Windows Server 2003 SP2 RC now available via Windows Update

Thanks [Annon] for sending me this:

Starting December 12th, the Windows Server 2003 SP2 RC build (build 2825) will be made available via Windows Update. This is primarily to test delivery of update build packages via WU. We would like as many Technical Beta participants as possible to try installing the RC build this way. To try this out, prepare a Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 machine, then download and run the registry key file located at .

The following key values will be set in the registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoft Windows:



Adding these values will enable users to see the RC via WU. There is no code difference between the update RC build delivered via WU, and the standalone update RC build previously made available on the Connect site.

View: MS Connect

conditions and advice apply:

1. This build should be used for testing purposes only, including pre-production testing or general compatibility testing.
2. You must uninstall previous SP2 builds before picking up the latest beta build. This service pack build will only be provided to pre-SP2 systems, to simulate the real world as much as possible.
3. If you previously installed an integrated build of SP2, you cannot upgrade your system to build 2825 with this refresh.
a. You will need to re-install a released version (RTM, SP1, or R2) of Windows Server 2003 before upgrading to build 2825.
b. Go to to find an evaluation copy of Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1.

We will not provide other pre-release builds via Windows Update. This is a one-time release, primarily to test delivery of update builds via WU.

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This is frontpage news? Any particular reason? The RC build was already available (I'm assuming previously announced on Neowin at some point?) and using Windows Update to deploy service packs isn't anything new either; is the news because MS has never allowed testers to download unfinalized service packs from Windows Update before?

Yeah, this isn't for the public. And it does violate the newsposter's NDA. Microsoft has always tested deployment through WU using special recognition means. This isn't news, and it doesn't concern anyone but the testers.

I think its to test new WU security. When did you ever have to put a reg key in to see a update. Theres a cookie to show beta downloads but i've never seen a beta on WU. Why now would you have to put a reg key in to do? What makes this so diffrent then other updates? I think that is real reason.

Adding registry key/value is how MS has always tested connect beta updates. The beta checkbox of WU doesn't do much for non-beta testers.

Why the heck would I want to install a BETA service pack via Windows Update and not just download the stupid EXE file as a standalone...?