What if Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 fails?

More often than not Service Pack upgrades go without any problems but if you are unlucky things can get really bad.

My fellow Cluster MVP, Robert Smit (also from the Netherlands) came across a failed SP1 upgrade ending with 0x800705b4 and 0x80070643. The end of the game is that your server is lost and you have to forcibly test your recovery plan.

If your server is part of a cluster and you have not used up too many resources and fully consumed your cluster reserve you may be able to remove the troublesome node from the cluster.

The primary lesson is: “don’t upgrade all your servers simultaneously”

Just upgrade one and see how that one goes. If the SP1 upgrade was successful, upgrade the next.

For the full story read Roberts blog at:


  1. Vance Morrison Vance Morrison
    March 14, 2011    

    That’s not 100% true. I had a failed Windows 2008 R2 SP1 install which left the server in a state of not being able to boot.

    Using the system recovery tool and SFC the server now boots and is back to normal.

  2. March 17, 2011    

    Hi Vance,

    I am glad this has worked for you. Not everyone has been that succesful. In my practice all updates to SP1 have been succesful up till now. Just to be sure, I upgrade 1 server at a time in a cluster so I can roll back quicker if an upgrade fails.

  3. David David
    April 4, 2011    

    I’m with you… Tried to upgrade on of my Hyper-V Virtual Machines to 2008 R2 SP1 this weekend. Everything appeared to be fine, the installation went through, and the VM started to reboot. The VM hung at 15% while shutting down for a while, but I walked away and came back and it was booting up. However, when the server booted, it booted straight into System Recovery.

    After hours of trying to get it to boot normally (a BCD rebuild, Fix boot, etc.) I had to apply the snapshot I took just prior to the SP1 install. Thankfully I took that snapshot or I would have been relying on a hot tape backup, which I can’t say I’m very faithful in.

  4. April 4, 2011    

    Glad the snapshot saved you. I confide in restoring a VM with DPM2010 which works very well in my experience. I’d advise you to remove the snapshot, shutdown and the AVHD’s merge with the VHD’s again. Else you’re left with a suboptimal VM (dynamic/difference disk mechanism)

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  1. What if Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 fails? – Hyper-V blog by Hans … | Windows (7) Affinity on March 2, 2011 at 21:16

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