Can Windows 2008 R2 have different service packs on domain controllers

gs-rho used Ask the Experts™
Just wanted to throw out a question to get opinions...  this is regarding peer domain controllers on the same domain, all with Windows 2008 R2.
Does it seem ok that one should have Service Pack 1 installed on it, and the other 2 do not have the service pack installed? I guess there could be a lot of reasons for this. Mainly, there is a window to do the installation on one of them, but not sure when we can do the others. Would this be harmful, or should they be kept in sync with the same patches and service packs?  Comments appreciated from those who feel they understand this well. Thanks.
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Top Expert 2013
The service back doesn't bring any new major features to AD (some stuff for hyper-v though).   Having said that there are a lot of fixes included, the DS team went over them here

So for example

977542 - A hotfix is available to block standard users from logging on to a Window 7-based or Windows Server 2008 R2-based computer in safe mode
979294 - The Dcdiag.exe tool takes a long time to run in Windows Server 2008 R2 and in Windows 7
980254 - The "dsget user -memberof -expand" command returns incorrect results in Windows Server 2008 R2 and in Windows 7
980360 - Update for the AD DS Best Practices Analyzer rules in Windows Server 2008 R2

Not earth shattering and should not effect users but the DCs that don't get the SP (if you haven't installed the updates) won't get those fixes.   Won't effect day to day operations but I'd get them all to SP1 when you have time.


Mike ThomasConsultant
Top Expert 2010
It won't harm anything,  service pack installes can take a while in some cases, I would get them updated but I would not feel the need to rush unless you know of any specific issue.


Seemed to go really well. Thanks.

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