“The exclusive inplace upgrader timer job failed” when running the Products Configuration Wizard in SharePoint 2013

I was running the SharePoint 2013 Products Configuration Wizard to finalise the March 2013 PU and it failed at 10% of the last stage. I checked the error log and found that the error was:

The exclusive inplace upgrader timer job failed.

This means two things: 1) the SharePoint timer job service is involved behind the scene, and 2) something has gone wrong within the timer job.

Along with the log file that the Wizard tells you to examine, there is another log file that has information about what went wrong with the timer job. The name of this log file is something like Upgrade-20140724-111205-873-error.log and can be found in the same folder as the Wizard’s log file, i.e. in the ULS log folder.

In my case the error message in this second log file was:

Error running SQL DDL Script: IF EXISTS (SELECT TOP 1 1 FROM sys.database_principals WHERE name = N’db_owner’ A…. System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException (0x80131904): Cannot alter the role ‘db_owner’, because it does not exist or you do not have permission.

This indicates a SQL permission issue. According to TechNet (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee662513.aspx), the setup account needs:

  • dbcreator fixed server role
  • securityadmin fixed server role
  • db_owner fixed database role for all SharePoint databases in the server farm

It is important to note though that the account the SharePoint timer service is running under may not be the same account as the one you are using to run the Wizard. This service runs under the farm account.

I checked the SQL permissions for the farm account, and it does not have db_owner to all SharePoint databases. Rather than granting this role to each individual database, I granted the farm account the sysadmin server role. I ran the Wizard again and this time it completed successfully.

By granting the sysadmin role, you can easily revert this after completing the upgrade process.


About Bernado

Based in Australia, I am a freelance SharePoint and Dynamics CRM developer. I love developing innovative solutions that address business and everyday problems. Feel free to contact me if you think I can help you with your SharePoint or CRM implementation.
This entry was posted in SharePoint 2013, Upgrade. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “The exclusive inplace upgrader timer job failed” when running the Products Configuration Wizard in SharePoint 2013

  1. Mike Mordas says:

    Thank you! This resolved my issue this morning. We switch farm accounts and granting it SYSADMIN temporarily allowed me to complete PSConfig.

  2. deny says:

    If you install SharePoint as sp_admin and specify the farm account as sp_farm, what would cause the sp_farm to not have dbowner on the config database? I find this strange…

  3. Raymond says:

    I had a similar issue but it was failing because the Databases were in an Availability group.

  4. mlcarter1976 says:

    For Me, I had to reset the farm admin passwords in windows services, I set the password and restarted the services, then it worked.

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