are doing an database attach upgrade and the upgrade failed while performing the Mount-SPContentDatabase and got the errors "Feature upgrade failed for Feature " and "Exception: Object reference not set to an instance of an object".

Did a deploy of an upgraded version of the solution that were missing and tried to continue the upgrade by executing upgrade-spcontentdatabase but i still got the problem. All other site collections were upgraded and now only 1 site collection "Needs upgrade" (checked with the command "Stsadm -o localupgradestatus" )

Can the sites in the site collection that "Needs Upgrade" still be used? Can i ignore these sites and put the server into production?

I can't find out from microsoft what it means that a site collection has not been upgraded? Does anybody else no that?

3 Answers 3


You did not provide the full error so it's hard to say what's the problem here. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Open your ULS logs to determine the name of the feature if that is not being displayed in your Powershell shell

  2. If this is a feature you need than you will have to contact the manufacturer to help you fix the issue, if this is feature you do not need remove the feature from SharePoint 2007 and then upgrade.

In anycase I would not proceed with the upgrade until you find out what feature is causing this and do you need that feature.

Similar thread can be found here.

  • Thanks for your answer! I know which feature it is that's causing the problem. It's a vendor that has been developing it. It's actually used on anotyhr web app that allready has been upgraded by the vendor and that upgrade did also fail with the same error as i got but they have proceeded and are using that web app in production but still a number of their site collections are in the status of "nneds upgrade" according to "stsadm -o localupgradestatus" . What does it mean when a site is in "Needs upgrade" status?
    – Jonas F
    Apr 16, 2011 at 18:48

When upgrading our Features and WSP's we sometimes stop/start all the SharePoint services after an uninstall then again after an install. Not sure if its the same issue you have encountered but we tend to get issues due to what seem to be DLL's not unloading and loading the new version. Never seen the Needs Upgrade notice but from what you are saying sounds like the Vendor app has issues if its continually generating this message.


As best practice you should have executed Test-SPContentDatabase which is exporting a list of dependent features, followed by collecting and installing/deactivating all unneeded.

If your upgrade said 100%, even with errors (which probably they we're not blocking either), most likely would work, and you cannot redo-it. However, it is recommended to remove all orphan references manually using Powershell to forcibly deactivate features.

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