I had an interesting (annoying) error this week at a customer site. I was adding a new server to an existing SharePoint farm. This was a relatively new farm, installed a couple of months previously. This farm has SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) installed. The new server wasn’t running the SSRS service application, but as with any WFE server, it needed the SSRS SharePoint add-in installed.
Although the SQL Server Reporting Services add-in is included as part of the SharePoint Server prerequisites install, it’s an older version. Since in this case I was using SSRS 2012 SP1, so I needed to manually install it. However, attempting to do so resulted in a rather nasty failure error 1603, and the add-in simply refused to install. I hadn’t seen this one before.
Poking around a bit, I found that you can get this error when the installed version of the bits on a SharePoint server don’t match with what has been applied. This is the state of a server after a Cumulative Update or Service Pack has been installed, but PSConfig (the Products Configuration Wizard) has not yet been run. I then ran the configuration wizard on the new server, and it did in fact indicate that a upgrade was needed. This was a bit confusing, as I had only just installed the SharePoint bits on this machine. How did this happen?
Well, as has been my practice for some time, whenever I install SharePoint bits on a server, I immediately run Windows update to make sure that everything is nice and new. It’s a new server, that’s the worst that could happen, right? Wrong. As I was aware (but had forgotten about), in September, Microsoft started delivering SharePoint updates along with regular Windows updates. This, in my opinion, is not a good thing, and is why as pointed out by Todd Klindt, you should no longer enable auto update on your SharePoint servers. You should apparently be careful of doing manual updates as well.
My little Windows update had snuck in some SharePoint updates causing the upgrade requirement, and the problem with the SSRS add-in. In addition, since this was a multi server environment, it put this server out of step with the other servers. After bringing the rest of the servers up to the latest update level, and running PSConfig on all of them, I was able to install the SSRS add-in on the new server. All was right with the world again.