ISA Server and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2

ISA Server and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2

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Recently Microsoft released Service Pack (SP) 2 for Windows Server 2003 ( We tested ISA Server with the Windows service pack quite extensively. Unfortunately we discovered after the release of the Windows service pack that there are several issues that have potential ill-effects on ISA Server. This blog summarizes the currently known issues, and suggestions on how to mitigate those issues.

1.     If you run ISA Server 2004 Enterprise Edition with or without the ISA Server SP2, you must install ADAM SP1 on the ISA Server Configuration Storage Server prior to installing the Windows Server 2003 SP2. ADAM SP1 can be downloaded from
If you install Windows Server 2003 SP2 without first installing the ADAM SP1, ISA Server will not start after the installation, and you will have to uninstall Windows Server 2003 SP2. Further information is available in the Windows Server 2003 SP2 release notes, at .

2.     If you run ISA Server 2000, 2004 or 2006 Standard or Enterprise editions on a multi-core / multi-processor 32-bit computer, and the CPU is heavily utilized, you might experience performance degradation in certain deployment scenarios after installing Windows Server 2003 SP2. The issue stems from a change in interrupt handling introduced in SP2.
To correct the issue you must download and run the Interrupt Affinity Tool (intfiltr) available in Windows Server 2003 resource kit (
You can read about installation and usage of intfiltr.exe in

3.     If your network adaptors (NICs) support receive-side scaling (RSS), then in certain NAT scenarios ISA Server 2000, 2004 or 2006 Standard or Enterprise editions might not transfer packets from one NIC to the other after installation of Windows Server 2003 SP2.
To correct the issue you must disable RSS support ­­- follow the instructions in;EN-US;927695.


Neta Amit

Program manager

ISA Server Sustained Engineering Team


  • Anybody know why the ISA 2006 FW policy screen is blank in Vista using the MMC?

  • Das Windows Server 2003 SP2 ist ja nun schon ein paar Tage verfügbar. Inzwischen wurden auch einige Probleme

  • Why cannot I generator a report any more? ISA 2006 Standard on a fresh R2 server. It seems it's related to IE7, isn't it?

  • In my experiments I could not even getISA2006 Std to even install/startup properly if the Server2003 had SP2 before ISA was installed.

    I tried it on a clean install of 2003 (not R2) with SP2 and then installed ISA2006 Std.  In the first attempt the install would fail in the second phase (installing components?). On the second attempt it fail on the final phase (starting ISA Services).

  • I am also unable to generate a report any more in ISA 2006 Standard with a fresh R2 server...

  • as Phillip Windell I make a clean install of 2003 (not R2) with Sp2 and then installed ISA2006. I've a lot of problems with the HTML-Authentification Formular for OWA, or other published Websites and also much trouble with RPC over Https. It doesn't run anywhere. After I deinstalled ISA2006 and SP2 and Reinstall ISA20006

    all publishing items running fine.

    Its a bug ?

  • On a Dell PowerEdge 1950 server with Windows 2003 R2 and ISA 2006 Standard, I installed the Windows 2003 SP2. All computers in my network were using secure NAT to connect to internet through ISA. Now it is impossible, I can only connect using proxy client (I did not test the firewall client). The NIC on this server is a BroadCom NetExtreme  II with the latest driver. I disabled the RSS but still having problem with secure NAT connections. Any idea about this?

  • Some what bettr but will be tested more to make a hard decision.

  • Are there any fixes for these problems yet?  I planned on implementing ISA 2004 for a client.  The machine was already prepared with Windows 2003 R2 and SP2.  Should I re-install without SP2 before installing ISA?

  • This is absolute crap. We get to spend days fixing Component Services, SQL Server, and ISA Server after SP2.

    It is totally ridiculous that MS would release a service pack that breaks component of the OS and all the critical Enterprise applications.

  • If you are having specific issues with Service Pack 2, or trouble with any other ISA Server configuration issues, you may want to post to the ISA Server (Forefront Edge) forums at These forums are monitored by other ISA Server users and by the ISA Server Development Team.

  • I posted on the Forefront Edge forums a question about ISA 2004 and WSUS.

  • Many have wondered about where I've been and what I've been doing not keeping up on this blog. Well,...

  • This is just a shame for MS!! How can they release such a crap in Server products!!.. I'd like to sue them..

    After installing SP2 in our ISA Server, all our company users were without Web Browsing and VPN access to our customers!!.. everything got fixed unistalling SP2.. but this is so lame!.. now I have a insecure ISA Server, coz I can't install SP2 on it!.. why do I have to fix a lot of mess everytime MS takes out an update??.. Sure.. I will be able to install SP2, I'll have to in order to cover security holes!.. but I'm sure I'll have to delete registry keys, edit configuration files, and a lot of more craps! coz this MS guys are a bunch of useless!

  • 1. Run ISA Server 2004 Enterprise Edition on Windows 2003 RTM/SP1? Make sure to install ADAM SP1 on the ISA Server Configuration Storage Server before installing Windows 2003 SP2. 2. If you run ISA Server on a multi-core / multi-processor 32-b

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