Applying SharePoint Service Packs/Patches – Steps and Best practices

Well, it is inevitable in a SharePoint administrator’s life, Applying service packs or patches to the environment.

Here are the steps, I’ve learned in my implementations.

First, it’s a good idea to have a maintenance page for your website, in order to avoid a typical “404 – page not found” to the end-users. You can design a page and host into any QA server or any other dedicated backup servers then place a redirect in ISA Server.

Here is the simple one I’ve done.  Maintenance Page for SharePoint – Quick way to Implement

OK, the Maintenance page is ready! Let plan for patching.

Here are the steps to Install Service Packs in SharePoint:

1. Download the relevant service packs for both WSS and MOSS (doesn’t matter, if you have MOSS only installed. You need to have both! Because MOSS runs on top of WSS) from the Microsoft site, say for e.g. I’ve downloaded August 2010-CU for 64 bit from Microsoft site.

2. Before start installing the patches, it’s a good idea to remove the content db’s. This will prevent your content db’s from being corrupted, in case your patching fails in the middle. How to do this? Execute the below stsadm commands.

stsadm -o preparetomove -contentdb <Database server:Database Name> -site <URL>

stsadm -o deletecontentdb -url <URL> -databasename <Database Name>

Remember, this is ONLY dissociates your content db’s with MOSS. This will not delete your content db’s. So don’t panic.

3. Once, Databases are dissociated, the next step we need to do is: stopping the World Wide Web publishing service on our WFE’s. To do that, in the command prompt, type:  Net stop w3svc

4. Ok, Now install the WSS patch in all the servers (WFE, APP, CA), once done, you may get a prompt to restart your machine, Do that so.

5. Once rebooted, install the MOSS Patch in all the servers.

6. once completed, you have to run the “SharePoint Products and Technologies configuration wizard”.
There is a sequence you need to follow in running the products and technologies configuration wizard. We need to run the configuration wizard first in the CA server, next in the App servers, and then our WFEs. So, start the configuration wizard in CA Server. Once you get the below screen, start the configuration wizard in other servers as per the sequence.

Once you get the above screen in the App, Web servers, Go back to complete the wizard in CA server, then app server, and then WFEs.

Now, the configuration wizard has been completed. We need to add our content db’s back. Once added, they’ll be automatically upgraded to the new version.
Execute: stsadm -o addcontentdb -url <URL> -databasename <Database Name>
Databases are added now. You can start the W3SVC service by typing: net start S3SVC

That’s All. We are done!

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - Information Technology Expert with Two-decades of hands-on experience, specializing in SharePoint, PowerShell, Microsoft 365, and related products. He has held various positions including SharePoint Architect, Administrator, Developer and consultant, has helped many organizations to implement and optimize SharePoint solutions. Known for his deep technical expertise, He's passionate about sharing the knowledge and insights to help others, through the real-world articles!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *