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I have a peculiar case here. I have simple SharePoint 2010 Farm having total two servers only. One server acts as both the WFE and App Server and the other is a DB Server.

Now, the Server is at SharePoint SP1 Patch (I know it is very very old). So we thought of getting it patched up to SP2. However, somehow some binaries got deleted from the server and hence it would not let us upgrade to SP2.

So, now here is what I plan to do -

  1. Add another server to this existing farm with the same patch level i.e. SP1

  2. Decommission the old server from the farm once everything is there on the new server

  3. Get it to SP2 Patch level

So, now here are my questions and doubts about this process -

  1. Does it seem feasible or possible to do this?

  2. When I add a new server, do I need to make it load balanced with the old server as they have to have the same roles? Would it not work without using load balancing on the two servers.

  3. If not load balanced, how does the process work - example, say I am a user and I browsed a site, so that request goes to which server ?

  4. Any other option that anyone can suggest to get this farm to SP2. That is our ultimate goal, whether we achieve this by following the above plan or by other.

Thanks in Advance.

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I would at leaset split this question into 2 questions.it is hard for everyone to fully answered this question.

  1. Does it seem feasible or possible to do this? Yes, it is fessible to add a new server to existing farm and move everything there. But chances are you will get the error due to missing files on server one.
  2. When I add a new server, do I need to make it load balanced with the old server as they have to have the same roles? Would it not work without using load balancing on the two servers.
    • You dont need the Load balancer as your plan to move everything on new server.
    • It will work without LB, but you have to make sure that your DNS records point to the new server so that your web application works.
  3. If not load balanced, how does the process work - example, say I am a user and I browsed a site, so that request goes to which server? you have to apply all the customization and changes to the new server if you have any( web.config changes). Update the IIS bindings, also update the AAM settings if you are using the Server name and port number. Once everything setup then user will browse the site simply without any issue.
  4. Any other option that anyone can suggest to get this farm to SP2. That is our ultimate goal, whether we achieve this by following the above plan or by other. You have to fix the error, i would open a new question with more information i.e what error you are getting, entry from logs etc
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The route you suggest is certainly one possible route to get your farm to a newer patch level. To answer your questions:

  1. Yes, this is feasible. Another option would be to build a new farm and import your content databases to the new farm (which can be on a higher patch level).
  2. Only the content web applications would have to be load balanced if load balancing were required. As you are planning on removing the old server, a better bet would be to change the DNS entry to point to the new server once this is configured to serve content to end users. You should start the same services (for service applications) on the second server as are running on the first server to ensure continuation of service. Note that services such as the user profile sync service can only run on one server in the farm, so that will need to be transferred to the new server you are adding to the farm.
  3. If the servers are not load balanced, the user requests go to the server in the farm that the DNS entry points to. Requests to service applications are load balanced internally by SharePoint for you automatically.
  4. You could build a new farm and attach your content databases to it, or attempt to repair the installation binaries on the first server to allow you to proceed to SP2.

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