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Deploying Windows Server 2003 SP1 to multiple servers

How do you deploy Windows Server 2003 SP1 to multiple servers?
The easiest way is to make a Group Policy Object (GPO) targeted at applicable servers, but this will only work if you have an Active Directory-based domain. You'll need the network installation version of the service pack (not the one you find on Windows Update) since the GP deployment needs the full package and not the abbreviated download. You can find instructions to do this on a lot of websites and in Chapter 8 of my book, Learning Windows Server 2003.

If you don't have a domain, then the most straightforward way is probably to download the network installation version of the service pack, put it in a central location (i.e., a file server or even a permanent CD) and then deploy using sneakernet at each server console.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For more information, register for Jonathan Hassell's webcast New security enhancements in Windows Server 2003 SP1, or view the following checklists in the series:

  • Quick setup for the Security Configuration Wizard
  • Deploy Windows Server 2003 SP1 with Remote Installation Services (RIS)
  • How to use the Security Configuration Wizard command-line tool
  • This was first published in July 2005

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