Microsoft Updates Extended Support for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2
Microsoft is now reminding customers who are still running Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2008 that these products are no longer covered under the monthly standard updates cycle. Microsoft discontinued mainstream Windows updates on January 14th, 2020. BTG encourages everyone to carefully consider the reasons why you or your employer might want to keep around PCs and servers running a 10+ year old operating system. The costs of maintaining hardware and software of this age can grow over time as it will be very difficult to find appropriate parts, while avoiding software updates that are “too new” to run on the hardware.
However, if there is a strong business reason to hold onto a Win7 or Server 2008 device, then Microsoft will help to keep your device patched and protected until January 2023 – but at a cost. For companies who want to continue receiving Microsoft updates for these devices, you will need to purchase the Extended Security Update Package from Microsoft. Instructions for doing so are listed below:
1. You must have the following updates installed on the device:
- The SHA-2 update (KB4474419) dated September 23, 2019 or a later SHA-2 update installed and then restart your device before you apply this update. If you use Windows Update, the latest SHA-2 update will be offered to you automatically. For more information about SHA-2 updates, see 2019 SHA-2 Code Signing Support requirement for Windows and WSUS.
- For Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, you must have the servicing stack update (SSU) (KB4490628) dated March 12, 2019. After installing KB4490628, you must install the January 14, 2020 SSU (KB4536952) or later. For more information about the latest SSU updates, see ADV990001 | Latest Servicing Stack Updates.
- For Windows Server 2008 SP2, you must have the servicing stack update (SSU) (KB4493730) dated April 9, 2019 SSU update installed. After installing KB4493730, you must install the January 14, 2020 SSU (KB4536953) or later. For more information about the latest SSU updates, see ADV990001 | Latest Servicing Stack Updates.
- Important! You must restart your device after you install these required updates.
2. Download and install the Extended Security Updates (ESU) Licensing Preparation Package. For more information, see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
- 4538483 Extended Security Updates (ESU) Licensing Preparation Package for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
- 4538484 Extended Security Updates (ESU) Licensing Preparation Package for Windows Server 2008 SP2
3. Download the ESU MAK add-on key from the VLSC portal and deploy and activate the ESU MAK add-on key. If you use the Volume Activation Management Tool (VAMT) to deploy and activate keys, follow the instructions here.
4. Note that the Windows 7 ESU are available in three consecutive 12-month increments. So, in January 2023, extended support will finally end.
5. Estimated costs per device are at $25 for the first year, $50 for the second and $100 for the third and final year.
Note After you successfully complete this procedure, you can continue to download the monthly updates via the usual channels of Windows Update, WSUS and Microsoft Update Catalog. You can continue to deploy the updates using your preferred update management solution.
Thanks for reading! Beringer Technology Group has extensive experience with successfully managing customers’ networks, including automated managed deployment of Microsoft Updates. Contact us today if you need help with network, server or workstation management.
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