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Errors Installing Windows Server 2008 SP2

This post originally appeared on my MSDN blog:

Since I no longer work for Microsoft, I have copied it here in case that blog ever goes away.

Last week I approved Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Windows Vista SP2 on my local WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) server. My expectation was that the various physical and virtual machines in the "Jameson Datacenter" would subsequently install the update around 3:00 AM the following morning.

Unfortunately when I examined the WSUS console this morning, I found a number of computers reporting errors. After selecting one of the failed computers, I discovered the following:

Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Standalone x64-based Systems (KB948465) - English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish

Event reported at 6/1/2009 3:02 AM:

Installation Failure: Windows failed to install the following update with error 0x80070643: Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Standalone x64-based Systems (KB948465) - English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish.

A quick search for 0x80070643 led to the following KB article:

You receive error code 0x80070643 or error code 0x643 when you use the Windows Update or Microsoft Update Web sites to install updates

Unfortunately, this error code indicates "generic errors that basically state that an error was encountered by Windows Installer." Rather than immediately following the steps in the KB article to enable logging and try to reproduce the problem, I decided to take a quick look at the event logs and discovered the following:

Log Name: System
Source: Microsoft-Windows-Service Pack Installer
Date: 6/1/2009 3:02:00 AM
Event ID: 8
Task Category: None
Level: Error
Service Pack installation failed with error code 0x800f0826.

Another quick search for 0x800f0826 suggested that the problem might be due to insufficient disk space. However, I checked the free space on DAZZLER and observed that it had 4.09 GB free. Surely, 4 GB of disk space is sufficient to install Windows Server 2008 SP2!

Then I came across the following:

Here are the disk space requirements according to the deployment guide:

Disk Space Requirements for Windows Server 2008 SP2
Installation method Approximate disk space requirements
Stand-alone installation
  • x86-based: 1.8 GB to 2.9 GB
  • x64-based: 3.2 GB to 4.9 GB
  • ia64-based: 2.9 GB to 3.2 GB
Windows Update
  • x86-based: 350 MB
  • x64-based: 600 MB
  • ia64-based: 2.25 GB
Integrated installation
  • x86-based: 9 GB
  • x64-based: 12 GB
  • ia64-based: 13 GB

Crikey! According to this table, DAZZLER needs up to 4.9 GB of free space in order to install the Service Pack (since it is an x64 VM). Wow!

This, quite honestly, seems absolutely absurd!

However, given that it is relatively easy to expand a VHD, I decided to just go ahead and add another 2 GB to the system drive on the VM and see if that eliminated the issue. After all, as long as SP2 doesn't actually use 4.9 GB of space, then the actual physical space consumed by the VHD should be significantly less than 5 GB.

Using Hyper-V Manager, I expanded the VHD from 20 GB to 22 GB and then started the VM up again. I then logged into the VM and used the Disk Management console to extend the volume to include the additional 2 GB of available storage.

Next, I kicked off the installation of Windows Server 2008 SP2 again. This time the installation completed without error. Woohoo!

Note that DAZZLER is a dedicated Team Foundation Server "build server" -- so I didn't expect that it would need lots of disk space. In fact, it didn't -- at least not until Windows Server 2008 SP2 came along.

Now all I have to do is add some more disk space to the other servers that are failing to install SP2.


  1. # Errors Installing Windows Server 2008 SP2 | ASP NET Hosting

    May 31, 2009 10:19 PM
  2. # Reclaiming Disk Space After Installing Service Pack 2

    June 1, 2009 8:40 PM
  3. # Update on Patching and Disk Space Usage

    June 2, 2009 9:15 PM

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