Microsoft cloud engineer - SharePoint, Office 365, Azure, DotNet, Angular, JavaScript.
Microsoft cloud engineer - SharePoint, Office 365, Azure, DotNet, Angular, JavaScript.

February 2011

Server Farm Product and Patch Status

Today I attempted to join a SQL Reporting Servers machine to an existing farm and saw the below error.  While self explanatory, I wanted to document it for others that haven’t seen this.  WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 were more lenient allowing a mix between the two product SKUs.  The below screen is new to 2010 and acts as a bouncer to enforce server farm consistency.  It appears to check three categories:

  • Product SKU  (Server / Foundation)
  • Patch (version number)
  • Language pack(s)

So what I’ll do next is install the full SharePoint Server product (with Dec 2010 CU slipstream on the Updates subfolder) and then try to join Config DB once again. 


Error: Some farm products and patches were not detected on this or other servers.  If products or patches are missing locally, you must quit this program and install the required products and patches on this server before restarting this wizard. If products or patches are missing on other servers, you must install the required products and patches on the specific servers, and you may then click the Refresh button to perform the status check again.

NOTE –  You may need to run the command “Get-SPProduct -local” on each machine after applying the EXE/MSP updates for it to detect correctly in the SP Config Wizard.  

Central Admin – Top Nav shortcuts

While clicking aimlessly around Central Admin today I thought “there must be a better way”.  For all of the fancy new bells and whistles SharePoint 2010 offers, it sure did make CA navigation a bit cumbersome.   Most tasks are 4 clicks away and I’m sorry but I’m just too lazy for that.

I tried editing the left Quick Launch, no luck.   However, Top Navigation is wide open.   The beautiful thing here is how it follows you anywhere in the site.  From any CA page, you can see those Top Nav items staring right back at you.

  • Open “Site Actions Site Settings Top link bar
  • Click “New Navigation Link
  • My favorite is to add “Manage Service Applications” to “/_admin/ServiceApplications.aspx” because so much time is spent here.  

Also, Rez Khamis wrote to help people populate the CA homepage “Resource Links” and is incredibly helpful.   If you haven’t tried it then go download a copy.  While you have to navigate through the CA homepage, it’s still much better than what the product offers out of the box.

IIS 7.5 native SharePoint warm up (MUST SEE)

This one feature could be reason enough to upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2 and IIS 7.5 when running SharePoint.  The unique ability to warm up memory cache while still serving users is something no basic scripting can achieve.  Please note: IISRESET seems to kill all workers and perform a classic flush followed by a warm up (brief outage).  However, INETMGR “recycle” on a single pool triggers the warm up in parallel for a zero outage experience.  Below is a diagram of my understanding of how this all works.  It’s not from TechNet … but hey … my budding art skills need more practice. 





How to configure

  • Download x64 MSI from
  • Login to Windows 2008 R2 as local admin and install
  • Open INETMGR and browse to the website that needs warm up
  • Open Application Warm-Up feature icon
  • Click Add Request and give the relative URL to the homepage ASPX (without / prefix)
  • Click Settings and check both boxes
  • Click Edit User Context, select “Set Username and Type only”, and provide Windows credentials.  This doesn’t have to be the farm account, but that’s what I used for simplicity.  Anyone with Read permission should work.

How to test

  • Open Internet Explorer to the homepage ASPX
  • Open CMD and Task Manager side-by-side
  • Type “IISRESET” and press enter
  • Type “APPCMD LIST WP” and press enter
  • Type “IISRESET” and press enter again
  • Refresh IE while watching Task Manager. 

You’ll see a new PID (process identifier) number for the newly created W3WP worker process.  The IE page should continue to load instantly without delay.  By running “APPCMD LIST WP” again you will see a new PID for the application pool.  The warm up feature has successfully created and warmed up a new worker thread without any outage.  The only downside I can foresee is the need for more RAM.   Running parallel W3WP threads requires more physical memory during the full process (recycle / warm up / release).

IIS 7.5 native SharePoint warm up (MUST SEE) from Jeff Jones on Vimeo.


Error: Cannot connect to PerformancePoint Services (FIXED)

I saw this today and was completely confused because I had literally just finished creating the Service Application in PowerShell and knew it was successful.   The root cause was a missing Service Connection.  Creating the SA was only the first step, I also need to associate it to the default proxy groupFiddler was handy here to quickly isolate the error.   I actually wrote PowerShell code that that but seem to have lost it during a VM snapshot restore, urg.

Cannot connect to PerformancePoint Services. Contact the administrator for more details.

Other possible causes:

  • Central Admin > Missing a Performance Point Service Application?  Make sure you have one.
  • Site Collection Feature > PerformancePoint Services needs to be active.   I use the Business Intelligence Center template to make this easier.
  • TCP/HTTP.  Don’t forget basic connectivity.  If you are using multiple servers make sure you can reach the remote host, use Fiddler to watch the connection attempt





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@ SPJeff

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