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Microsoft: Small Business Server Users Should Wait On Windows Server 2003 SP1

Although Microsoft is urging Windows Server 2003 users to immediately install the software's new service pack to take advantage of its numerous security fixes, the company is making an exception for one incompatible server suite: Its own Windows Small Business Server 2003 (SBS).

Rather, Microsoft has suggested that SBS users wait until that software gets its own update, which is expected to become available sometime by mid-year and will include Windows Server 2003 SP1 among its components. Until then, according to company documents, SBS users who do install Windows Server 2003 SP1 over top of the existing SBS suite can expect some errors with the suite's configuration wizards.

Among the known problems after installing Windows Server 2003 SP1 are that SBS's Remote Access Wizard will fail to create a Connection Manager configuration, returning an error message instead, and the Change Server IP Address tool will fail to run. The solution to both errors, says Microsoft, is to uninstall the Windows Server 2003 service pack.

In addition, uninstalling Windows Server 2003 SP1 will cut off SBS's Fax service from starting and the Fax Configuration Wizard from running; Microsoft has posted the steps for a registry update that will solve the problem.

Small Business Server SP1 is currently in beta testing and should be available in final form sometime in the next two-three months. In addition to the Windows Server 2003 SP1 update, the SBS service pack will include Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services SP1; Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 SP1; Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 SP1; Microsoft Windows XP SP2; the fourth service pack for the premium edition of Microsoft SQL Server 2000; and the premium edition of Microsoft Internet and Security Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004, an edge firewall package for small businesses.