Farm provisioning issues

During my work onsite with a client I faced an interesting issue which I think is worth mentioning here. After the SharePoint binary installation the SP2010 farm gots provisioned and we were about to join the other servers into the farm (connect them to the created configuration database). On one of the machines though we found a hotfix for a specific language pack missing. But somehow this server was joined the farm, on the “Servers in farm” site you could find a note that this server is missing an important update. The patching overview in the SharePoint central administration displayed the missing hotfix as well. So we downloaded the hotfix, installed it on the machine and thought about running the configuration wizzard to properly connect the server to the farm again. When it comes up to running the configuration wizard we encountered an error within the wizard telling us that the hotfix we just installed is not installed on the system. Our first approach was to reboot the machine and rerun the SharePoint configuration wizard again… Same result. Bummer!

Then I thought, ok we remove the server from the farm and join it back in again, removing a server from a SharePoint farm can be done in several different ways,

  1. using the SharePoint configuration wizard… ehm, not in this case!
  2. using the central admin
  3. using good ol’ psconfig.exe
  4. The way described below 🙂

Because number one was not applicable I removed the server from the farm using the central administration, but when running the SharePoint configuration wizard it still locked to be connected to the farm somehow and it failed running.

Because you cant trust the UI, I removed the server using psconfig.exe (psconfig -cmd configdb –disconnect), which told me that the server has successfully been removed from the farm. But when running the SharePoint configuration wizard the same issue occured and it failed out at the end.

So I said to myself: “Self…we have a problem here”, shortly before starting to cry and thinking about how to get out of the room and run away the SharePoint admins swiss army knife PowerShell came to my mind and I remembered an powershell cmdlet “Disconnect-SPConfigurationDatabase”. I ran the cmdlet and when firing up the SharePoint configuration wizard I now saw the option to join an existing farm or create a farm myself. I joined the server to the existing farm and… it worked just like a charm.

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