Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hotfixes , Service Packs and Password Reset for MOSS

Quoted from Joel Blog

Some great content has recently been pushed out to TechNet and in the KBs. While we haven't announced the timing for SP1, you may have heard some customers have been beta testing it and internal testing that's been going on. There was also a post on the team blog around the DST fix with updates to the time tables which impact most of the world.

TechNet Articles related to updates (hotfixes and service packs)

Deploy software updates for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

Deploy software updates for Office SharePoint Server 2007

Check for Updates

Microsoft Update (also known as Windows Update) - This will check core Microsoft products including Windows, .NET Framework, etc...

Office Update - Check to see if you need any updates. Note this works with Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 servers to check for Office SharePoint Server and SharePoint Portal Server updates as well as Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Team Services Updates.

"The Office Update service is maintained to support previous versions of Microsoft Office and for compatibility with older operating systems. Microsoft Windows Vista users can now get all Office XP, Office 2003, and 2007 Office system updates via the Microsoft Update service. For Windows Vista users using Office 2000, you can manually download updates from Downloads on Office Online." Vista itself has a special page for updates. You will be redirected there automatically.

Latest Hotfix/Rollup

Update for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (KB941422) (includes latest hotfixes, including the DST (daylight savings time zones) The XML file will allow it to be much more easily managed and changed if necessary for future time zone changes.) Note: This applies to MOSS 2007 standard and enterprise editions as well.

KB 888253 How to configure time zone information in Windows SharePoint Services by modifying the Timezone.xml file

KB 941422 Description of the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Hotfix package: August 24, 2007

This package includes the following:

  • Fix to address a problem with Timer Jobs failing to run in the US daylight saving time (DST) change window beginning October 28th, KB 938663.
  • Non-DST related fixes for volume shadow copy writer service, KB 935605.
    A fix to address database creation failures after Internal Database Engine SP 2 is applied to Basic installations.
  • Other top support issue fixes including KB 937038 where configuring Inherit Permissions causes HTTP 500 - Internal server error.
  • A primary fix for 941422 expands the capabilities of SharePoint such that TZMOVE can address future Time Zone changes in SharePoint timezone.xml for US or international Time Zones, KB 939809.

Some may ask what happens if there is a critical hotfix for WSS? Since it is in Windows it would be available via Windows Update. If the server was set to auto update it would be auto applied. For this reason I would recommend being notified when an update was available in a smaller shop that isn't tracking these, but in no circumstances would I recommend auto applying the hotfixes. There are just too many chances that the box would want to reboot and when it came back up, all the services may not come back online, not as a result of the hotfix, but some environments require an F1 to initialize a disk array or various things like this. I have applied hotfixes and service packs in the past that installed some of the binaries but as a result of something being in use, it was not able to be fully applied until after the reboot which then didn't get a chance to apply changes to the database. Most hotfixes maybe even all won't make changes to the schema, and may simply be binary updates. Service packs and some hotfixes may need to increment the version in the config and content databases or other databases and having the database listed version different than the binary versions can cause problems.

One of the more common requests I've seen around downtime and trying to recover is related to passwords. Either someone who built out the farm and used their account left the company, or someone lost the password and everyone is afraid for the SharePoint environment... you get the picture. Password resets is much, much easier in this version. I think you'd be suprised how many times you find out that something went bad a while back and only resetting the services exposes it. Here's an excellent KB with usage on the commands with examples for resetting the service accounts, crawl accounts, db connection passwords, etc...

How to Change Service Accounts and Passwords in MOSS 2007 and WSS 3.0 KB 934383 (September 21, 2007)

Note the above steps include changing it once in on one server via the command line and leveraging timer jobs to change it across the farm. Be sure to verify. Very cool. It also includes syntax for changing passwords on the SSP, and search/content access account.

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