Common error message: "The expected version of the product was not found on the system"


A common error message reported when installing a SharePoint CU is the following: “The expected version of the product was not found on the system”.

You obviously will see this error if you try to install a SharePoint CU on a box where not SharePoint has been installed, but there is another reason why this problem can occur: if one of the components installed with SharePoint 2010, which should be upgraded by the CU, is on a patch level below the supported baseline of the CU.

Sounds complicated? It is not. Let me give you an example:

A SharePoint Server CU includes fixes for SharePoint Foundation and SharePoint Server and also for all available Language Packs for SharePoint Foundation and SharePoint Server (that’s the reason why the package is so big). In a usual environment only a small number of language packs is installed. Often only one. You think your SharePoint Server does not have any language packs installed? You are wrong! If you install SharePoint Server 2010 English edition, then you have indeed the language independent SharePoint Server 2010 installed plus the English language pack.

With other words: even the simplest installation of SharePoint Server 2010 has 4 components installed. Lets assume you installed SharePoint Server 2010 English edition:

  • SharePoint Foundation 2010
  • SharePoint Server 2010
  • SharePoint Foundation 2010 English Language Pack
  • SharePoint Server 2010 English Language Pack

Plus the following components for any additional SharePoint Server language Pack (e.g. German):

  • SharePoint Foundation 2010 German Language Pack
  • SharePoint Server 2010 German Language Pack

If you are installing a service pack for SharePoint you need to ensure that all these four products are upgraded to the new service pack level.

For Service Packs it is similar. The SharePoint Server 2010 Service Pack English edition contains the service pack for the following 4 components:

  • SharePoint Foundation 2010
  • SharePoint Server 2010
  • SharePoint Foundation 2010 English Language Pack
  • SharePoint Server 2010 English Language Pack

That means unlike CUs you have to install the service pack for each additional language pack

Common error I have seen when upgrading to a new service pack level are the following:

  • The wrong service pack has been chosen. E.g. you installed SharePoint Server 2010 English edition but applied service pack for a different language. In such a situation only the language independent components are upgraded to the service pack but not the primary language pack. You will not get a warning or error on this as the service pack upgrades all components it finds on the system which match the service pack package.
  • Service Pack for SharePoint foundation has been installed but not for SharePoint Server. In such a situation only the SharePoint foundation components is upgraded but not the SharePoint Server component.
  • Same as above for a language pack. Then only the SharePoint foundation component of the language pack is upgraded but not the SharePoint server component of the language pack.
  • For some of the language packs no Service Pack has been installed

Each of the above listed errors will lead to inconsistent patch levels on the affected SharePoint server.

As SharePoint CUs can be installed on the latest and also for 12 months after release of a new service pack on the previous service pack to allow customers to evaluate the service pack thoroughly you might not notice that there is such an inconsistency as CUs install fine on such a system. But suddenly, 12 months later, CUs fail to install with the error message in the title. Why? Because the patch level of one of the installed components is below the supported level.

How can you detect such problems?

There are different methods:

  • Check the list of installed service packs in Control Panel
  • Go to the Central admin site and check the patch status using the “Manage Patch Status” page
  • Finally, if the above listed steps do not help you to identify the problem, you can use the tool Roiscan which generates a detailed report of all installed Office components, including SharePoint, and verify the patch level of each components.
Comments (14)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Following my tradition in presenting a summarized "Build Numbers Cube Sheet" as I did so before

  2. Anonymous says:

    As usual, here is the Bi-monthly CU Release. please find all info below. Some links or updates may not

  3. Anonymous says:

    As usual, here is the Bi-monthly CU Release. please find all info below. Some links or updates may not

  4. Anonymous says:

    Following my tradition in presenting a summarized "Build Numbers Cube Sheet" as I did so before

  5. Anonymous says:

    With some delay, here is the June 2014 CU Release for SharePoint 2013 Server, please find all info below

  6. Anonymous says:

    NOTE! All Updates for SharePoint 2013 requires either the March 2013 PU or SharePoint Server 2013 SP1

  7. Anonymous says:

    Starting with the July 2014 CU, the release cycle is now every month rather than the Bi-monthly cycle

  8. Anonymous says:

    Since July 2014 CU, the release cycle is now every month rather than the Bi-monthly cycle. NOTE! All

  9. Anonymous says:

    This Month CU has been released with a full server packages, a.k.a. "Uber Packages" – so this

  10. Hi Stefan – I'm getting the error – 'The expected version of the product was not found on the system' when attempting to install SharePoint Server 2013 security update KB2965219 on top of SharePoint Server 2013 SP1. I was able to install a bunch of other
    security updates successfully, but only this one (KB2965219) is giving me the error. Any ideas ?

  11. Hi Mario,
    see here:
    http://blogs.technet.com/b/stefan_gossner/archive/2015/04/15/common-issue-april-2015-fixes-for-sharepoint-2013-cannot-be-installed-on-sharepoint-2013-sp1-slipstream-builds.aspx
    but if you install the Mai Security fixes – they don’t have this issue and include the April security fixes.
    Cheers,
    Stefan

  12. Anonymous says:

    I’m presenting a summarized "Build Numbers Cube Sheet" as I did so before, so please find

  13. Anonymous says:

    I’m presenting a summarized "Build Numbers Cube Sheet" as I did so before, so please find

  14. Phil Larussa says:

    I receive the error “The expected version of the product was not found on the system” when trying to update to April, 2015 CU for OWA 2013. I have the March CU 15.0.4701.1000 (KB2956158) installed. I cant seem to find any solutions to this fix. When I looked up what version it should be, it says 15.0.4701.1001?(Ref. https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/steve_chen/sharepoint-2013-build-numbers-and-cus/) Any help would be great.