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How do you deal with Sql Service Pack Upgrades....?


How do you deal with Sql Service Pack Upgrades....?

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Barkingdog
Barkingdog
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Years ago we installed a sql server service pack on a non-clustered server and the results were usually fine. Now they want a fallback plan in case the service pack install fails. This is a good idea but I'm not sure what comprises a good fallback plan for sql. (Uninstall the service pack -- never done that before. We can start by backing up all databases but restoring them, including the system databases, will be time consuming. Maybe we should image the entire server to trim the restoration time.)

Any thoughts you have on this matter will be appreciated.

TIA,

Barkingdog


P.S. I presume a sql service pack can possibly update\modify both system and user databases.



SQLSACT
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As far as I know - as of 2005 a service pack cannot be uninstalled - I might be wrong here.

If possible, backup the entire image of the server before the service pack installation.

My usual steps are, besides the above:

Make sure all DB's have current backups
Backup system databases
Stop SQL Services and copy out the system DB's
DeWayne_McCallie
DeWayne_McCallie
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If this is a VM you could take a snapshot before the SP install. If it goes south recovery is easy just don't delete the snapshot until your sure the SP is good.

If not then you need good backups (I usually stop SQL and make a copy of the system DB's as an extra backout option as copy/paste is easier than restoring the system DB's). If issues then uninstall SQL, re-install to the same location, service pack to the same level before the update, stop sql services and copy the system containers back, start SQL!! Or you can re-install and service pack, start SQL in single user mode and restore system DB's then start sql normally and attach user DB's.
Barkingdog
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DeWayne_McCallie,

>>>>I usually stop SQL and make a copy of the system DB's as an extra backout option as copy/paste is easier than restoring the system DB's

Ha! I didn't think of that very sensible item. I will do that from now on.

Thanks,

Barkingdog



Joie Andrew
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If it is 2008+ you can uninstall using Programs and Features just like a hotfix uninstall. If it is 2005- you will need to uninstall/reinstall.

Backups of system/user databases are required in both scenarios though.

Uninstalling a SQL Server Service Pack

Joie Andrew
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Nadrek
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If you really want a good fallback plan, the gold standard is a drive image; whether that's a vRanger backup of a VMWare VM, or a Paragon/Acronis TrueImage/DD/Clonezilla/Norton Ghost image of a physical box, or even a Parted Magic copy of a partition, it's a way of doing a bare-metal restore to exactly the state you were in prior to the image.

Note that for the commercial options, it's usually several hundred dollars per Server OS.
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