your updates centrally in the future, and the only change on workstations to instruct them to connect to WSUS can be made through Group Policy.

The WSUS approach is easy.


Author Comment

ID: 21761956
Thanks for your feedback! I think I'll give WSUS a try. But when it comes to normal deployment of "reagular" software. Whats the best practics for deploying software sliently?

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Expert Comment

ID: 21762000
For deploying regular software, you have two options:

Free option - package the software into an MSI file (if it isn't already), and then deploy it through Group Policy as per

Paid-for option - Use Microsoft's Systems Centre Configuration Manager (SCCM) to install the software. The advantage of this approach is that it gives you more control over the software which is being installed INCLUDING reporting back from workstations. It will cost $$$ to buy and implement though - it's only really intended for large corporate for thousands of workstations.


Author Comment

ID: 21762040
I'll think deploy through group policy is the my best choice for now. Thanks :-)
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Expert Comment

ID: 21762146
Thanks, fjk-no!
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Expert Comment

ID: 21766621
"For deploying regular software, you have two options:" ..... from Microsoft that  is...
there are a number of third party solutions available, like

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