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Applies To: Windows Server 2003 with SP1

What does Setup do?

Setup is the program that installs and configures the operating system on your computer. When you originally install Windows Server 2003, Setup installs and configures the operating system to work properly with the computer.

Often, any program that is used to install and configure software programs is called Setup. However, in Windows Server 2003, there are two different programs that install and configure programs after the operating system is operational. When Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or any other software update is installed on Windows Server 2003, the Package Installer for Windows updates and changes the existing installation of Windows Server 2003. If an application, such as Microsoft Office, is installed, configured, or upgraded, then Windows Installer is the program that is responsible for that task.

Who does this feature apply to?

All users and administrators who install or deploy Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 should become familiar with the changes in this feature.

What new functionality is added to this feature in Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1?

Package Installer for Windows

Detailed description

The Package Installer for Windows (Update.exe) installs Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1. This is different installation technology from what is used to install the complete operating system. For a complete discussion of the Package Installer, see "The Package Installer for Windows and Windows Components" on the Microsoft Web site at

Changes in Package Installer in Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 include:

  • Command line switches

    Microsoft has moved to a standard for Installer switches, which will be available later this year. There are no new switches to replace the /D and /S switch functions; the old switches are still valid. The following table describes the former, new, and legacy switches for use with the Package Installer.


    Old Switch New Switch Description



    Used to automate removal of a service pack.



    Displays help text.


    No change

    For service pack installations, backs up files to the specified folder.



    Enables extended return codes. (For more information about extended return codes, see Appendix F in the "The Package Installer for Windows and Windows Components" white paper.)



    Forces other applications to close when the computer restarts after the installation.



    Forces restart after installation finishes.



    Lists installed hotfixes (Windows updates only).



    Does not back up files for removing the service pack or hotfix. In Add or Remove Programs, there is no Remove button for the hotfix, so it cannot be uninstalled.



    Overwrites OEM files without prompting.



    Uses quiet mode, which is the same as unattended mode, except that the user interface is hidden. No prompts appear during the installation.


    No change

    Combines the operating system image with Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 in a shared distribution folder for an integrated installation. When using this switch, type the name of the shared distribution folder after the colon.



    Uses unattended setup mode. Only critical errors and a progress bar appear during setup.



    Does not restart the computer after the installation finishes.

  • /O command line switch

    The /O command line switch prevents Update.exe from performing an exhaustive search for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) supplied files, such as video drivers. Use this switch only if you want to overwrite all files supplied by the OEM on your system. By default, OEM files are not overwritten.

  • Do not apply updates during installation

    If you are running in an environment that uses a utility to scan and apply updates or security updates automatically, the utility may conflict with the service pack installation. This conflict can occur when a service pack is in the process of installation or uninstallation and has not fully completed due to the need to restart and then run the post-installation processes. If the update utility attempts to apply updates to the system at shutdown or restart, it may attempt to install updates prior to completing the service pack installation, which may result in the computer being left in an unusable state.

  • Improved recovery following installation failure

    In the event that there is a failure to complete the service pack installation, in most cases, automatic recovery will occur. For example, if power failure occurs during the latter parts of installation, when you restart the computer, the service pack uninstall procedure automatically starts and rolls back all the changes that were made during the service pack installation.

  • Antivirus software

    Although antivirus software is a critical factor in keeping a computer secure, it can affect the overall time required to install a service pack. Disabling your antivirus software during installation of the service pack could reduce the installation time by up to 20%. If you decide to disable the antivirus software, be aware of the risks involved and be sure to enable it after the service pack is installed.

What works differently?

A new prerequisite to service pack installation is a check as to whether the file SpUpdSvc.inf exists on the computer. This file will be present only if Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 was previously installed on the computer. If this file is found on your computer by the SP1 installer you will be presented with the message:

Setup has detected an .INF file from the beta installation that will prevent successful installation of the Service Pack. Please see Deleting SpUpdSvc.inf before install in the Readme document accompanying this release for details on how to unblock the Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 installation.

There is also a prerequisite that blocks installation of the service pack if the Distributed Transaction Coordinator (also know as MSDTC) service status is Disabled and Stopped at the time of installation. In this case the installation will stop and you will be presented with the message:

Setup has detected that the Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MSDTC) service is disabled. The MSDTC service is required for the successful installation of Microsoft ® Windows Server™ 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1). Please enable the MSDTC service, and then restart the installation of Windows Server 2003 SP1. For more information about enabling the MSDTC service, contact your network administrator.

How do I resolve these issues?

To manually delete the SPUpdSvc.INF file
  1. Locate the SPUpdSvc.INF file in the Windows directory.

  2. Rename the file from SPUpdSvc.INF to SPUpdSvc.BAK.

  3. Restart your computer.

  4. Attempt to install the service pack

  5. If the service pack successfully installs, delete the SPUpdSvc.BAK file.

To enable the MSDTC service
  1. Open a command prompt.

  2. At the command prompt, type the following command:

    sc config MSDTC start=demand

    This will change the status of the MSDTC service from disabled to enabled, but will not start the service.

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