TFS 2010: What Service Packs and Hotfixes Should I Install?


Since release in April 2010, have been a number of important Service Packs, Cumulative Updates and hotfixes that have been made available based upon internal usage at Microsoft and customer feedback via the support organization. Here is an list bringing together all the updates that are currently available.

Installation Guide

For a new install, you should always start with the latest version of the Installation Guide. The version on the web is newer than the version that’s included on the DVD/ISO.


If you have questions about the licensing around Team Foundation Server, you should take a look at the following sources:

Application Tier

Although this is a link to the trial edition ISO, it’s the same bits that are used for the non-trial edition. The trial lasts for 90 days and you Upgrade from the Trial Edition by entering your product key at any time. If you’re having trouble getting your product key, you can request a trial extension by following these instructions.

The following updates must be installed in the correct order:

Database Tier

Team Foundation Server 2010 requires SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 or later (TFS installation will block if you don’t have it installed). If your IT department requires you to use SQL Server 2008 (rather than 2008 R2) it is recommended to install at least SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 2, as it includes a number of important fixes that TFS benefits from. (See the bottom of this post for more details if you’re interested)

Although TFS 2010 shipped with SQL Server 2008, the R2 edition of SQL Server has been subsequently released. After an update to the Microsoft Product Use Rights document, you can now use SQL Server 2008 R2 with TFS 2010:


Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 includes the right to use one instance of SQL Server 2008 Standard or SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard in support of Team Foundation Server, as permitted in the Universal License Terms section for products that include SQL Server technology.

Note: There are Cumulative Updates that have been released after each of these Service Packs. The general recommendations from the SQL Server team are that you should a) Install the latest released Service Pack for your version of SQL; b) Only install SQL Cumulative Updates when you encounter a specific issue that is addressed by that Cumulative Update. Since there is a known issue which causes deleted Test Case Attachment records to persist as ghosted records, it is recommended to install the above cumulative update. The patch has not been ported to SQL 2008 pre-R2, so the workaround (as described by Terje) is to restart SQL server which restarts the stalled ghost cleanup process.

If for some reason, you can’t run SQL Server 2008 SP3 or SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1, AND you are using SQL Enterprise Edition, you should take a look at this KB on possible data corruption issues and recommended minimum patching levels.

Clients (Visual Studio & Microsoft Test Manager)
Visual Studio 2010

(Note: If you have a license key for full version of Visual Studio 2010 Professional, the Visual Studio 2010 Professional Trial – Web Installer includes Team Explorer and it can be more convenient than downloading and mounting the ISO file)

The following updates must be installed in the correct order:

The MSSCCI Provider allows non-Microsoft tools to connect to TFS:

Team Explorer Everywhere (TEE) is an Eclipse IDE/Java implementation of the TFS client:

Visual Studio 2008

The following updates must be installed in the correct order:

Visual Studio 2005

The following updates must be installed in the correct order:

Build Controllers, Build Agents, Test Controllers & Test Agents

A Team Build 2008 server cannot communicate with a Team Foundation Server 2010 server, as such all existing Team Build servers will need to be upgraded.

The following updates must be installed in the correct order:

If you work in a cross-platform environment, you may also want to install the build extensions that allow you to execute Ant or Maven 2 builds and publish any JUnit test results back to TFS.


For the latest recommended updates to SharePoint Server 2010 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, see the Office Update Center. You should at least have these:

Feature Pack for Team Foundation Server and Project Server Integration

Only those machines that have the feature pack installed can participate in data synchronization between the two products. See the Configuration Quick Reference for installation pre-requisites and instructions.

Office Project Server 2007

Office Project Server 2010

Process Templates
Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate and Test Professional 2010

Hopefully you find this list of updates useful. If there is something that I’ve missed or you think should be on here, leave a comment or send me an email and I’ll do my best to include it.

Brian Harry also has a blog post as of March 2012 which talks about all these patches and the philosophy.

[Update 4 Jan 2012]: Fixed SQL08 R2 SP1 link, added note about SQL CU’s, added file types (e.g. ISO) and file sizes.
[Update 9 Jan 2012]: Added SQL08 R2 SP1 CU4 as recommended, since it addresses a ghost record cleanup issue. Added some other patches and feature packs.
[Update 16 Jan 2012]: Replaced TFS SP1 CU1, VS2010 SP1 TFS Compatibility GDR and Test attachment data hotfix with TFS SP1 CU2 link.
[Update 29 Jan 2012]: Updated link to Test Attachment Cleaner to point to the TFS 2010 Power Tools, since it’s now included there.
[Update 31 Jan 2012]: Fixed link to VS2010 SP1 ISO and ISO Mounting instructions.
[Update 2 Feb 2012]: Added link to corruption issues with SQL Enterprise editions. The previous SQL recommended patch levels include this patch, so they are unchanged. Added links to SharePoint service packs and cumulative updates.
[Update 25 Mar 2012]: Added link to VS2010 SP1 TFS 11 Compatibility GDR. Added links to updated licensing rules (TEE, TFS reporting). Updated section titles to clarify where the updates apply to.
[Update 29 Mar 2012]: Fixed links to Project Server feature packs on MSDN.

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