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SP2 Fails to Install Update Issue |

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We’re currently tracking an issue where Windows Server 2003 SP2 may fail to install for some Automatic Update clients. There is a limitation in the database that Automatic Updates uses to track hotfix and service pack installations that may result in AU being unable to apply new patches if a very large number of fixes have been installed (>100). This number is reset when a service pack is applied, so it is relatively hard to reach this threshold unless you are installing individual updates and have not upgraded to SP1. That said, there are a certain number of SBS customers installed from the original 2003 media (i.e. pre-SP1 media), who may fall in to this category.

You can also see this error if you try to manually install SP2 manually. In this case, you will receive the following pop-up error:

Failed to install catalog files.

The main symptom you will see in this case is that Automatic Updates/Windows Update/Microsoft Update will fail and you will see an error similar to the one below logged in svcpack.log:

960.484: InstallSingleCatalogFile: MyInstallCatalog failed for; error=0xfffffbfe.

There may be other issues that cause automatic updates to fail. Unless you see the 0xfffffbfe error, you are dealing with another issue. These are documented in the following articles:

925931 You may be unable to apply more updates at a certain point on a Windows Server 2003-based computer;EN-US;925931

822798 You cannot install some updates or programs;EN-US;822798

Manual Method

To resolve this issue and allow SP2 to install, either use the manual steps below, or, alternatively, use the batch file below:

1. Make a full backup of your system.
2. Click on Start, click on Administrative Tools, Click on Services. Right-click on Cryptographic Services and choose “Stop”.
3. Open Explorer and browse to C:\WINDOWS\system32\CatRoot\{F750E6C3-38EE-11D1-85E5-00C04FC295EE}
4. Create a temporary folder called “backup” under CatRoot
5. Move all KB*.cat, Q*.* and TMP*.cat files to C:\WINDOWS\system32\CatRoot\backup. DO NOT DELETE THEM!
6. If you moved KB912354.CAT, copy it back to C:\WINDOWS\system32\CatRoot\{F750E6C3-38EE-11D1-85E5-00C04FC295EE} folder. (This step is very important to prevent a potential error with SBS licensing. However, if the file does not exist, go to step 7. The software update in KB 912354 is included in Windows Server 2003 SP2.)
7. Rename the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CATROOT2\ folder to CATROOT2.old. Create a blank folder named CATROOT2.
* NOTE: Make sure you rename CATROOT2 not CATROOT (without the 2).
* Again, make sure rename this folder, do not delete it.
8. Start Cryptographic Services from Services
9. Start the install of SP2.

by Mark Stanfill

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