Did SUS behaviour regarding service packs just change without any warning? Great :-(

1 view
Skip to first unread message

James Reather

Sep 18, 2003, 2:43:06 AM9/18/03
[Crossposted to SBS groups as a heads-up for the SBS SUS users....]

I've just noticed that my local SUS has downloaded the network install of
W2k SP4 and WinXP SP1. I'm sure SUS1.0 SP1 said that it wouldn't/couldn't
deploy service packs, only hotfixes; yet when I check
http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/windowsupdate/sus/susfaq.asp it has
been updated (17/Sep/2003) to say that SUS now *does* deploy service
packs... Huh? Did I miss something here? Was there a *notice* of any
kind that SUS behaviour was going to change? I'm subscribed to the "SUS
content notification change" mailing list, yet I didn't receive any messages
letting me know this was going to happen. Instead of changing this
silently, how about rolling this feature out as a SUS SP2?

Can I turn this feature off? I hope so, but I bet you can't. Why? I've
got three production servers, at three separate sites, each with SUS but
with only an ISDN 64kbit internet internet connection; I guess over the next
few days they are each going to swamp the internet connection for hours
while they try and download two service packs in full, but on these sites
(a) I only have W2k systems, no XPs at all, and (b) all my W2k machines
already have SP4.

So I've got 3 x 250MB+ of download headed my way for absolutely no reason,
and I can't prevent it, unless I disable SUS and go back to manually running
a WindowsUpdate. :-(

*** Can I make a plea to the SUS guys, and MS in general? *PLEASE* don't
just silently change product features without giving us any notice - it
usually causes grief for somebody. ***

Check out some quotes from threads in the SUS group and see just how well
handled announcing this change:

"But by the end of this month SUS would be handling service packs. To start
with W2K SP4 will be available through SUS. Jose"

"So is it SP4 for Win2K that's changing or SUS? I'm a bit confused... Tom
S. BTW, [Jose] what's your affiliation with MS? They wouldn't confirm or
deny anything for me..."

"It is SUS that is changing. It will be released as a completely new
version, called SUS 2.0 I think. Torgeir Bakken (MVP)"

"But not by the end of the month I am told. If you know differently, please
elaborate. The new version was scheduled to be released early next year. I
would understand it if MS might want to speed up the release and I'm sure it
would be welcome. Thanks. Tom S"

(thread ends with no response from Jose)

and another one:

"How can I get the Service Pack 4 on to a computer without internet access?
[...] Gerd"

"You need to download the network installation package. Neo"

"Probably by end of this month... SUS will deliver Service packs starting
with W2K SP4 and WinXP SP1. thanks, Jose"

"Are you sure SUS will be delivering service packs? Did you hear that from
somewhere? Tom"

(thread ends with no response from Jose)



Sep 18, 2003, 5:40:30 AM9/18/03

James Reather wrote:

> Can I turn this feature off? I hope so, but I bet you can't. Why? I've
> got three production servers, at three separate sites, each with SUS but
> with only an ISDN 64kbit internet internet connection; I guess over the next
> few days they are each going to swamp the internet connection for hours
> while they try and download two service packs in full, but on these sites
> (a) I only have W2k systems, no XPs at all, and (b) all my W2k machines
> already have SP4.

You don't have to turn it off, just don't approve the SP:s on the SUS

/ Martin


Sep 18, 2003, 5:51:14 AM9/18/03

"martin" <lej...@home.se> wrote in message

but it will still download the updates...

James Reather

Sep 18, 2003, 5:55:08 AM9/18/03

It's the unnecessary and lengthy download of the SPs that I want to avoid -
so how would not approving the SPs make any difference? All the latest
service packs are already deployed to all my machines...


Don Cottam [MS]

Sep 18, 2003, 6:08:27 AM9/18/03

About 9 hours ago we did indeed release service packs for Windows 2000 SP4
and Windows XP SP1 as new content through SUS. To address one of your
concerns, we could have done a better job of advertising this coming change,
and if something similar happens in the future (not likely) we'll try to do
a better job at comminicating *prior* to the change. Let me try to address
some of the other issues or concerns that you've raised.

1) Lack of notification about this change.
This change has been discussed as "coming" quite a few times in this
newsgroup, as well as a couple of 3rd party community sites, but we did not
specify a date for the change. Part of the reason behind that was because
of creating expectations and not meeting them. This change was going to
occur last week, but was put on hold at the last minute because of the
pending release of MS03-039, which is such a critical patch that we did not
want to distract from its importance by releasing service packs on the same
We also have a disadvantage about notifying users. We have never
required registration to download or use SUS. I personally wish we had a
list of all SUS users so we could send email directly, but we don't.
Although the coming change has been mentioned in this newsgroup, in reality
most people only visit the newsgroup when they have problems or
questions...they likely wouldn't have seen those discussions (or any
"official" notice) anyway.
The "SUS content notification change" alias is useful to find out when
content changes, but we don't have the capability of easily modifying the
text of the email since we don't directly control the emailer and it gets
generated automatically. Again, if we had a list of registered users we
could have bypassed the emailer and done notification more directly.

2) Can this new feature be turned off?
Unfortunately, no. Delivering service packs is essentially the same as
delivering any other critical update or security update. The only way that
we could possibly provide a method to turn it off would be to produce two
separate versions of SUS: one that downloads service packs and one that
doesn't. Doing so would be time-consuming and would distract the product
team from working on the next full version of SUS.
The reason that this feature was turned on to begin with is because
every customer that we have talked to, either in person, conferences, on the
phone or through email, has expressed extreme wishes to see service packs
delivered through SUS. A year ago there was a completely different version
of SUS in beta that would provide service packs, but in order to get it you
would have to have an SA (Software Assurance) license, which is not free.
The overwhelming feedback that we got was that service packs should be part
of the "normal" SUS. In all the discussions and feedback that we've had,
including here in the newsgroup after it was stated that service packs would
be available by the end of September, we haven't had one person complain or
say they didn't want service packs (at least as far as I know.)

3) Size of download
Yes, downloading the service packs won't be fast, especially on slow
connections. It will be about as painful as the initial setup and
synchronzation of a SUS server, but it will only happen once...at least
until the next service pack is released, and that is still several months
away. This is going to be more painful for customers on slower connections,
but I don't know how we can easily alleviate that, at least in this version
of SUS. The next version will allow you to specify *exactly* what content
you want, and only download that content so you don't get content you don't
need or never intend to approve, but the current version can't be modified
to do that. Again, service packs have been such a high-volumn request that
we feel that the majority of our customers are willing to put up with the
pain of the download once every few months.

4) About silently changing features without proper notification
I completely understand your point, and I do agree that we probably
could have made better efforts. If anything like this happens again (again,
not likely) I'll definitely keep this request in mind. Most of my comments
about #1 are still applicable though. We unfortunately don't have an easy
way of notifying our users in cases like this when we need to. :o(

Final note: Jose does work for MS, and has taken over responsibilities for
answering newsgroup posts. I haven't been very active in the newsgroups for
several months because of that. I'm going to try to start diverting some of
my time to pay a little more attention to the newsgroups (I've been telling
myself that for several weeks though) so that I can assist Jose and perhaps
provide additional help. I accept responsibility for not posting
information on these changes to the newsgroup earlier today, at least to
provide confirmation that the change was intended. I should have done that.



Don Cottam
Microsoft Corporation
Software Update Services
(I prefer to communicate through the newsgroup, so please do not email me
unless necessary. Thx!)

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

"James Reather" <james...@reather.com> wrote in message

Buzz Lightyear

Sep 18, 2003, 11:56:53 AM9/18/03
anyone got the link for the mailing list Don referenced?

"Don Cottam [MS]" <do...@online.microsoft.com> wrote in message

Sande Nissen

Sep 18, 2003, 12:07:33 PM9/18/03
"Don Cottam [MS]" <do...@online.microsoft.com> wrote in

<content deleted>

Don, thanks for taking the time to answer those questions.

Sande Nissen
PC & NetWare Systems Administrator
Carleton College
Northfield, MN 55057

Dave Stoecker

Sep 18, 2003, 12:43:54 PM9/18/03
Here you go Buzz -


"Buzz Lightyear" <squea...@hotmail.com> wrote in message

Brandon Powers

Sep 18, 2003, 1:50:34 PM9/18/03
I'm sorry, but these excuses for the lack of notification are really


"Don Cottam [MS]" <do...@online.microsoft.com> wrote in message

Shane Allen

Sep 18, 2003, 2:48:39 PM9/18/03
Don't deploy SP4 via SUS to a Win2k SP3 pc. I just did it and SP4
wiped out all the reg settings from the GPO and I can not get the PC
to get the settings from the domain at all now. I'm reloading Win2k on
the PC to confirm.

"Don Cottam [MS]" <do...@online.microsoft.com> wrote in message news:<u$UhWzcfD...@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl>...

Akhlaq Khan

Sep 22, 2003, 8:11:05 AM9/22/03
I have two questions:

1. Since my SUS server is on a slow connection, everytime it goes for
downloading SP4 it timeouts after a certain period
(around 6 hours) and tries after another 30 minutes. so it keeps consuming
my bandwidth while the internet users on my LAN starve for badnwidth. I was
wondering about a workaround for this, but before i implement it i wanted to
take some experts' advice. I was thinking that maybe i can copy down the SP4
exe file (which i already have on one of my servers) in the "content"
directory of SUS (with the same name of course) and make it think that it
has already downloaded it so there is really no need to keep trying
downloading it anymore. Should that solve my problem ? or can anybody
suggest some other workaround ?

2. As shane said that installing SP4 over a win2k SP3 machine got himin
trouble, did anybody else had the same experience as shane ? should i ever
try "approving" the SP4 ? is it relaible enough ?



"Shane Allen" <shane...@specialdevices.com> wrote in message

Akhlaq Khan

Sep 22, 2003, 8:13:02 AM9/22/03

Bernhard Mähr

Sep 22, 2003, 8:45:06 AM9/22/03

>2. As shane said that installing SP4 over a win2k SP3
machine got himin
>trouble, did anybody else had the same experience as
shane ? should i ever
>try "approving" the SP4 ? is it relaible enough ?

Same problem here...
Bluescreen on two machines after installation of SP4 with
SUS over SP3. We unapproved it...

Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages