Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Beta is available

Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Beta provides new features and many deployment options for evaluation. IT pro Rick Vanover breaks down some of the changes for you.

Windows Server 2008's Service Pack 2 (SP2) Beta program allows administrators to check out the forthcoming service pack in test installations before the live deployment. This service pack brings a few important changes to a server installation -- some of which most administrators may not prefer initially.

Here are some of the notable changes and information related to the update:

  • SP2 includes Windows Search 4.0 for server installations; this may irritate many administrators because we usually bypass this functionality on Windows Update or other server update tools. Fortunately, Microsoft provides a Windows Search 4.0 Troubleshooting Guide, which includes steps about high-resource utilization.
  • In SP2, the Power Management Policy can be as much as 10% more efficient with managed power options in Group Policy.
  • SP2 is available for x86 editions. (This is not to be confused with the Windows Server 2008 R2 release, which is only available in x64 editions.)
  • For SP2 standalone installations, the service pack file size is 388 MB for x86 versions and 614 MB for x64 editions.
  • SP2 for Windows Server 2008 is, rather awkwardly, the same installation binaries for Windows Vista SP2. The files are the same by processor support, so x86 editions of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista use the same service pack file. Likewise, x64 editions of the products would use the same service pack installation.
  • SP2 introduces a new feature that may detect driver incompatibilities and prohibit the installation if a loss of functionality will occur.
  • Full installation (ISO) versions of Windows Server 2008 with SP2 are available as part of the Beta program.
  • The SP2 Beta is time limited and will expire on May 1, 2010.
Note: The SP2 Beta is a good idea for test and development systems but not for a live workload.

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Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.


This must be one of the quicker releases of an SP beta that I have seen MS deploy, and probably the first SP that can be applied on both the Server and Client OS! One of the 'features' being a more secure installation experience??? What kind of empty statement is that?


hello this is mohsin, i would like to say thank you to provide great information about new technologies and new products without going anywhere. but i havn,t found anythng concern about new features in window server 2008. i would like to prefer you to make launch a new episode with all new features discussed in it, like fault tolrenece and redundant, security administration, restart your domain without even shuting down your window and much more. thanks again for all the effort you are doing for us to make more educated about new technologies and features.


Like stated. This will tick admins off.

Aakash Shah
Aakash Shah

I realize that enabling services that the admin doesn't want is never a good thing. But, I would suggest trying WDS. I installed it on my 2k3 server and have been very impressed. One of the main reasons I installed it is because when WDS 4 is installed on a server, any clients that connect to it to do a search automatically perform a "remote query" (the clients must also have WDS 4 installed). So, rather than all of your workstations indexing the same share individually (taking up a lot of resources), you now just have one server doing the indexing (the server that WDS is installed on), and all of the clients simply perform queries against the server. Check out this site (do a search for "remote query" to jump to the right spot:

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