SQL Server 2008 R2 – Upgrading to Service Pack 1 Silently

KB2528583 represents SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 which went live early November 2011. It consolidates Cumulative Update 1 to 6 and fixes circa 100 issues in total. Today the first post SP1 is CU7.

There actually is a possibility to slipstream SP1 into the original setup, as described here, but in my personal experience, the process results in versioning woes after deployment. In other words, I would not recommend it; instead I would take the classic road and simply apply SP1 immediately afterwards.

Note that before applying SP1, SQL Server Management Studio’s Help > About information reveals version 10.50.1600.1. We’ll check if the version reflects SP1 properly in the end (which should be 10.50.2500.0 according to the KB article).

After downloading the installer (x86 or x64 version depending on the target platform), extract SQLServer2008R2SP1-KB2528583-x86-ENU.exe into a folder:

Setup.exe is what we need. Now, what setup /? does not reveal, is a hidden switch to bypass the otherwise manual action of accepting the license agreement. What we need is the IAcceptSQLServerLicenseTerms parameter.

In other words, the following command line will upgrade SQL Server 2008 R2 to Service Pack 1 silently:

setup.exe /quiet /IAcceptSQLServerLicenseTerms

You can parse the exit code of the installer (should be 0 for success or 3010 for a reboot) and verify successful installation or troubleshoot errors by analyzing the detailed logfiles which – as usual – reside in C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Setup Bootstrap\Log\yyyymmdd_hhmmss. If the summary log file reads the following, you are all clear:

Overall summary:
Final result: Passed
Exit code (Decimal): 0
Exit message: Passed
Start time: 2012-06-18 09:23:19
End time: 2012-06-18 09:29:17
Requested action: Patch

Double check the version of SQL Server Management Studio, it should read 10.50.2500.0 after applying SP1:

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