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Best Practices for Using Update.msi to deploy Service Packs

This article was previously published under Q278503
With the Update.msi package for Windows 2000 Service Pack 1 (SP1), you can use the Active Directory program-deployment capabilities to "push" SP1 to client computers. You should plan and test this method to ensure a successful deployment by using the Update.msi package in your organization. This article describes the intended usage of the package and best practices to follow when you plan the service pack rollout by using this distribution method.

For additional information about obtaining the Update.msi package, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
269732 How to Obtain the Windows Installer Package (Update.msi) for Windows 2000 Service Pack 1
Because service packs are applied across organizations to computers rather than to specific users, you should deliver the Update.msi package by using a computer-level Group Policy deployment.

Traditional .msi files can be used to install packages locally by double-clicking the file. To install SP1 locally, you can use the Update.exe file that is included with SP1 (instead of the Update.msi package, which is intended for directory-based deployment). Using the Update.msi package is supported only by using a computer-level Group Policy software deployment.

If you want to advertise SP1 by using the Add/Remove Programs tools instead of forcibly installing the service pack by using Computer Software Deployment, use a .zap file to allow the SP1 Update.exe file to be published. For additional information about using .zap files and Active Directory deployment, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
231747 How to Publish non-MSI Programs with .zap Files
Installations that use .zap files require the user to be logged on as the local administrator because Update.exe runs under the current user's context. The typical scenario for using this method is with RAS clients whom you do not want to be affected by a service pack installation at the next RAS logon.

Problems with the service pack installation are logged in the same manner as unattended installations. You can examine the Event log and the Svcpack.log file to determine the cause of the problem.

If low disk space causes the service pack installation not to succeed, the service pack may appear as installed in the Add/Remove Programs tool, but not appear as installed with Winver.exe. If this occurs on a portion of the deployment, move the affected computers out from under the scope of the managed program (such as to another organizational unit). Create enough free space for the service pack to be installed, and then return the computers to the organizational unit with the service pack deployment. You must reboot the computers to accomplish both the removal and the reinstallation of the service pack.

When you verify the service pack installation, use the information provided by Winver.exe instead of the information reported in the Add/Remove Programs tool.

Because the primary method for managing deployment problems with the Update.msi package is to move the affected computers from the scope of the managed program and then back into the scope, Microsoft recommends that you deploy the service pack with the Uninstall this application when it falls out of the scope of management option enabled. This check box is available on the Deployment tab in the service pack software deployment properties. Using this option causes the service pack to be removed if you move a computer out from under the software deployment.

For information about other deployment methods, see the Windows 2000 Service Pack Installation and Deployment Guide at the following Microsoft Web site:

Article ID: 278503 - Last Review: 10/26/2007 18:42:12 - Revision: 5.4

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
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