The new Windows 2003 Service Pack is at the top of the 'TO DO' list of many administrators. Applying an SP to the servers running the most critical applications inevitably causes pressure to ensure minimal downtime and a smooth transition.
In order to assist the Exchange administrators out there, afraid of launching that installation, we want to maintain a list of known issues specifically focused on Exchange. The list that follows is the set of currently known issues. We plan to keep on updating this article with any new issues that come up. So bookmark this page and check if anything new is listed just before you start!
Of course you should not rely on this list exclusively. Trying SP1 in the test lab is always the recommended first step. For testing to give reliable results make sure to replicate the live servers closely. Keep in mind that today's servers are a big cocktail of software, very often from many vendors. Anything running on the machine might be affected.
So here we go...
As described in a recent article from Kenneth, installing the Security Control Wizard holds some traps. The SCW installation is included with SP1 but needs to be installed in a separate step. As explained in this article SP1 may cause Outlook users to be unable to connect to their mailbox. Read more from here:
Windows 2003 SP1 and SCW trouble
A problem also exists with clustered Exchange 2003 back-end servers. In this case trying to access a mailbox through Outlook Web Access OWA will return:
"500 - Internal server error"
The KB Article from Microsoft includes the link to an update that resolves this issue:
"500 - Internal server error" error message when a user tries to access a clustered Exchange Server 2003 back-end server by using Outlook Web Access
If you are running Dell, then checkout the OpenManage update and BIOS update. The following PDF documents give more details:
What is Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and what should I know about SP1 deployment?
Guide to Deploying Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1on Dell PowerEdge Servers
Microsoft as usual has taken the time to test the impact the Service Pack would have on other products. The list is quite long and includes products both from Microsoft and other vendors. So make sure to check this out as it may uncover the need for a few more updates:
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 application compatibility
If you are running Small Business Server then you will need to also install a special update for this Service Pack. Apart for this there are more SBS specific issues. Read this article for more details: SBS 2003 SP1 is out and so is our Issue List
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1)