Is there any guidance on how to safely rip out service pack 2 for SharePoint Services 3.0? It appears to be causing some problems with designer-based WFs that are self-referencing.


Per Microsoft:

Although SP2 for the 2007 Office Desktop products can be uninstalled, you cannot uninstall 2007 Office Servers Service Pack 2 for Office server products. The main reason for this is that the installation of 2007 Office Server Service Pack 2 makes changes to back-end databases, and those database changes are currently unable to be reverted. So, generally, the service pack files themselves cannot be reverted. This keeps users from getting into a bad state.

This is why it is strongly recommended to test all Service Packs and Cumulative updates in a dev/qa farm.

Basically, you need to:

  • Uninstall the SharePoint binaries from your farm
  • restore all of the databases from the backups taken before applying the service pack
  • reinstall SharePoint on the farm
  • patch it to the exact version it was prior to applying SP2
  • re-create the web applications and point them at the restored content databases
  • re-create your Shared Service provider and point it at the restored SSP DB

You will need to follow a process similar to the one outlined in this article as, for all intents and purposes, you are now effectively restoring an existing farm onto a new server.

And keep copies of your pre-sp2 backups somewhere safe, just in case you need to do this process a few times.

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The workflow issue is a security feature, although in your current situation, you might not agree.

It's easier to just fix the recursion issues for the workflows because going forward it has to be done anyway (SP2 required for upgrade where it will be required to be fixed). Add trigger column(s) to your list and create a second workflow that fires on change monitoring the trigger column that is updated by the first workflow ending.

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  • Thanks, PirateEric. That was actually the plan I had intended. I'm awarding the answer to Dave, though, since the question was regarding guidance for uninstalling SP2. – Robert Kaucher May 30 '12 at 17:13
  • totally understandable, no worries. – Eric Alexander May 30 '12 at 17:28

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