I have an existing 2-tier SharePoint2010 farm which has SP2 and the November 2016 CU installed. I would like to add an additional WFE.

I have installed SharePoint2010 Server SP2 and the November 2016 CU on a new Windows Server 2012R2 VM. When I try to add the new WFE to the farm, I receive an error on Step 3 stating "Error during encryption. Ensure the passphrase is correct."

I've tried resetting the passphrase via Powershell and clearing out the configuration cache on my existing server. I've also ensured that I'm running the configuration wizard using the farm account. I can't seem to find any additional guidance.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what to try next?

  • are you giving the correct passphrase which you used to install existing SP 2010 ? Dec 15 '16 at 7:23
  • I inherited this system and the original passphrase was undocumented. I have since reset the passphrase via Powershell.
    – chprpipr
    Dec 15 '16 at 16:17

Couple of things to do in order to fix the issue. Mostly this is because passphrase is incorrect.

  1. You have to reset the passphrase by using powershell

    $passphrase = ConvertTo-SecureString -asPlainText -Force Set-SPPassPhrase -PassPhrase $passphrase -Confirm

  2. Now recycle the Sharepoint timer service and sharepoint admin service on all the sharepoint servers

  3. Make sure you login with the farm admin account which has following permission
    • dbo on the config db
    • security admin role on sql server
    • db creator role on sql
    • local admin on sharepoint servers

Check this for detailed steps

If above did not fix the issue then check the uls logs for more clue, may be clear config cache on all sharepoint servers, also reboot the servers after reset.


Thanks for everyone's responses. I know this was a head scratcher. After digging through the ULS logs I found where there was an additional DB alias that I hadn't setup. (Apparently this site has moved from more DB servers that I was aware of). Once I got that sorted out, the wizard completed successfully.

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