We have a 3 node cluster with an instance running on each. Windows 2003 R2 32bit (16GB) / SQL Server 2005

I want to bring them all up to build 9.00.5266 (SP 4 + CU3) (1 Node is already updated) The links and articles I have found haven't been very helpful in terms of order installation and gotchas.

Our test cluster nodes were already at 9.00.5266. (My predecessor did that before I arrived).

I updated the test cluster instances to 9.00.5292 (Cluster only has 2 nodes) Although I got there, this did not go as expected....

The plan was :

  1. Move all instances to node2
  2. Update the instances on node1
  3. Reboot node1
  4. Move all instances to node1
  5. Update the instances on node2
  6. Reboot node2
  7. Move an instance to node1

I got to step 5. Then the installer said I had to use the active node. That means that the instance must go offline.

Is this a pitfall of SQL Server 2005 or am I doing this wrong?

Why did the first update work?

There are only few hotfixes available after build 9.00.5292 (All via links from MS upon request) so I can't experiment any further without reinstalling the test cluster.

I'm sure there are a couple of DBAs out there that have experience with updating SQL Server 2005 clustered instances. [Smile]

Most helpful links found:

SQL Server failover cluster rolling patch and service pack process(2008+ only. No link to 2005) [Sad] [How to install SQL Server 2005 SP3]3

  • Are you trying to do this without downtime?
    – Cougar9000
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 16:19
  • Yes, that's the goal. Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 9:36

1 Answer 1


I think this is a pitfall. I recall SQL 2005 and older versions requires active nodes to be updated. SQL 2008 and later versions allow passive node updates like the walkthrough you described. A posting from Linchi Shea explains it well.

  • I'll just have to deal with the down time then. Your link will be helpful. Thanks Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 8:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.