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How to install a feature pack for SharePoint

We get a lot of customer queries; in fact, we deal with 80,000 calls annually. A lot of the queries we get relate to the same topics, so we’re introducing some how-to blogs to help you with your most common requests. This post will show you how to install Feature Pack 2 for SharePoint 2016.

This guide is based on a standard 3 tier farm, which consists of a web front-end, app server and a database server. For this blog, I have installed the March 2018 updates as the reference.

Why upgrade and patch our SharePoint environment?

Microsoft releases monthly update for SharePoint 2016 that contain fixes to bugs.

Microsoft has also released feature packs for SharePoint 2016 that include enhancements; for example, in feature pack 2, more min roles were defined for SharePoint servers.

Step 1: Check current build version

Before the installation is started, you’ll need to perform a check on the current build version.

This can be done via the following Powershell: <Get-SPFarm>.BuildVersion

Make a note of the build number. In this case it is 16.0.4327.1000.

Alternatively, you can do this through SharePoint central administration. Navigate to the upgrade and migration section and click on the check product and patch installation status.

From here, check for the version and note the number.

  • Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2016 Core
  • Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2016 Core 1033 Lang Pack

Step 2: Check build settings

The latest build numbers are available online through MVP Todd Klindt’s blog. Cross-reference your build number with the the latest build number.

Step 3: Download the cumulative update for March 2018

All Microsoft updates are rolled up to include the previous month’s update. It is common to install the latest cumulative update -1 - this is because there have been occasions where the latest updates have had errors that were not initially picked up in Microsoft testing. It is therefore deemed safer to install the previous version.

The cumulative updates can be downloaded from the Microsoft SharePoint updates site.

The reference for the March 2018 update is KB4011680 and you can find full details of the update on the Microsoft support site.

The updates should then be downloaded to the installs directory on the root of the C: Drive of both SharePoint web front end and application servers: C:/Installs

Step 4: Download language pack for March 2018

Each SharePoint cumulative update has an associated language pack. It’s highly recommended to install this alongside the cumulative update.

The language packs can be downloaded from the Microsoft SharePoint updates site show in section 2.2.

The reference for the March 2018 language update is KB4011687 and you can find full details of the update on the Microsoft support site.

Step 5: Install Updates

The installation process for installing the updates is summarised below:

  1. Install March 2018 cumulative update on web front end server
  2. Installed language pack (KB4011687) on web front end server
  3. PSCONFIG run on web front end server                                                     
  4. Install March 2018 cumulative update on application server
  5. Installed language pack (kb4011687) on application server
  6. PSCONFIG run on application server                                       

The cumulative update and the language pack are installed on all SharePoint servers in the farm. There is no set order to installing the cumulative update and the language packs, but once they have been installed on a server, the product configuration wizard must be run to complete the installation.

Step 6: Install cumulative update

The instructions below are for the installation of the cumulative update. Installing the update is identical on both servers in the farm.

  • Log in to the servers on your farm account
  • Navigate to the install folder
    • C:/Installs/sts2016-kb4018293-fullfile-x64-glb.exe
  • Double click the cumulative update file to install it  
  • Accept the license agreement by ticking the check box and click continue

The Install process will begin:

On completion, click ok.

Step 7: Install language pack

The instructions below are for the installation of the associated language pack. Installing the update is identical on both servers in the farm.

  • Log in to the servers as your farm account
  • Navigate to the install folder (C:/Installs/wssloc2016-kb4011687-fullfile-x64-glb.exe)
  • Double click the language update file
  • Accept the license agreement by ticking the check box and click continue
  • The update process will begin
  • Once the installation has completed, click OK

Step 8: Run configuration wizard to complete the installation

After successful installation of the cumulative update and the language pack, you’ll then run through the SharePoint 2016 product configuration wizard.

Running the configuration wizard is identical on both servers in the farm.

Locate the application by typing SharePoint 2016 product configuration and double click.

Click next on the welcome message:

You will receive a pop-up warning before the installation starts, click yes and then next:

The install process with then cycle through each configuration task:

The installation will then be complete.

Step 9: Confirm the patch upgrade in central administration

You can check the latest build version through PowerShell using the <get-farm>.buildversion command.

Alternatively, navigate to the manage patch status screen through central administration to confirm the upgrade has completed.

The screenshot below confirms the SharePoint has been upgraded to version 16.0.4666.

Timings

The timings for each installation and patch will vary, but a ball park figure of 2-4 hours would be normal.

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