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Microsoft Blocks Windows Server 2003 SP1 Update

Taking a page out of its Windows XP playbook, Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday released a tool for companies that want to block the automatic download of Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1), a set of security updates that the Redmond, Wash.-based developer released in March.

The toolkit will work much the same as the one released in 2004 to block the automatic download and installation of Windows XP SP2, another service pack that included not just security fixes, but major security enhancements and other new features. The toolkit can be downloaded free of charge from the Microsoft Web site.

Windows Server 2003 SP1 is set to download to servers using Microsoft's Auto Update service starting July 26. The toolkit offers an executable and a script to turn off Auto Update for SP1, as well as Active Directory template to do the same. The tools will also remove SP1 from any update list generated by Windows Update, or the new Microsoft Update, the two manual updating services Microsoft runs.

By using the toolkit, customers can avoid SP1 while still retrieving other critical security updates, Microsoft said in the advisory posted with the blocking tools.

"Customers who require additional time to prepare for the download and deployment of Windows Server 2003 SP1 can use [this] blocker toolkit," Microsoft added in the advisory.

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