Patching HMC has never been a fun process. Unlike most Microsoft products, HMC patches don't come in nice neat installer packages that can just be installed on top of your existing setup. This causes some consternation, since we're used to being able to run a hotfix installer and trusting the Windows installer technology to handle updating the needed components if they needed to be updated, or letting us know we've already got a newer version if they don't.
HMC patches are different. There are good reasons for this (maybe I'll cover them in another post). For better or worse, it causes a number of calls to us to help sort through the confusion. From a simple "exactly what patches do I need?" to a complicated error caused by mismatched versions, I've dealt with enough calls to inspire this post.
So here's my attempt to make sense of things. This is my suggestion for patching an RTM deployment of HMC with the latest fixes.
Windows 2003 Service Pack 2 and 939216
Of course you followed the deployment guide to the letter, and you only have Service Pack 1 installed on your MPS engine server, right? Good! There's a very good reason for this. The version of MPS that shipped with the RTM of HMC 4.0 was incompatible with SP2. However, we released a hotfix for MPS that resolves this incompatibility. So go ahead and install SP2, then install the hotfix from the following article:
Some provisioning requests do not work, and you receive a "0xc220140b" error message after you install Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 on a server that is running Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration version 4.0
This is the easiest hotfix you'll find for HMC! It's just like most hotfixes you're used to. You just run the package and step through the wizard. This update only applies to MPS engine servers.
936086 (The Multiple Results Fix)
One of the first problems we encountered were some issues in our namespaces when multiple results were supposed to be returned. The namespaces were returning only a single result. This fix addresses that.
This is one of those complicated hotfixes, and unfortunately the knowledge base article that gives detailed instructions on installing it is stuck in limbo. So for the meantime I've posted instructions here.
NOTE: This fix includes HostedSharePoint2007NS.msi and HostedSharePoint2007WS.msi. These will be superseded by the Windows SharePoint Services Provisioning Rollup below. So if you wish you can skip doing those here.
943792 (The Multiple Results Fix Part II)
We discovered a similar issue to 936086 in the Managed Plans namespace as well. This fix addresses it. Find instructions here.
942100 (The Exchange Provisioning Rollup)
Taking a page from the Exchange team's release strategy, we decided to package up the hotfixes made to the Exchange namespaces and web services into a rollup. This fix addresses a number of issues which I won't go into here. When the KB article gets released it will have all those details. For now, find the instructions to install here.
943837 (The Windows SharePoint Services Provisioning Rollup)
The same idea as 942100, but this time for WSS. Find installation instructions for this one here.