Microsoft-Exchange-Server-exe-Update-Process

Microsoft has been considering making changes to its update strategy recently, and next up is Microsoft Exchange Server. Specifically, the company says it will now send Exchange Server updates via .exe packages, for both Security Updates (SUs) and Hotfixes (HFs).

This will add a new update method alongside the existing Windows Installer patch (.msp) files route. While the older method is functional, admins often struggle to manually install the files because they require elevated privileges to install.

So, if a user attempts to install the self-contained packages without privileges, Microsoft Exchange Servers enter a “bad state”. Microsoft already mitigates this problem by recommending users to install the .msp files with elevated Command Prompt.

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However, better mitigation is to simply give users without elevated privileges another option. As such, the company says Microsoft Exchange Server Hotfixes and Security Updates can now be installed through .exe.

How it Works

These .exe packages will automatically extract, while they are also self-elevating. It is worth noting Microsoft says .msp files will still remain available for automatic updates. The company is specifically recommending the .exe option for manual installs. Microsoft explains the process in its announcement post:

“The EXE package is a wrapper for the .msp file that ensures the installation runs with the required permissions. To install the update, simply double-click the .exe file and follow the instructions. The installation process checks permission prerequisites and if the check fails, it will try to elevate the permissions to the required admin level:

  • If elevation is not successful, installation stops without making any changes to the Exchange server.

If elevation is successful (or if the proper admin permissions are already in use), the package will extract the .msp file into the current user’s temp folder and start the installation process.”

Tip of the day: Windows now has a package manager similar to Linux called “Winget”. In our tutorial, we show you how to install and use this new tool that allows the quick installation of apps via PowerShell or a GUI.

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