Question: Do I have to install Exchange Server 2010 RTM first and then install the latest Service Pack?
This is a question that I see almost every week. Someone is deploying Exchange Server 2010 and is uncertain whether they need to install the RTM build first, and then update it with the latest Service Pack.
I think this confusion sometimes happens because the download page says, for example, “Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1)” instead of “Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 with Service Pack 1 (SP1)”.
However if you read down the page it becomes clearer.
This Exchange Server 2010 SP1 software may be used to perform a new installation or to update an existing Exchange Server 2010 installation to Service Pack 1 (SP1) level.
A similar question arises for hotfix update rollups. I sometimes see admins installing each update rollup in sequential order on a new system, not realising that each update rollup includes all of the hotfixes in the previous update rollups for that server build as well.
Bottom line, when you’re installing Exchange Server 2010 you can install the latest build straight away, and then apply the latest update rollup, then any critical updates since the last update rollup, and you’re ready to go 🙂