Installing SharePoint 2016 Release Candidate (RC)

So you heard the news? SharePoint 2016 officially hit Release Candidate (RC) yesterday, January 20th 2016. This means that we are getting really close to an RTM release. If you are like me and always want to be the first one to play with the new tools as soon as Microsoft relases them, you may be in for a little surprise. If you try to go an get the bits that were released by Microsoft yesterday from the download center (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=50737) you will soon realize that this is no traditional SharePoint download. The package on Microsoft download centre is actually called SharePoint Server 2016 Release Candidate Patch and consists of at least two main downloads: one for the language you are using and the second is called a Global patch and patches the entire environment. So it’s a patch….but what is it patching? A patch has to be installed on an existing product right? Right! The SharePoint 2016 Release Candidate (RC) has to be installed on top of the SharePoint 2016 Beta 2 (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49961).

This new update process introduced in SharePoint 2016 is called the Zero Downtime Patching and allows users who have High Available SharePoint environments to patch their farms without causing any downtime. For the purpose of this article, I will guide you through the process of installing the SharePoint 2016 RC, but as always, to keep things simple, I will be patching a Single Server Farm environment. Because I am applying my patches on a Single Server Farm, I will not be able to take advantage of the Zero Downtime Patching process. I will be using the psconfiggui.exe wizard to complete the patching process which will cause downtime in my farm. Normally, what you wish to do is take off one of your load balanced server from your farm, patch it, re-introduce it back within the farm, and take the second server down for patching.

Environment Overview
– Single Server Farm (18 Gb of RAM);
– Connected to the contoso.com domain (Domain Controller is a separate Virtual Machine);
– SQL Server 2014 Enterprise is installed locally on my VM;
– SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2 is already installed on my VM;

Patching Process
You should be able to verify that you have SharePoint Server 2016 Beta 2 installed in your environment by going Central Administration > Upgrade and Migration > Check product and patch installation status. The build version should be 16.0.4306.1002.
SP2016RCManagePatch-Beta2

Now, in my environment I don’t have any language pack installed. Therefore I only need to download two patch zip packages from the Download Center:

– SharePoint Server 2016 Release Candidate English Prerequisite Installer;
– SharePoint Server 2016 Release Candidate Global Patch;

Once you have all your packages downloaded, make sure you extract both onto your SharePoint Server (in my case extracted to C:\CUs\). We will start by patching the Prerequisite Installer.

1 – Execute the Prerequisites patch: c:\CUs\SharePoint Server 2016 Release Candidate English Prerequisite Installer\prerequisiteinstaller.exe

Prereqs1

Prereq2

Prereq3

Prereqs1
After a while, the prerequisites installer may ask you to reboot your server. In my case, it was the installation of .NET 4.6 that required it. Simply click finish and wait for the server to reboot. One it reboots, the prerequisites installer will start again automaticallly and finish its installation.

Prereq4

2 – Install the global patch by executing C:\CUs\SharePoint Server 2016 Release Candidate Global Patch\sts.msp
sts1

After a while it may prompt you to restart the App Fabric Service
Appfabricshutdown
Then it will go on and continue its installation
Progresspatch
One thing to note is that whenever the patch has finished installing, the executable (.msp) simply closes itself, you won’t get any GUI telling you that it was installed successfully.

At this point, the patch has been installed, but is not yet applied to the farm. If you were to go back to Central Administration at this point, you would see the following:
ProductPatched

3 – Run PSConfig to finlize the patching process
psconfig1

psconfig2
psconfig3

psconfig4

psconfig5

Off you go, you now have your environment running the SharePoint Server 2016 Release Candidate.

Microsoft Premier Field Engineer – SharePoint

6 thoughts on “Installing SharePoint 2016 Release Candidate (RC)

  1. Nils

    Unfortunately I was unable to install the global patch. I did successfuly install the prerequisites, but when trying to install the global update I get this error:
    “The upgrade patch cannot be installed by the Windows Installer service because the program to be upgraded may be missing, or the upgrade patch may update a different version of the program. Verify that the program to be upgraded exists on your computer and that you have the correct upgrade patch.”

    In SP CA Patch Status Page I have the following versions:
    SP2016TEST Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016 Preview Installed
    SP2016TEST
    Microsoft Search Server 2016 Core
    16.0.4316.1217 Installed
    SP2016TEST
    Microsoft Search Server 2016 English Language Pack
    16.0.4316.1217 Installed
    SP2016TEST
    Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2016 1033 Lang Pack
    16.0.4316.1217 Installed
    SP2016TEST
    Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2016 Core
    16.0.4316.1217 Installed
    SP2016TEST
    Microsoft SharePoint Portal
    16.0.4316.1217 Installed
    SP2016TEST
    Microsoft SharePoint Portal English Language Pack
    16.0.4316.1217 Installed
    SP2016TEST
    Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016
    16.0.4316.1217 Installed
    SP2016TEST
    Microsoft User Profiles
    16.0.4316.1217 Installed

  2. Julien

    During step 9/10 of the configuration wizard the upgrade fails with “The upgraded database schema doesn’t match the TargetSchema”. My setup is a fresh installed SP2016 Beta 2 on SQL2014 SP1 and Win 2012 R2

    1. Nik Charlebois

      Julien,

      Can you provide a bit more information on your environment? Is it a single server farm deployment? Do you have any language packs installed? Please post the complte list of products and patch information from “Central Administration > Upgrade and Migration > Check product and patch installation status” so that I can investigate further. Thanks

      1. Julien

        It is a single server farm yes. I do have the French language pack installed (I installed the RC update for that too). I was able to get it trough by running Upgrade-SPContentDatabase WSS_Content before the Wizard.

        1. Paolo Lecchi

          Works. Thanks so much Julien!

          I add also that in prerequisites of sp2012 beta2 there is a problem with ODBC 11 driver for sql server, permalink is not correct!
          To fix: Launch prerequisites in unattended mode and specific the path of msi downloader.

          Right version is here:
          https://download.microsoft.com/download/5/7/2/57249A3A-19D6-4901-ACCE-80924ABEB267/1033/x86/msodbcsql.msi
          or
          https://www.microsoft.com/it-it/download/details.aspx?id=36434

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