Microsoft released Exchange Server 2007 SP1 in October of 2007. It includes a significant number of bug fixes and enhancements. These enhancements include:

  • New deployment options
  • Client Access Server Role improvements
  • Enhancements to Outlook Web Access
  • Improvements in Mail Transport
  • Mailbox Server Role improvements
  • New high-availability features
  • Unified Messaging Server Role improvements
  • Development improvements
For more information about these enhancements, check out http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb676323.aspx. There are enough new features in Exchange 2007 SP1 that anyone can benefit from the upgrade. Exchange 2007 SP1 is a complete installation package, so you can perform a complete installation of Exchange 2007 directly from the SP1 download. It can be downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=44C66AD6-F185-4A1D-A9AB-473C1188954C&displaylang=en. The size of the download can vary from 840MB to 1.7GB, so plan accordingly. You might encounter some problems when installing Exchange 2007 SP1, so I’ve summarized the steps I had to complete to install it on an existing Exchange 2007 server.
  1. Install .Net 2.0 x64 SP1. This is required by Exchange 2007 SP1. You can download it from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=029196ED-04EB-471E-8A99-3C61D19A4C5A&displaylang=en.
  2. Stop any Backup Agents on the Exchange 2007 server. When Exchange 2007 ran the pre-installation check, I had to stop the Backup Exec Remote Backup Agent before I could install SP1.
  3. Exchange Organization Administrators Group. Make sure the Active Directory (AD) account you're using to install the service pack is a member of the Exchange Organization Administrators Group. This group is located in the Microsoft Exchange Security Groups OU in AD. By default, no accounts are added to this group.
  4. Reboot pending error messages. During the pre-installation check, you may receive an error that another program wants to reboot the server to complete the installation. You may still receive this error message even after rebooting the server several times. If this error persists, start RegEdit and check out the key HKEY_Local_Machine\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\PendingFileRenameOperations for any values. Often antivirus software will have pending operations in this key. Back up the key and delete any values contained in this key. Rerun the pre-installation immediately after clearing the values in this key. This should eliminate this error message.
  5. Install Exchange 2007 SP1. After all the errors are resolved, you should be able to install SP1. It takes a while for the installation process to complete, so budget 30 to 60 minutes depending on the roles you have installed on Exchange 2007.
  6. Restart any Backup Agents/Services. Start any services you had to stop to install the service pack.
As far as I can tell, Exchange 2007 SP1 does not require a reboot. Run a quick check to ensure users can still access their mailboxes and mail is properly flowing. Congratulations! You are now running Exchange 2007 SP1.

Tip: Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008
As you probably know, Windows Server 2008 (and Windows Vista SP1) was Released to Manufacturing (RTM) on February 4. The official release date is scheduled for later this month. Exchange 2007 with SP1 will be the only version of Exchange that will run in Windows 2008. However if you want to run Exchange 2007 on Windows 2008, there is no upgrade path. Upgrading an existing Windows Server 2003 to Windows 2008 that is running Exchange is not supported, even with SP1. To run Exchange 2007 on Windows 2008, you must install a clean copy of Windows 2008, install Exchange 2007 using the Exchange 2007 SP1 download and then move the existing Exchange 2007 roles to the new server.

Tip: Exchange 2007 Commercial Certificate
By default, Exchange 2007 installs its own SSL certificate. If you open Outlook Web Access (OWA) to the Exchange Server you will usually receive an error message that the certificate name does not match the server name. This happens when the server name and the OWA Internet name are different. This can also happen when your Active Directory (AD) Domain Name is different than your Internet domain name. There are a couple workarounds to handle this, including setting up two Web sites for OWA. Alternately you can purchase a dual-identity commercial SSL certificate to handle the different identities of your Exchange 2007 server. Unfortunately these types of SSL certificates have been expensive. Recently we discovered that www.Godaddy.com offers an SSL certificate that will handle up to five domains for a very reasonable price. Check it out at https://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/ssl/ssl.asp?ci=9039.