Deploying Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 3

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Hi There (I’m so excited Exchange 2010 SP3 testing and also Champions League games Today!)

Yesterday the Exchange Team released the Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 3 and in this post we are going over the process to upgrade an existent Exchange Server 2010 with the new SP3.

Before going there a few key points about this upgrade:

  • Please read the Release Notes:
  • Exchange Server 2010 can be installed on top of Windows Server 2012.
    Just to make sure that we are on the same page, you need to run this SP3 on brand new Windows Server 2012 in order to work.
  • There are schema changes in this upgrade which means that you need Schema Admins privileges to do that. You can do either through GUI Setup interface or command-line. In this Tutorial our user has enough permissions and we will do everything from the GUI
  • You can install this Service Pack on OS running Windows Server 2008 SP2 or Windows Server 2008 R2
  • There is a database schema upgrades which means that we can’t mount an upgraded database in a previous version of the product and that applies to DAGs as well.
  • Based on the MS documentation, each database upgrade could take 30 minutes to be upgraded
  • There is a new feature called Sent Items Management feature that we are going over in a future post
  • That is just the first step towards integration, a new Exchange Server 2013 CU1 (not released yet) is required to join Exchange Server 2013 into your organization

Also, before deploying in production you must make sure that all those best practices are in place, such as:

  • Perform the upgrade in your lab first
  • Make sure that you have backups
  • In production the upgrade order is important: Edge (if you have it), then facing Internet CAS, Hub and then finally mailboxes and UM.
  • Make sure that you are not running any instance of Exchange Management Console or Exchange Management Shell on the server
  • Your Backup software is compatible with Service Pack 3
  • Your Backup service is stopped during the upgrade
  • Your AV/Antispam is compatible with Service Pack 3
  • You may want to stop AV during the upgrade
  • Any other third-party software is compatible with Service Pack 3

Here are the steps to upgrade to the SP3. Let’s double click on setup.exe that can be found on the root of the extracted files from our download. In the main page, just click on Install Microsoft Exchange Server upgrade


In the Introduction page. Just a welcome to the new SP3, just click on Next.


In the License Agreement page. If you read and you are okay with it, please click on I accept the terms in the license agreement and click Next.


In the Readiness Checks page. Make sure that everything is green or at least yellow, as a best practice make sure that everything is green before moving forward. If there is need for any update, you can download and install. Click on Upgrade when you are ready.


Wait a few minutes (perhaps more than that depending of your databases) and the results should be something similar to this.


Have you had any issues? You can always look at the C:ExchangeSetupLogs to see what is going on behind the curtains, as shown in the figure below.


If we look at the version of the server we will see 14.3 (Build 123.4)


Written by Anderson Patricio

Anderson Patricio is a Canadian Exchange Server MVP and MCSM (Solutions Master) and he contributes to the Microsoft Community with articles, tutorials, blog posts, forums and book reviews. He is a regular contributor at, and (Portuguese).