SharePoint 2010 upgrade failure - Failed to upgrade SharePoint Products

Fri, Jul 6, 2012 2-minute read

I’m not a SharePoint administrator, but from time to time you have to get involved. I needed to migrate some data between farms but in order to do a backup / restore of e.g., Site Collections, version numbers have to be in range. Although the source server was reporting the version was OK, in Central Admin, it was saying that an upgrade was required. This is usually achieved by running the SharePoint 2010 Products Configuration Wizard.

However, in this case, it was failing every time, on step 9 of 10. The upgrade log wasn’t much help, with only some spurious messages. There was an exception relating to creating a Service Connection Point, but this isn’t required. The ultimate error was reported by

“The exclusive inplace upgrader timer job failed.”

And a hint, about this, was the line preceding:

“SyncUpgradeTimerJob: SPTimerV4 is not running anymore.”

Bizarre, really, because the wizard warns you that it may stop and start the services. It would seem that for some reason it was unable to (re-)start the timer service, or it wasn’t starting a timely manner.

I found a workaround, however. I ran the upgrade from Powershell, with the cmd “PSConfig -cmd upgrade -inplace b2b”. However, I had a separate CMD prompt up and running (run as admin) with the cmd prepared: “net start SPTimerV4”

As soon as the Powershell console says “Upgrading SharePoint products” (in my case, in SharePoint Foundation, step 3 of 4), I fired the CMD prompt command to force start the timer service. (I imagine you could also do this using the GUI wizard, and as soon as it hits step 9 of 10, fire the CMD prompt command.)

This resolved it for me, and the upgrade completed successfully.