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I have a SharePoint 2013 farm, and I wish to upgrade to 2016 on the same boxes. From my reading, everyone says you have to take the database, and attach it to the new farm. Can I do the upgrade in the same server?

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No, you can't do the in place upgrade.only supported way is database upgrade or using 3rd party tools.

When you upgrade from SharePoint Server 2013 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) to SharePoint Server 2016, you must use a database attach upgrade, which means that you upgrade only the content for your environment and not the configuration settings.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc263026(v=office.16).aspx

  • But can't I use the attach on the same server in case am using SQL 2014? – Brittany Rutherford Sep 5 '16 at 15:00
  • You can use same Sql server as long as it meet the 2016 requirements...but you can't have 2 sharepoint version on same server. You have setup a2016 farm. – Waqas Sarwar MVP Sep 5 '16 at 15:19
  • So I can't install SP 2016 on the same machine as SP 2013, then do the attach database? I have single server environment with everything on the same box. – Brittany Rutherford Sep 5 '16 at 16:25
  • You need separate server to build the 2016 farm. – Waqas Sarwar MVP Sep 5 '16 at 16:37
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Agreed with above suggestion.

Moreover, please refer to this earlier thread having suggested solutions i.e. Step by step upgrade from 2013 to 2016: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/a31db70c-9d42-46c1-a0ce-6f28a5bfe63b/step-by-step-upgrade-from-2013-to-2016?forum=SP2016

Or you colud try a third party SharePoint migration tool to accomplish this migration task as they can take care of all your data, metadata included.

Hope it helps!

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