Dec 5, 2011

Posted by in Tech Tips | 24 Comments

Quick step-by-step Exchange 2010 SP2 install guide

Update (13/02/2013): Microsoft today launched SP3 for Exchange 2010, I’ve written a companion post with my install experiences here

Today Exchange 2010 SP2 was posted on Microsoft’s site along with the Unified Messaging Language packs. The official MS documentation is still a bit SP2 free at the moment, but have a look here to get an idea of what’s new. I downloaded & installed it this morning and here is a record of the process for posterity Winking smile.


My setup is a small “one server” Exchange 2010 install, i.e one box with CAS, Hub Transport, Mailbox all on one server. I don’t have UM/Edge or any DAGs deployed….


Exchange 2010 SP2 will update your schema by itself as part of the installation in the same way that SP1 did. In an enterprise environment you might have strict controls about this sort of stuff so be careful! It also means to run the installer you need to be an “Enterprise Administrator” or the installer will fail.


CN=ms-Exch-Schema-Version-PT rangeUpper is now 14732 up from 14726 in Exchange 2010 SP1

You can see a list of the Exchange schema versions here


  • Download and extract the 2010 SP2 installer to a network location or somewhere on your server
  • The download is about 535mb which will extract to 1.38GB. So this looks to follow the same tradition started in Exchange 2007 where SP’s are actually full binary installs so no need to slipstream it for a brand new installation.


  • Ensure you have a good backup of your server & if it’s a Virtual Machine you might want to consider taking a snapshot of it
    • Note a snapshot wont help you if you have schema upgrade issues as this affects your entire AD
  • If you are installing it on a Client Access Server (CAS) there seems to be a requirement to have IIS6 WMI compatibility installed


    • Go to Server manager
    • Under “Roles” find IIS
    • “Add role feature” and select “IIS 6 WMI Compatibility”


    • This wont need a system reboot


  • From the extracted SP2 folder run “setup”
  • Choose “Install Microsoft Exchange Server Upgrade”


  • The “Read more link” currently still talks about SP1 but you can check here
  • Setup will then copy some files around and eventually start up



  • Step through the screens



  • And let the installer start


  • After some time it should complete (about an hour for me on my small VM environment)


  • Check your Exchange MMC “About” and you should have a new version number



Post install tidy up

  • The installer didn’t need a reboot but you might want to give it one anyway?
  • Check your Active Directory replication is functioning correctly after the schema upgrade (if you didn’t do this separately)
  • Do some mail flow tests & check email is coming and going as you expect
  • When happy remove any snapshots you had open during the install
    • Be careful not to let your snaps get too large & remember with Hyper-V the snap wont consolidate until you shut down the VM
  • Sit back & Enjoy your new SP2 install
  1. Thanks for the walkthrough, it’s reassuring. Was your server SP1 or RTM? Do you have Forefront Security for Exchange installed?

  2. Hello,
    I was on SP1 CU 3 (bit behind!) and yes I have Forefront Protection for Exchange 2010 (11.0.713.0) hotfix rollup 3 (… Hope that helps and good luck with your upgrade. Also thanks for the feedback!


  3. What are the backup requirements before installing SP2 for Exchange. Does Microsoft have a requirement stating that the system should be backed up before this happens?

  4. Hello,
    I don’t think there are any official install steps or sequences but there are certainly some precautions you should take depending on your topology:
    Backup your mailbox databases
    Consider stopping incoming email (i.e block it off at the firewall or hold it somewhere while you upgrade)
    If you have virtual exchange servers consider using a snapshot so you can roll back (be careful on a mailbox server if you need to roll back!) – Also for clean up your snaps quickly when your done
    Make sure you have a suitable DR procedure in-place if anything does blow up one of your exchange boxes – i.e know how to recover the server

    All in all the install should be fairly straight forward but if the worst happens you want to know you took precautions

    Let me know how it goes!


  5. Hi Ben, Thanks for posting this informaiton. I resently upgrade 3 of my servers to Exchange 2010 sp2 from sp1 ru4. These are just my standby servers that do not host any live accounts, just 3 test accounts. The Cas server is not appart of my production Cas Array and the Mailbox server is not part of a DAG. I took snapshots of all servers prior to sp2 upgrade. Since these are all standonle servers do you beleive that a snapshot roll-back would be successful. I have a need to go to SP1 RU6. I know roll-backs are not supported by Microsoft, but since these are standby servers i’m not to concerned about lost messages. I more concerned about how AD may be affected by a roll-back. Thoughts.

  6. No problems that existed in SP1 or the first couple RUs where it would disable all the services causing the installation to fail and leave you without a working Exchange server? I know the last couple RUs haven’t had that issue, but since this is an SP, I want to make sure.

  7. Does SP2 contain all previous roll ups?

  8. Yes it should.

  9. Arun Chaudhary says:

    Hi Friends,
    Today I download & install the Exchange 2010sp2 in lab for new R & D, but for the CAS its giving too much updates download,
    I want to know one thing in Exchange 2010,
    I have a root domain name & a child domain
    I have configure & install Exchange 2010 in my root domain, I want to create mailbox for thhe child domain users, butt I am not sucess any time, if anybody know please share with me.
    one more querry, I have two seprate forest &, I want to send mail between the two forest Exchange 2010 server without trust, but not delivering name
    Please I will be very thanksfull for you.
    please response me on

    Arun Chaudhary
    Exchange Corporate Trainer.

  10. Prethesh Kumar Bhalotia says:

    Hi everyone,

    can any one please tell me how to install the Exchange server 2010 sp2 so that it can satisfy the multi tenant mode..

  11. Arun Chaudhary,

    If you have two different exchange servers and it will work fine without trust. If you are hosting one exchange server with two different domains without trust, it won’t work because exchange relies on Active Directory to do lookup.

  12. Hi,

    I am unsure that it is as simple as this, even for a single stand-alone server like we have. Is it so?

    Aside from the WMI requirement which I have seen in numerous places to be cautious about, is this straight forward. There seems to be a lot of hype around this being quite an involved SP.


  13. Hi,

    I’m trying to install sp2 of exchange 2010, I see that’s all steps were running without any issue, however it’s been more than an hour that the install is in ‘mailbox role’, is it correct? may it take more time? should I worry about that or be patient?

    Thanks for your reply

  14. Hi,
    I’m trying to install sp2 of exchange 2010, I see that’s all steps were running without any issue, however it’s been more than an hour that the install is in ‘mailbox role’, is it correct? may it take more time? should I worry about that or be patient? is it something that I’ve missed?

    I’m using a new server dell poweredge R210, with a new windows 2008 r2 and a new exchange 2010 just one mailbox created??

    Thanks for your reply

  15. Sounds like that is a bit long for 1 mailbox. Let it run though.

    I ended up doing ours this past weekend with ease, was around 30-40 minutes for about 30 or so mailboxes.

    Rollup 2 took a while for what it is.

  16. Ben Lee says:

    Hi, Sounds way to long for 1 mailbox?! As Gareth said though the safest thing is to let it run till you get an error or a success… How did it go?

  17. Hello;
    i have more or less my lab scenario. 2 boxes (no VM), 1-AD win2008 as well as my exchange 2010.
    update process errors:
    passes the readiness checks the i try to update i get the following errors..
    “some controls aren’t valid.
    – setup encountered a problem while validating the state of the active driectory: active drirectory error 08007203A occured while searching for domain controllers in domin MY.DOMAIN.COM:

  18. Sounds like AD or DNS is misbehaving. Can you resolve your domain name from the Exchange server correctly?

  19. Hi,

    Does any one install the SP2 in the multi tenant mode..


  20. Hi, Thank you for this article, it helped a lot in my research. One thing I ran into was the group “Exchange All Hosted Organizations” was set to universal, not global, and this caused the SP2 installer to fail.

    Just thought I would let you and others know about it.

    I was getting the following:

    The well-known object entry with the GUID “70bf766e-de1c-4776-b193-758d1306c8fb”, which is on the “CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=DOMAIN,DC=org,DC=au” container object’s otherWellKnownObjects attribute, refers to a group “CN=Exchange All Hosted Organizations,OU=Microsoft Exchange Security Groups,DC=DOMAIN,DC=org,DC=au” of the wrong group type. Either delete the well-known object entry, or promote the target object to “Global, SecurityEnabled”.

  21. Thanks for this step-by-step guide.
    Upon my research other thing that need to check prior upgrade is the Powershell settings on the Exchange server.
    Check by: get-executionpolicy -list

    The MachinePolicy & UserPolicy MUST BE Undefined. The LocalMachine can be either Undefined or RemoteSigned (other people success with this both setting but eventually will be changed to RemoteSigned after upgrade SP2).
    Suggestion to have all Undefined except the LocalMachine either Undefined or RemoteSigned.

    Use this command to change the setting prior the upgrade, recheck settings then follow this article process:
    set-executionpolicy -scope localmachine -executionpolicy undefined

    Once the upgrade finished, you can set the executionpolicy back to it was if you wish.

    If the command to change didn’t work, check the domain group policy using Group Policy Manager. It could be one of the GP that force to something than Undefined.

    Check these articles:

  22. MarioTunes says:

    Thank you for article.
    I have Exchange 2010 SP1 Rollup 3 installed on my CAS servers, should I uninstall rollup before install SP2?
    Thank you

  23. No you should be okay to go straight for SP2, it’s cumulative so has all the fixes to that point

  24. I have recently migrate exchange server from 2003 to 2010 and getting some events logs and when I tried to figure it out, i found that we have 14.01.0218.015 build number. now i want to know may i apply SP2 directly or we have to apply each update like update 1, 2, 3 ….

    Thanks for reply


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