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Interesting Facts About Patching of SharePoint 2010

With the release of the SharePoint 2010 SP1, we had an interesting discussion about the way we should follow to patch SharePoint 2010. And I just learned several things that I didn’t exactly know before. Let me just share them here.

According to the SharePoint team blog, SP1 should be installed in the following order:

1. Service Pack 1 for SharePoint Foundation 2010

2. Service Pack 1 for SharePoint Foundation 2010 Language Pack (if applicable)

3. Service Pack 1 for SharePoint Server 2010

4. Service Pack 1 for SharePoint Server 2010 Language Pack (if applicable)

This align to the best practice published here:

Best practice

We recommend that you always install SharePoint Foundation 2010 patches before you install SharePoint Server 2010 patches. This best practice ensures that you will be successful when installing updates.

The software update system is designed to be flexible enough to allow you to install updates in any order. However, the only time you should diverge from the best practice is if you have a specific reason to do so (for example, if you are directed to by Microsoft support).

But the fact is that you don’t have to install the SP1 for Foundation first. The SP1 for SharePoint Server can be installed directly, because it is a Full (“Uber”) package. Installing the SP1 for Foundation would just waste your time.

In the same blog, there is another suggestion about June CU:

It is strongly recommended to install the June 2011 Cumulative Update immediately after the installation of Service Pack 1.

If you check the version of June CU, you will find it is 14.0.6106.5000, while the version of SP1 is 14.0.6029.1000. Does that mean June CU has included SP1? The answer is NO. The June CU does not include all of the files included in SP1. That is why you have to install it after the SP1.

Would that be a matter if someone installs the June CU before the SP1? Well, from the information I got, the installation order of the June CU and the SP1 doesn’t really matter. You can install the June CU first and then SP1. The files with higher version won’t be overwritten, while the missing part in June CU will be installed.

Conclusion?

Well, before patching, verify if the Server patch is a Full package. If so, no need to waste your time patching the Foundation first. Go patching Server directly. If it is not a Full package ( the chance is small but still possible), follow the best practice.

Interesting enough? Check out Jie Li’s new post The Mystery Behind SharePoint 2010 Patching. I am sure you’ll get more fun there.

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