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Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2

Originally published: November 27, 2006

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 is a collection of updates and security enhancements to the current Windows Server 2003 operating system. Service Pack 2 (SP2) tightens security of your Windows Server and improves its performance and reliability.

Get more information on Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2.

Windows Server 2003 SP2 directly benefits administrators (for example, in the area of the Microsoft Management Console (MMC)) and addresses the overall organizational readiness of Microsoft's compatibility with Windows Vista as well as the ability to better utilized sophisticated multi-core machines.

By upgrading to Windows Server 2003 SP2, your Windows Server will benefit in many ways.

  • Administrators will like the improvements to the Microsoft Management Console. MMC 3.0 offers new and improved command-line tools.

  • You can take advantage of improved security, such as Wireless Protected Access 2 (WPA2), which will get you ready for the next generation of wireless access.

  • SP2 provides improved performance for SQL 2005, network scalability, and Windows virtualization.

  • Using Windows Deployment Services (WDS), SP2 will also tune-up your system and get it ready for Windows Vista and Windows Longhorn so that you can enjoy a seamless deployment of this new product.

  • New firewall per port; authentication secures traffic between the extranet environment and internal assets that are protected via IPsec domain isolation.

  • Update either Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP Professional x64.

  • The Scaleable Networking Pack (SNP) allows Windows Server 2003 administrators to cost-effectively scale their network-based applications while optimizing server performance and maximizing network throughput.

  • Microsoft Management Console 3.0 (MMC 3.0) gives you a framework that unifies and simplifies day-to-day system management tasks on Windows by providing common navigation, menus, toolbars, and workflow across diverse tools.

  • Windows Server 2003 and x64 has added support for the following languages: German, French, Korean, Chinese Traditional, Chinese Simplified, Spanish, Italian, Russian and, Portuguese (Brazilian). Windows XP Professional x64 Edition will continue to be supported in only English and Japanese.

  • A new XmlLite library allows developers to build high-performance XML-based applications that provide a high degree of interoperability with other applications that adhere to the XML 1.0 standard.

  • A new improved ICACLS tool is an upgrade of the CACLS tool in Windows Server 2003 SP2. You can us ICACLS to reset the account control lists (ACL) on files from Recovery Console, and to back up ACLs.

New Releases

Service Pack 2 is the first Service Pack that patches Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional x64 RTM SKUs via a single update. In addition, Service Pack 2 also updates Windows Server 2003 R2 RTM release with a single install experience.

Service Pack 2 is available in two versions:

  • Standalone version in a release to the Web is available at the Microsoft Download Center and on Windows Update. The standalone version is also available on CD. The update installs on top of any existing Winders Server 2003 (RTM or Service Pack 1) or Windows XP Profession x64 editions.

  • Integrated version applies to the following:

    • Windows Server 2003 R2 Editions with Service Pack 2

    • Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems

    • Windows Server 2003 Web Edition

    • Windows XP X64 Professional

The integrated version for Windows Server 2003 R2 Service Pack 2 (# 1 above) will be split across two CDs – CD1 contains the operating system and SP2 updates and CD2 have R2 components and SP2 updates.

New Features:

  • Scalable Networking Pack

  • XMLLite

Enhancements to Existing Features

The enhancements to Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 include:

  • Windows Deployment Services (WDS)

  • Enabling ‘Firewall Per Port’ Authentication

  • Microsoft Management Console 3.0 (MMC 3.0)

  • Wireless Protected Access 2 (WPA2)

  • iCACLS tool

  • Expanded Windows Server 2003 Datacenter SKUs

  • Release of MUI Packs to insure greater compatibility between base and MUI language

  • Performance Improvements for SQL Servers

  • Enhanced discoverability options in MSConfig

  • Improved IPsec filter management

  • Performance Improvements under Windows Virtualization

  • Increased default storage for Message Queuing

  • Improvements to DCDIAG Domain Name Service tests

  • New Events for Cluster Service Accounts

Each of these key updates, enhancements, and new features provided with Windows Server 2003 SP2 will be covered in greater detail in the following sections.

In addition, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 supports 9 new localized languages for the Windows Server 2003 x64 SKUs.

Supported Scenarios

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 is the first Service Pack for the Windows Server 2003 platform that patches the RTM and R2 versions. We have enabled all key install scenarios for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 and R2 RTM customers.

Disc 1Windows Server 2003 Integrated
with Service Pack 2
Disc 2Windows Server 2003
Release 2 CD2
Disc 3Windows Server 2003
Service Pack 2 Standalone Update


The following table lists the supported update paths to Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2

Base OS/SPMigration to OS/SP
 Windows Server 2003 RTMWindows Server 2003 SP1Windows Server 2003 R2Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2
Windows 2000 SP4Windows Server 2003 RTM UpgradeWindows Server 2003 Integrated w/SP1

Windows Server 2003
Integrated w/SP1 and

Disc 2

Disc 1Disc 2
Windows Server 2003 RTMNot AvailableWindows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 Standalone Update

Windows Server 2003 SP1 Update and

Disc 2

Disc 1Disc 2


Disc 2Disc 3

OR R2 RTM and

Disc 3

Windows Server 2003 SP1Not AvailableNot AvailableDisc 2Disc 2Disc 3
Windows Server 2003 R2Not AvailableNot AvailableNot AvailableDisc 3


Base OS/SPMigration to OS/SP
 Windows XP Pro (x64) RTMWindows XP Pro (x64) SP2
Windows XP Pro (x86)1Not AvailableNot Available
Windows XP Pro (x64)Not AvailableDisc 3
1Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 can also update x64 versions of Windows XP Professional. Microsoft offers a separate service pack for Windows XP x86.

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Prerequisites

Windows Server ProductMinimum CPU speedMulti-processor supportDisk space for setupMemory
Standard Edition133 MHzUp to 41.5 GB256 MB
Enterprise Edition

133 MHz for x86-based computers

733 MHz for Itanium-based computers

Up to 8

1.5 GB for x86-based computers

2.0 GB for Itanium-based computers

256 MB
Small Business Server300 MHzUp to 24.0 GB256 MB
Datacenter Edition

400MHz for x86-based computers

733 for Itanium-based computers

Minimum 8-way capable machine required

Maximum 64

1.5 GB for x86-based computers

2.0 GB for Itanium-based computers

1 GB
Web Edition133 MHzUp to 21.5 GB256 MB