Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Windows XP Service Pack 3 Blocker Template

As an administrator of several branch offices with many dispersed systems, I rely heavily on Group Policy and WSUS (Windows Server Update Services - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/wsus/default.aspx) to handle updates. Sometimes, there are updates that are not ready for our production environment. One of the more recent updates that we are not ready for is Windows XP Service Pack 3 (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/bb794714.aspx). A list of some of the problems can be found on Michael Horowitz's Blog, "Defensive Computing" (http://news.cnet.com/dont-install-windows-xp-service-pack-3-yet/). To combat this, I imported an ADM (administrative) template that blocks the installation of Service Pack 3 to our Windows XP workstations. Microsoft has actually provided the template and it can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=D7C9A07A-5267-4BD6-87D0-E2A72099EDB7&displaylang=en. This template adds and sets the registry key "HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\DoNotAllowSP". Setting this to 1 (or enabled through Group Policy Editor) will block the installation of this service pack.

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