On Tuesday, Service Pack 2 for Windows Server 2003 will be available thru Automatic Update. I recommend waiting to deploy it for some time. Recently, we updated a machine running ISA Server 2004 with SP2. This improved significantly the security of Microsoft's firewall since all traffic was blocked after the update. Okay, the disadvantage was that the computers behind ISA were not able anymore to access the Internet.

Thank goodness, it was only a backup system. Meanwhile there is a solution for this problem. However, this incident also significantly increased my respect for this Service Pack. Especially this new "lazy Interrupt Request Level (IRQL) handler" seems to have some bad influence on otherwise diligent servers. Hence, we won't be too hasty to deploy it to our servers. We will wait for some weeks to see what other bugs it contains.

If you deploy service packs with WSUS, you don't have to worry that it will be installed on your servers without approval. You have to explicitly accept the SP2 Eula. You can make sure that the service pack is not accidently installed by using the SP2 blocker tool to "temporarily block delivery of Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2".

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If you want to deploy it anyway, check out the Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 application compatibility list first. I am not sure, though, how much you can trust this list. ISA 2004 was tested, too! It seems they didn't test it on multiprocessors systems. Maybe they thought that this "lazy handler" wouldn't affect the more vigorous servers, anyway.