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Todd Klindt's home page > Todd Klindt's Office 365 Admin Blog > Posts > SharePoint 2013 April CU 2015 fails to install on just about everything
April 17
SharePoint 2013 April CU 2015 fails to install on just about everything

Like last Patch Tuesday, and many Patch Tuesdays before it, this Patch Tuesday SharePoint 2013 was blessed with an update, the April 2015 CU. There are a few outstanding Regressions from previous SharePoint 2013 CUs, so folks jumped on it pretty quickly.

Turns out the April 2015 CU has a dark side.

A year ago, when SP1 came out, it had some problems. I cover them in my blog post “Don’t Install SharePoint 2013 Service Pack 1” The original version of SP1 had this nasty bug where it prevented the installation of subsequent patches. That’s a bad thing. Microsoft cleaned everything up and rereleased SP1 without that issue. They also advised that if you were an MSDN or Volume License customer, the SharePoint 2013 installation ISO that included Service Pack 1 was not affected by that. Whew! It was still a bit confusing, as the Bad SP1 and the Good SP1 looked the same to a SharePoint administrator trying to fix the problem. I talk about how to tell them apart in this blog post, “How to tell which Service Pack 1 you have installed on SharePoint 2013” I thought that was the end of the story.

Turns out I was wrong.

The April 2015 CU is the first SharePoint 2013 CU that requires Service Pack 1 be installed. The previous CUs required either Service Pack 1 or the March 2013 CU. If the installer found either of those installed, it continued on. With the April 2015 CU only Service Pack 1 could scratch that itch. And the different versions of Service Pack 1 leave different footprints on your SharePoint farm. One scratches the April 2015 CU itch, one does not.

If you installed your SharePoint farm with the ISO media that included Service Pack 1, you will not be able to install the April 2015 CU. The April 2015 CU does not recognize that the required bits are in place and its installation will fail. Fortunately, there is a workaround. If you reinstall the stand alone Service Pack 1 (download links here) you’ll then be able to install the April 2015 CU. This is the fix even if you’re running a post Service Pack 1 CU. So if you’re currently sitting at the November 2014 CU and you want to install the April 2015 CU, you have to reinstall Service Pack 1 first. Obviously, right? Smile 

One tricky aspect of this is language packs. They have the same issue. And since CUs also patch the language packs, a language pack can cause the April 2015 CU to break as well. For instance, if you installed English SharePoint 2013 (wonky ISO or not), put Service Pack 1 on it, then installed the German Language Pack that came with Service Pack 1, the April 2015 CU won’t install. Not because the base SharePoint (in this case English) doesn’t have the correct Service Pack 1, or even because the CU hates German, but because the Language Pack (German) doesn’t have the correct Service Pack 1. In this case the fix is to reinstall (or repair) Service Pack 1 for the Language Pack, then take another swing at the April 2015 CU.

Hopefully this has helped. I want to give shouts out to Stefan Goßner, Trevor Seward, and Brian Lalancette. We had a good discussion on Twitter about this this morning that helped flesh out the details.




Install SP1, again?

Wait, I done birthed that baby one time and it was a long and difficult labor.  Same resolution for the April 2015 Security updates?

I was able to install the APR2015 Security updates on a Farm that had SP1 installed after the fact, but not one where SP1 was slipstreamed.

Will try reinstalling SP1 on the later and see what happens.

Thanks to the four horsemen for you hard work!
 on 4/17/2015 12:44 PM

Fresh Install

So what's the guidance for doing a fresh install of 2013?  Start with the SP1 slipstream ISO, copy and overwrite the files from the standalone SP1 source, then copy the April 2015 CU files source to /updates?  Thanks!

 on 4/17/2015 1:10 PM

Re: Install SP1, again?

Yup, installing SP1 on that failed farm should fix it. I should have also mentioned that the April Security fixes suffer from the same fate.

Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 4/17/2015 1:23 PM

Re: Fresh Install

That is an excellent question. And I'm not just saying that to butter you up or stall. :)

Here's what I'm recommending:

On Windows 2012:
RTM SharePoint 2013 ISO > SP1 > pray > April 2015 CU

On Windows 2012 R2:
RTM or SP1 SharePoint 2013 ISO > SP1 > pray even more > April 2015 CU

That should work.

Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 4/17/2015 1:28 PM

Oops, Not Quite

As it turns out, just re-installing the correct SP1 and language packs does not quite suffice in certain instances.  It appears, on my farm at least, I had to re-install Project Server 2013 SP1 as well from the individual download (KB2880553)

 on 4/17/2015 3:40 PM

Re: Oops, Not Quite

You're right, Project will need to be re-SP1ed again, too.

Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 4/18/2015 10:51 AM

Still have the issue...

Hi Todd,
Thanks for these infos.

However did you try the workaround from Stefan Gossner to reinstall  SP1 on 2013 SP1 slipstream as on my customer env this doesn't solve the issue...

But to tell the truth even an install of RTM + Mars 2013 CU + SP1 + CU March 2015 doesn't allow us to install the April 2015 CU

Any hint on what can solve the issue ? (install with autospinstaller on a freh set of Win 2012 R2 VMs  and no project  server as for Bismarck)
 on 4/18/2015 11:57 AM

Re:Still have the issue

In fact I just exchanged with @stefan on this and as mentioned in your post it should have been caused by the language packs I have in the install. Thanks for helping solve theses tricky issues ! ;-)
 on 4/18/2015 12:58 PM

SP1 of LP

By the way , here is the URL for SP1 of LP
with which every works just fine !
 on 4/20/2015 8:03 AM


I just went to install Apr15CU, and was greeted with the nice error...

You better believe my MS rep is going to hear about this... 

#1, Why is the first I hear about this issue by reading Todd's blog?

Why has MS not contacted its Enterprise customers to address it?
 on 5/8/2015 6:27 PM
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