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Improvements with SQL Server 2012 SP1 CU2 and Sysprep

Good news came out earlier this month when Microsoft released Cumulative update package 2 (CU2) for SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1. It can be downloaded here and if you are new to CU packages, there are not like a regular Service pack or Windows update. These CU fixes are not as tested as regular like either a service pack or Windows updates, plus in most cases the CU is only recommended if you have the issue they fixed in the release notes.

In addition to all of that, you also do not get a link to download. Instead you will need to sign up via email to get the download and it will look like this one:


Another thing to note is that this patch is only relevant for builds with SP1 installed. (11.0.3000 -> 11.0.3338) Do not attempt to install on SQL Server 2012 RTM (any build < 11.0.3000) or any previous version. To find your current version, you can type the following:

SELECT SERVERPROPERTY(‘productversion’) AS VersionNumber,

SERVERPROPERTY (‘productlevel’) AS ProductLevel,

SERVERPROPERTY (‘edition’) AS Edition


You could also just use this TSQL code: SELECT @@VERSION;

As you can tell, my SQL instance is ready for Cumulative update package 2 (CU2) for SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1.

If you are like me, you enjoyed the benefits of sysprep with Windows servers or desktops. It saves a lot of time deploying new machines or reimaging machines that had an issue, like corruption or malware. Also, you could even customize your image to put in your own company’s logo and support telephone numbers. It gives you a sense of personalization to your company and allows them to go to the right support person. As for SQL server, I have not always been a big fan of sysprep, because quite frankly it was very limited. Let me show you what I mean.

First off, it is recommended that you try this image on a system without SQL installed. That way you do not need to worry about what components may or may not be installed. If you try it on a system that has an unsupported component of SQL server to use with sysprep, then you will see this error message below:

Launch the 2012 SQL installer and then go to Advanced, then select Image Preparation of a stand-alone instance of SQL Server. (As seen below)

Then click next a few times to install the setup files and eventually you will come to the menu and see this:

Please note how you do not see Analysis or Integration services, which is what I meant earlier by it is limited in the number of features it is supported. Now, I am going to go ahead and update
my SQL server instance to Cumulative update package 2 (CU2) for SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1. Here is my instance version now:

Notice now, how many more features that I have with the menu with Cumulative update package 2 (CU2) for SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1.

These new features, now allow anyone to use sysprep more often with SQL Server 2012 and I am very glad to see these changes. It is great when you have choices to make getting tasks done and I love having flexibility.

For more information on this topic, please see the following articles:

Install SQL Server 2012 Using SysPrep

Expanded SysPrep Support in SQL Server 2012 SP1 CU2

Description of new features in Cumulative Update 2 for SQL Server 2012 SP1

Cumulative update package 2 for SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 Download

Sysprep Overview

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