If you are doing an in-place upgrade from SQL 2000 you must be on SP4.
If you are building a new server to host the new version of SQL you may be OK with what you have got. You can transfer your user databases by either backup & restore or detach & attach.
There are fewer risks in building a new server than in doing an in-place upgrade. The two main issues with an in-place upgrade are that you may not get a successful install of the .Net components, and if you get past this sometimes an in-place upgrade will fail leaving SQL Server unusable. If you do get an in-place failure leaving SQL unusable, the only way forward is to uninstall SQL Server, then reinstall SQL 2000 and plan to upgrade by moving to a new server.
The biggest problem in doing a new server build is scripting the logins, DTS packages and SQL Agent jobs so they can be loaded into the new server.
Whatever you do, you need to test the upgrade process before you do it on the production system. If you decide to do an in-place upgrade your plan must include what you will do if the upgrade fails leaving SQL unusable.
Original author: SQL Server FineBuild 1-click install and best practice configuration of SQL Server 2017 2016, 2014, 2012, 2008 R2, 2008 and 2005. 1 Dec 2016
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