Now that Service Pack 2 for Windows Server 2003 has been released, I thought that I would take a brief look at what’s new for Terminal Servers:
Microsoft have a page that details ten reasons to install Windows Server 2003 SP2, here’s some of the highlights that I think are great for Terminal Server environments:
- Windows Server 2003 SP2 Scalable Networking Pack (SNP): Improvements in networking to take advantages of high speed networks.
- Windows Deployment Services (WDS): WDS is a great way to deploy Windows Server 2003 using Windows PE. I’ve just completed a project where I used WDS so that I could take advantage of Windows PE 2.0.
- IPsec management updates: Updates to IPsec in Windows that makes it easier to implement server and domain isolation.
- Microsoft Management Console 3.0: Updates the MMC to the same version included with Windows Server 2003 R2.
Microsoft has a complete list of updates in SP2 and 19 of them are Terminal Server specific:
- Your multiprocessor Microsoft Windows 2000 Server-based computer or multiprocessor Windows Server 2003-based computer may stop responding, and the keyboard may not work correctly
- The shadow session is disconnected between two Web client computers that are running Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP
- Error message when you try to paste data into Excel 2003 during a Terminal Services session: “Cannot empty the clipboard”
- MS05-041: Vulnerability in Remote Desktop Protocol could allow denial of service
- Print spooling operation in Windows Server 2003-based Terminal Services (TS) computer is slow when Remote Desktop Connection thin clients use printer redirection
- A Terminal Services client computer may make beep sounds after you connect to a Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1-based computer
- A Windows Server 2003-based terminal server in a forest cannot obtain a license from a license server in a different forest
- A memory leak occurs in the Wmiprvse.exe process when a program calls an instance of the “CWin32_TerminalService::ExecQuery” function in Windows Server 2003
- Terminal Services Licensing Manager may stop when you add a new license on a computer that is running the Brazilian Portuguese version of Windows Server 2003
- You cannot use a Group Policy setting to set the same mandatory profile for all the Terminal Services users in Windows Server 2003
- The Terminal Server Licensing tool may unexpectedly quit after you install Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 on a Terminal Server
- A client computer does not receive a permanent Per Device CAL from a Windows Server 2003-based license server
- How to redirect the default printer of a Terminal Services client to a Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server session
- The session redirection function does not work correctly on Windows Server 2003-based servers that have Terminal Server enabled
- The Terminal Server object and the object of the Terminal Server session for a Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server are unavailable when you use Performance Monitor on a remote computer
- You cannot connect to a Windows Server 2003-based terminal server when the Remote Desktop Web Connection ActiveX control screen resolution is higher than 1600 by 1200 pixels on a client computer
- An IBM DB2 program stops responding on a Windows Server 2003-based computer that is running Terminal Services
- FIX: You cannot reconnect a Citrix ICA client to an instance of Citrix Presentation Server that is running on a Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1-based computer
- You cannot connect to a Windows Server 2003-based terminal server when the screen resolution for the Remote Desktop Web Connection ActiveX control is higher than 1600 by 1200 pixels
- Stop error message when a Terminal Services client logs off from a session on a server that is running Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1: “Stop 0x000000AB (SESSION_HAS_VALID_POOL_ON_EXIT)”
There are also 12 Intellimirror updates, two of which I had experienced in my most recent project:
- Users experience an 11-second delay in folder redirection when a Windows Server 2003 SP1-based computer that is running Terminal Services uses mandatory profiles
- You may experience a 20-second delay when you try to access a redirected folder by logging on to a Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1-based computer or to a Windows XP Service Pack 2-based computer
So there are plenty of reasons to deploy Service Pack 2 including two years worth of security updates. For those of us who use unattended setups to deploy Terminal Servers, I recommend updating your source and redeploying your machines from scratch rather than update in place. For everyone else, Microsoft has details for deployment up on TechNet;Internet Explorer 7 before you install Service Pack 2 (you don’t need to uninstall IE7 before installing Service Pack 2).