Pretty new to the SharePoint game. Thus far our SharePoint 2013 implementation has been RTM. I'd like to install the SP1 update. Some of the hotfixes that have been rolled up into it address issues we have (and have worked around). I've never done this before, and there is no one here at the organization that has either. I started trying to read all the MS articles but it's a nightmare -- every article I open leads to several other articles without end. I really don't know why there isn't at least one sequential article about the steps I have to accomplish and things to consider before beginning. I'm slowly working through the mateiral and putting together a plan. What I have not come across online are people's experiences of upgrading. Here are some questions for those of you that have:

How dangerous is this process?
How long, approximately, will it take?
What pitfalls should I lookout for?

Please, share your knowledge with me, I'd love to hear about it.

Our implementation is backed up every day at the data center. I'm also going to run my own backup before I begin. Working on the procedure for that now. I look forward to hearing from you guys. Thanks.

  • I can't answer your questions - but first I'd attempt a restore of your backup to make sure you can restore.
    – James Love
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 20:08

1 Answer 1


The answer is, as usual; it depents.. :P If you have a heavily customized environment, upgrade carries more risk. If the environment is very complicated, it carries more risk.

If you assume that the process carries some risk, then making sure you can back out of the problems is your number one priority. If your SP farm is single-server, a complete backup will put you back in the game after a failed update. If it's single-server and virtual, you can get back even quicker if you snapshot the server before upgrading, and revert the snapshot if it fails.

If your SharePoint environment is more complicated, consists of more servers etc, then the task of recovering from a failure also becomes more complicated. The upgrade process will change the databases as well as files on the web front-end server, so making sure that your backups/snapshots are in lock-step becomes important to be able to recover to a point before your failed upgrade.

If you have virtual machines, you could possibly clone your SP farm into a testing environment so you can try the upgrade there and resolve any issues preventing you from completing it before you wreak havoc on the production environment.

More specifically: I've heard some rumours that the SP1 upgrade takes for ever unless you do some preliminary steps, so you might want to look into that first.

Good luck on your upgrade!

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