Monday 4 May 2009

SharePoint SP2 Upgrade Fails: The B2B upgrader timer job failed

Update: Be sure to checkout the comments for additional suggestions.

Upgrading to WSS SP2 from a relatively clean, MOSS 2007 SP1 + December Cumulative Updates environment went smoothly over the weekend but upgrading my day-to-day “MOSS 2007 SP1 + a selection of hot fixes” dev environment to WSS SP2 failed at step 8 of the configuration wizard with:

An exception of type Microsoft.SharePoint.PostSetupConfiguration.PostSetupConfigurationTaskException was thrown.  Additional exception information: Failed to upgrade SharePoint Products and Technologies.

Naturally, it’s not like the configuration wizard would tell me this without forcing me into the log file; no, it assumes I’m a sweet, niaive administrator with  a penchant for colourful UIs and lollypops. Even the event log simply points to the wizard log file. God forbid it present the underlying exception in the wizard UI—I’m guessing anyone dealing with SharePoint on a daily basis isn’t going to freak out when faced with a stack trace. Anyway, into the logs and search for capital ERR and there I find the source of the failure—or at least as close as I’m going to get:

The B2B upgrader timer job failed

I tried all the usual wizard tricks to no avail:

  • psconfig -cmd upgrade -inplace b2b -force (failed at step 3 with the same exception but apparently the log file is more detailed)
  • Followed up my WSS install with the MOSS install
  • Browsed through KB944267
  • Restarted and stopped the administration service, the timer service, IIS
  • Cleared the file system cache as described in KB939308 
In the end I'm a complete gimp: after backing up my VM before starting this exercise, I inadvertently fired up an older copy to which I attempted my SP2 install. Moving across to my current SP1+ VM allowed me to successfully install SP2. What gives? Service packs are cumulative so I should have also been successful with my older copy, which was pre-SP1; in fact I should be able to go RTM to SP2.

Despite being a gimp, I learned a few very important lessons today:

  • Always, always, always test a service pack or updates release on a non-production, non-critical environment (and backup your content database and other bits before you start in production)
  • It's fun to be first but if you're risk averse, it's probably a good idea to let others go first and blog their workarounds before diving in (there's a dearth of information about the problem I encountered as it applies to SP2 and none of the SP1 suggestions from a year ago worked in my environment)
  • The SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard doesn't log much of any value


  1. Hi Michael,
    My experience was identical to yours. Finally figured out it was a problem with the SSP database when I found this line in the upgrade.log file -

    [SSPDatabaseSequence] [ERROR] [5/6/2009 9:03:15 AM]: Action 12.1.500.0 of Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.Upgrade.SSPDatabaseSequence failed.

    The only thing running on SSP was Search, so I created a new SSP and associated the site collections with it. Re-ran psconfig & this time it completed successfully(!).

    So far, so good - SharePoint seems to be functioning normally. I think I've got the nerve to apply SP2 in production now (AMEN to those very important lessons).

  2. I had the exactly same problem on one of my web frontends. I managed to fix this with a help of my colleague.

    Here is what I did:

    I copied web.config file from 12\CONFIG to 12\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS.

    The I did run:
    psconfig -cmd upgrade -inplace b2b -force -wait

    That's it.

  3. I also had to delete web.config from layouts directory afterwards as I was causing other problems.

  4. I did what Bungle posted and it resolved my problem as well.

  5. Strange but it worked for us too. Thank you

  6. I had the same issue. At Step 8 of the upgrade it failed with an exception. My problem was the service account passwords. We had changed the password from services mmc. So doing an upgrade and config wizard was trying to match the passwords stored in the config db, and it was failing. Followed KB article
    That fixed it.

  7. I did the same as bungle and it worked, however, I was required to re-copy the original template/layouts/web.config file back as the page editing toolbar was not functioning properly.

  8. Similar issue while ungrading to SP2.

    We finally identified the problem by looking at the log. Our problem was that there was a Content database referenced by one of the web application, but somehow the database did not exist on (or probably was deleted from) the SQLServer, thus SP2 kept on failing updating.

    Once this error was corrected, PS installed with no further problems.

  9. Hi,

    My issue turned out to be an old IIS site and its directory located here. C:\inetpub\wwwroot\
    The upgrade.log file showed the error.

    Application Web Config for this IIS site (1078976354) could not be found at....

    It could not find a web.config in that directory. I suppose I could have added a web.config but since I did not need the site I deleted it.I was then able to successfully run

    psconfig -cmd upgrade -inplace b2b -force -wait.

    This article describes problems and issues including the solution I used above.

  10. In my case I was trying to install search center 2008 onto WSS3.0 and getting the same sort of errors, I end up discovering this was due to a pre-existing search database. I probably could have deleted the existing database but instead I granted temporary permissions to the Annon account on the required DB then once the install completed successfully I removed them again.


    04/23/2011 10:25:31 9 ERR The B2B upgrader timer job failed.

    [SPManager] [INFO] [4/23/2011 10:48:19 AM]: Resetting the status of PersistedUpgradableObject: SPWebService Parent=SPFarm Name=WSS_Config to Online.
    [SPManager] [DEBUG] [4/23/2011 10:48:20 AM]: SyncUpgradeTimerJob: sleeping for 10 seconds
    [SPManager] [ERROR] [4/23/2011 10:48:21 AM]: ReflexiveUpgrade [SPWebService Parent=SPFarm Name=WSS_Config] failed.
    [SPManager] [ERROR] [4/23/2011 10:48:21 AM]: Could not continue scan with NOLOCK due to data movement.
    [SPManager] [ERROR] [4/23/2011 10:48:21 AM]: at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection.OnError(SqlException exception, Boolean breakConnection)

  12. If you stop your IIS before applying the service pack, make sure you turn it back on before running the PSConfig

  13. For me the "-wait" was the key:
    psconfig -cmd upgrade -inplace b2b -force -wait

  14. I found

    [ERROR] [xxx]: Could not upgrade virtual server XXXX (XXX). You cannot use Local System or Local Service as the application pool identity for Windows SharePoint Services.

    in upgrade.log. I have to simply change identity of one of the applicaiton pool from local system to network service.

  15. I experienced the same thing as Anonymous...
    For me the "-wait" was the key:
    psconfig -cmd upgrade -inplace b2b -force -wait
    Once I added that to my command, it worked!

  16. Helpful data shared. I am extremely happy to read this write-up. thanks for giving us good info. Great walk-through. I appreciate this post.SharePoint online training


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