Patching SharePoint: getting up to date with the moss and wss infrastructure updates

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One of the most common topics in regards to MOSS/WSS lately has been around the question: "What patches do I need in order to be up to date with MOSS/WSS?". The following will allow you to be up to date as of the Infrastructure update with the fewest number of patches/hotfixes that need to be applied. Included are a couple bits on the next updates as well. I will start with RTM and move to current patching levels. When applying updates to WSS and MOSS one of the important things to look at is going to be downtime. One common way to help streamline the update/patching process is to apply all needed updates at once. Todd Carter did an excellent post on this recently that can be found HERE. This will allow you to minimize your patching time. Basically when patching, apply the latest updates for WSS and MOSS at once so that you do not need to run the PSConfig utility multiple times. Once you are familiar with the process you can use the below list of patches to make sure that you are up to date. Here is a summary of the process:

  1. Download any needed updates.
  2. Apply patches in order starting with the Central Administration server, do not run the PSConfig wizard (This will be done last)
    1. WSS Patches
    2. MOSS Patches
  3. Apply patches to the remaining servers in the farm. Again do not run the PSConfig portion of the update.
  4. Return to the central admin server once all servers are patched, run PSConfig on the Central Admin server.
  5. Once PSConfig completes, run it on the remaining servers one at a time.

This is just a summary, Todd's article covers this in much more depth including detaching Content Databases to speed up the process as well as some other configuration details to streamline the process. I highly recommend reading his article before patching.

The below section covers the patches that are needed and the order they should be applied. This will get you up to date from a fresh RTM install all the way to the Infrastructure Updates (IU).

From an RTM MOSS installation use the following patching to get current(Make sure you read the articles and get the appropriate patches for 32 or 64 bit):

  1. WSS sp1 (Available HERE)
  2. Moss SP1 (Available HERE)
  3. WSS latest language(local) patch (953484) (Available HERE) *Use the "View and Request Hotfix Downloads" link at the top of the page.*
  4. WSS IU – Contains latest global but no language specific patches (which is why you are doing step3) (Available HERE)
  5. Moss IU – Contains latest global and language specific patches (Available HERE)
  6. AAM hotfix (Coming soon via KB 956248) This will be released soon and should also be available in the next rollup package.
    1. To get this hotfix now, follow the directions (HERE) to call customer service and request it.


The AAM hotfix is mentioned in the notes on the infrastructure updates. The KB for this is forthcoming and I will post when it is released as well. You can call customer service to request it using the link above. Always read the known issues portions of the KB articles when downloading a particular patch or hotfix. The above list is from RTM to current. If you already have SP1 installed, you can start at step 3. If you already have the patch from step 3 applied, you can go to step 4.

Much of the confusion and conversation around patching seems to stem from the fact that there are different types/levels of patching when it comes to MOSS. Let's break it down a bit. We have two products, WSS and MOSS. Since you can have WSS without MOSS, it makes sense that you need patches for both. So at any one time when looking at patching you need to make sure that you are up to date on both products if you are running MOSS. If you are in a WSS only deployment, you then need only worry about WSS patches. Most of the patches when released will contain the previously released patches as well. So for example in the MOSS infrastructure update, all the patches between SP1 and the Infrastructure update are included in the package. This allows for minimizing your patch time by allowing you to only need to apply the latest patches most of the time.

The next level of confusion often revolves around the fact that we have two different patch types for each product. These are Global patches and Local patches. Global patches apply to all installations. Local patches are specific to a language. So for example, for some patches you may need to have the Global update, as well as a local patch for your particular language install (Russian, Chinese, etc...) this is due to the fact that some patches have localized data that only applies to installs that use that particular language. This includes English as well. There are local patches that are specific to English language installs of SharePoint. Note that step 3 above says that you need to install a patch that is local because it is not included in the IU update.

So when doing any patching to MOSS/WSS you need to keep the following items in mind:

  • WSS patches (32 or 64 bit)
    • Local patches (Language Specific)
    • Global patches
  • MOSS patches (32 or 64 bit)
    • Local Patches (Language Specific)
    • Global patches


SharePoint patching resources:

Updates Resource Center for SharePoint Products and Technologies

Understanding and deploying hotfixes, public updates, and service packs (WSS)

Deploying software updates for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

Understanding and deploying hotfixes, public updates, and service packs (MOSS)

Deploying software updates for SharePoint Server 2007


Hopefully this helps sort through some of the confusion when it is time to patch your SharePoint environment. I will post more information as it becomes available especially in regards to the upcoming AAM hotfix KB.


Special Thanks to:

Gabe Bratton

Tony McIntyre

Todd Carter

Comments (11)

  1. mcodyw says:

    The fix in step 3 (KB953484) refers to a patch that doesn’t apply to our situation since we don’t have Office 2003 in our environment.  Does the IU rely on this patch making it required, even though it doesn’t apply, or can we skip applying step 3?  


  2. The hotfix also contains the previous local hotfixes. It contains more than just the office 2003 hotfix in the package so you definitely want to get it.

  3. s carlson says:

    Unfortunately, I have already applied steps 1 & 4 on our WSS site and steps 1,2,4 &5 on our MOSS site.  Is it too late for step 3?  

  4. Let me do some testing real quick and let you know.

  5. I would test this in a test environment first, maybe a VM or something if you don’t have another test/dev farm. But you should be able to apply the local update after the fact. I haven’t been able to get my hands on a test farm today, but since none of the updates from the local patch are in the WSS IU update, you should be good running it out of order for that one. If I can get my hands on a test farm I will try it out, but I will be in Hawaii this week, and won’t get access to a farm till Wednesday of next week at the earliest.

    One thing that I would test as the patches were done out of order, is if you are seeing any oddities in central admin or in the SSP admin page. Do all the links work?

  6. Keeping your SharePoint installations Updated

  7. James Waymire , a Microsoft SharePoint support engineer, has a great recent post on his blog talking

  8. S Federlein says:

    Pros and Cons, Current known issues, cause and effect and consequences of installing the below hot fixes.







    Besides basic articles on MS technet.  Are you able to come up with or know more information about my question above.  Thank you for your time.



  9. The articles have a "Known Issues" section that cover any problems that we currently know about for each patch. Outside of that, the pros are the fact that these patches enhance, improve or fix various pieces of SharePoint functionality or provide security fixes.

    The main issues outside of the articles are making sure that patching is done correctly, and completely.

  10. rose says:

    how about if we install MOSS IU first before we were able to install MOSS SP1?  Can we still install SP1 on top of IU?  Are there known issues on this set-up?  How do we go about this scenario?


  11. For the most part the updates for MOSS/WSS will not explode if you apply them in the wrong order, the items to be aware of are that some patches contain previos ones, so you may run into times where you get messages telling you a particluar patch is already installed.

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