I completely agree with you on this. MS SQL Server 2005 SP2 is messed up.
See this thread started by me on Microsoft forums about problem in installation of SP2 on one of my servers, no working solution till date.
Apparently, this problem is not specific to my server as many users across the SQL Community have encountered the same problem.
All this suggest that Quality Team is not doing its job thoroughly.
I recently asked the question on the SQL Server Forum about the difference between the build numbers. Build numbers in the 30xx range are for GDR patches while build numbers in the 31xx range are for the QFE patches. Here's a reply from Michelle Alexander on the SQL Server product team in regards to my question on the difference between build numbers:
"Yes it is a little confusing but the good news is that installer will make sure that you do the right thing and block you from installing an invalid fix.
Let me attempt to describe how this work. From a customer point of view there are two possible trains you can be on for fixes.
The first is the GDR train where the minimal number of fixes that meet a really high bar in terms of severity and wide impact. They are the lower build number range.
The second is a general QFE train where general fixes that are requested by customers through CSS are added. This has a higher build number range.
Since our QFE's/GDR's are always cumlative then if you need a specific fix that is in the QFE train you always pick up your fix from the QFE train or range of builds. The QFE tree always includes all GDR and QFE fixes.
If you install a GDR and you need subsequent GDR then you pickup you fixes from the GDR train. If you are on a GDR and need a subsequent QFE then you would pick up your fix from the QFE train and stay on the QFE train.
Hopefully I did not make that more confusing
I hope this helps explain the difference in build numbers because I know I wasn't the only one that was confused when I saw the latest 2 KB articles from MS (934458 and 934459).
just wanted to ref to the sp2a article by Andy Warren : http://www.sqlservercentral.com/columnists/pressrelease/2906.asp
and its comments :
It's not just SQL Server. Windows Server 2003 SP2 has issues. Removes Help & Support. Causes issues if you have older Broadcom drivers. Don't forget the furor over what it can do to ISA Server. And the fact that it released on patch Tuesday (when there were no other patches) without warning meaning it got auto-applied to a bunch of systems... yeah. I think Susan Bradley has summed up the fury of the community in some of her posts.
And, if that wasn't bad enough MS07-017 wasn't clean, either. Causes problems with Realtek HD Audio Control Panel. And there's a hotfix out. It was out almost immediately and Microsoft is now pushing that as part of the WSUS / AU process. I know MS07-017 was rushed out the door because of the .ANI animated cursor vulnerability but certainy something like the Realtek issue should have been caught as it's not an unusual piece of software on workstations.
Indeed, there 's more than one reason to avoid the path of auto-updates.
Back to controlled releasemanagement and assuring uptime and avoiding surprises like the ones mentioned already...