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Service Pack Best Practices

By tringelberg ·
I have been given the challenge of writing our NT Server/Workstation standards and have been asked by one of the other members of the team about Service Packs.
Question:
Should the active Service Pack be re-applied after every third party software load or OS tweak? Would we be better off letting the third party software take care of their own updates?
We need to be sure about "Best Practice" statements. Any guidence would be apprectiated.

Todd Ringelberg
DHHS - State of New Hampshire
Networking

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Service Pack Best Practices

by Otura In reply to Service Pack Best Practic ...

You can have 2 approachs to this question:

1? Each developer should take care about its own updates.

2? As Service Packs update some basic components of the system you should apply them after you install 3? party drivers that could be out of date.

Anyway this is a complex problem. As I see it you should study what changes and updates do each service pack. You should only install them if they introduce something your system needs to work.

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Service Pack Best Practices

by tringelberg In reply to Service Pack Best Practic ...

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Service Pack Best Practices

by spiceman In reply to Service Pack Best Practic ...

Definitely after each install of any part of the operating system you need to run the current service pack on your system with the uninstall option

For 3rd party software - you must check website to ensure that there isn't an update to the one that was given including bug fixes. It depends on the age of the drivers and software being installed - each needs to be checked to avoid things like blue screen of death syndrome

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Service Pack Best Practices

by tringelberg In reply to Service Pack Best Practic ...

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Service Pack Best Practices

by DC1 In reply to Service Pack Best Practic ...

Reapply the service pack if the 3rd party applcation update any files in the system32 directory.

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Service Pack Best Practices

by tringelberg In reply to Service Pack Best Practic ...

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Service Pack Best Practices

by McKayTech In reply to Service Pack Best Practic ...

The usual rule is that if the installation process of an update asks for the NT installation media from which to copy files, the appropriate Service Pack should be re-run afterwards (except in the unlikely case that the installation media has the same service pack level you are currently using.

Most vendor applications are well-behaved enough to leave your system files alone, but there are programs out there that install obsolete system files when they update. And there are applications that break when the Service Pack is run.

I don't know of any answer that works consistently except to test the upgrades in a lab setting before applying them to production machines (whether server or workstation) and based on that experience decide whether the Service Pack needs to be re-run.

This will be less of a problem in the Windows2000 world where the system files are protected to some degree, but in the NT world, I just haven't found much that works the same way every time.


regards!

paul

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Service Pack Best Practices

by tringelberg In reply to Service Pack Best Practic ...

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Service Pack Best Practices

by curlergirl In reply to Service Pack Best Practic ...

I agree with pmwright - having been told numerous times by MS tech support personnel that the service pack needs to be reapplied ALWAYS if you have installed/reinstalled something that calls for the original NT installation CD, but not otherwise. Igenerally go back to the mfr. for 3rd party drivers and apps on the theory that the mfr. is going to keep its drivers more up to date than Microsoft will in its service packs. However, this requires more diligence on your part, since often mfrs. will publish drivers that REQUIRE a specific service pack level to be installed first. You just have to be careful and don't rush to install new drivers and/or service packs until they've proved to be useful and non-destructive (a la SP6 that very quickly became 6a!!) - if you have the luxury of a lab situation to test things take full advantage. I have to hang back and let my fellow admins out in the big bad world test things for me since I don't have that luxury. Hope this helps!

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by tringelberg In reply to Service Pack Best Practic ...

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