Installing SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 3 on Multiple Instances

This blog will provide a step by step details of installing SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 3 on more than 1 Instance at the same time. Before going ahead and installing Service Pack, I would recommend you read one of my earlier blogs Best Practices for applying SQL Server Service Packs.

In one of my previous blogs (read it here), you can find where to download the Service Pack, what are the enhancements to SQL Server and few useful links that would assist you in preparation to applying Service Pack 3 for SQL Server 2008. 

Once you have downloaded the Service Pack 3, copy the .exe file to a local drive and right click on the file and choose Open from the popup menu to begin the installation. (You can alternately double click the file to begin the installation).

The exe file take a min or two (depending on your system) and extracts to a temporary location, once the extraction is completed, the below Welcome screen is displayed and the installer performs few checks and displays the below screen. If there are any failures, ensure that the necessary steps are performed. Click Next to continue installation.

Accept the license terms by selecting the check box and click Next to proceed.

The next step is features selection, where you have to choose the components to which you would like to apply the Service Pack 3. In this blog we are going to apply SP3 for 2 instances at the same time. If you have more than 1 SQL 2008 Instance on the machine, you can choose which instance(s) to apply Service Pack. You can select the check boxes beside each of the Instances or if you wish to Install for all Instances / features click Select All button in the bottom left.

You can click on the Instance to see the current details of that Instance / feature. In the picture below, I clicked on the SQL2008INSTANCE1 and the Edition, Patch Level and other details are displayed..

The machine on which we are working in this blog, has a SQL Server 2008 R2 instance installed. Due to this, the Shared Features of SQL Server 2008 are all upgraded when the R2 instance is installed, because of this, we cannot select the Shared Features and apply SP3 to shared features. (see pic below and the description, in the right)

Click Next after you are done selecting the features to be applied with SP3.

The next step check for the files / services that are being used currently and lists if there are any files that needs to be stopped in order to avoid a restart. 

Click Next to proceed. Then the below screen is displayed which shows a summary of features that are going to be updated to Service Pack 3. Click Update to start the SP 3 installation.

Once the Installation is done, the installation progress is displayed as below.

Click Next to proceed.

Click Close to close the Service Pack Installer. Restart the machine if possible, else the SQL Instance(s) that have been updated with the Service Pack 3. Once the Instance is restarted, you can run the below command to find the Service Pack level of the SQL Server Instance that you have applied Service Pack..


You can see that the result shows (SP3).

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Download SQL Server 2008 SP3

Microsoft has recently announced Service Pack 3 for SQL Server 2008. There is a separate file for each version (IA64, x86 and x64), download those that apply to your SQL Server installation.. Please visit the download page here..   Service Packs are released to address known issues and bugs and also few enhancements to various sections of the SQL Server product. To find a list of bugs and issues that are addressed in SQL Server 2008 SP3, please visit the link

Some of the enhancements are:

  • Enhanced upgrade experience from previous versions of SQL Server to SQL Server 2008 SP3. Increased performance & reliability of the setup experience
  • In SQL Server Integration Services logs will now show the total number of rows sent in Data Flows.
  • Enhanced warning messages when creating the maintenance plan if the Shrink Database option is enabled.
  • Resolving database issue with transparent data encryption enabled and making it available even if certificate is dropped.
  • Optimized query outcomes when indexed Spatial Data Type column is referenced by DTA (Database Tuning Advisor)
  • Superior user experience with Sequence Functions (e.g Row_Numbers()) in a Parallel execution plan.

And last but not the least, before installing the SP3 take a minute to read the SQL Server 2008 SP3 release notes

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– Bru Medishetty

SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1

Service Pack 1 for SQL Server 2008 R2 has been recently released and available to download for SQL Server customers / users. You can download the Service Pack from

There are certain enhancements for SQL Server 2008 R2 product along with fixing a lot of known bugs in the RTM. The Service pack is released in all 3 major hardware platforms (X86,X64 and Ia64) and it is applicable for almost all Editions of SQL Servers.

For a list of known bugs that are addressed in the Service Pack 1, refer this knowledge base article

As always whenever a service pack is applied on a mission critical system, it is suggested practice that you test the service pack thoroughly in a test environment.

Do you like this site? Like our FB page @\LearnSQLWithBru so that, you know when there is a new blog post.

– Bru Medishetty