So how did we ship SP1 so "Early"?

Blogging in Microsoft does allow a great deal of freedom to the blogger, but the final test before hitting "publish" is always to think "What would this story look like on the front page of the New York Times, or Wall Street Journal".  I think the worst case interpretation of this blog might give a headline like "Steve Ballmer got it wrong" says Brian Smith.  But hopefully it wouldn't come to that (he didn't get it wrong anyway) - and it probably wouldn't be the front page, and probably wouldn't even make the Valley View (my local paper) - so here goes...

At the time of the project conference the work on SP1 was going well - still not complete, but homing in on the final few fixes.  So we knew we would soon have a release date we could stick to - but we weren't quite there.  Steve Ballmer did a great keynote on the future of project and work management - along with some demonstrations of what is coming in the next release - and then to Q & A.

The inevitable question was the date of SP1!  Steve was really gunning for the customers here and pushing Mike Angiulo for a date.  At that point we were still on track for December, but with the holiday period approaching even a small issue could push this into the new year - so Mike gave Q1 as a safe release date.  Steve's interpretation of Q1 was "March at the latest".  So the date was now March!  That's how it happened - and I know because, to quote Max Boyce, "I was there".  And nobody really got it wrong.

You all now know we delivered SP1 on 12/11.  Plenty of customers are happy to see it earlier than expected - so what compels me to write this?  There are now various interpretations of this "early" delivery - all the way from "Microsoft has cut testing to ship SP1 early" through to "Microsoft doesn't know what it is doing if they can cut 3 months from the plan" (with the added irony that comes with such a statement when one is on the Project support team ).  This certainly does an injustice to the many people who have worked very hard on this release both in the different product groups and the support teams.  I'm not looking for mutual back-patting here - I know there are still some bugs we didn't fix with SP1 - but SP1 is the first step. Now we move on to the rollup patch of hotfixes we have addressed since SP1 was locked down - then to SP2.

This posting was different from my usual technical stuff but I think the better understanding customers and partners have of how we work - and sometimes how decisions are made - is of mutual benefit.  Let me know what you think.  And in case this does get brought to SteveB's attention - I love this company too (and my job):).

And before you ask - this blog wasn't based on a bet to mention Max Boyce and Steve Ballmer in the same paragraph, but that has to be a first.

Comments (11)

  1. Wayne Walker says:

    I always enjoy reading your posts and this explanation on the SP1 release is no exception.

    But, I am still left wondering if perhaps PS2007 SP1 has been rushed out. I have spent the last couple of days trying to get PS2007 SP1 applied to a 64 Bit single-server PS2007 environment. It should be a simple environment. I made sure I installed all of the 64 Bit components during the install process.

    But, up until now, it has been without success. I had a lot of trouble getting WSS 3.0 applied and finally made it stick via the stsadm -o upgrade option (using the -force attribute). Then, when hit the end of the applying actual PS2007 SP (Office 2007 SP), things crashed again. The process would not finish. This time, the Project Server Event Service was not able to be started.

    So, I thought I’d play it safe and try a complete re-install of Project Server 2007 from scratch (including IIS). This time I got the WSS SP1 to stick without any brute force (the wizard worked to the end). And, the PS2007 Service Pack ran through to the end as well. This time, it gave the same warning about the PS Event Service not starting, but it didn’t throw an error. It allowed me to hit the finish button. But, I can’t get that Service to start, even after a reboot.

    Doesn’t this sound like something that maybe got release a little early for primetime? Or am I doing something totally wrong?

    It is a big plus to have this out before Christmas, from my point of view, but I only hope others are not experiencing the same issues that I have faced.

  2. Hi Wayne,

    I have heard of a similar failure with several customers.  I pass on some information here that will hopefully help, but as I haven’t personally repro’d the problem I am not sure if this will resolve for you.  First point is that in a single server installation the instructions do not call for he config wizard to be run until after the Office Server SP1 is installed (it can be cancelled after the WSS SP1).  I wouldn’t think this is the cause of the problem.  Please note the details about which accounts should be used:-

    To ensure that you have the correct permissions to install the software update and run the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard, we recommend that you add the account for the SharePoint Central Administration v3 application pool identity to the Administrators group on each of the local Web servers and application servers and then log on by using that account.

    One other thing that has worked for a couple of customers is configuring the proxy in IE.  Again not sure at this stage what is blocking the service starting so just passing this on in case it helps.

    In answer to the question on whether this was rushed out – I personally don’t think so.  Certainly we appear to have  few issues that we didn’t see in the Technical Preview – and as we resolve these I will update my blog accordingly.

    Best regards,


  3. Wayne Walker says:

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the prompt feedback on my comments.

    I have to admit that I had just come to the end of my full Project Server 2007 re-install attempt to get the Service Pack applied at my client site at 11.:00pm last night, when my RRS feed prompted me about your blog posting. Making comments at that end of a long day like that can probably cloud ones views.

    On the flip side, I am very pleased to even have the Service Pack, as this is a new deployment and it will give the client the next month or two to test things out before pushing this into Production in February of next year. I’m sure the Service Pack will provide them with a much more stable experience.

    I guess I missed the instruction about only running the WSS Configuration Wizard after the Office SP1 process, for a single server deployment. So I will revisit that after I have tried your other suggestions.

    Being a single server Test/Dev environment, we have run all of the Services tied into on a single Domain based Service Account. But I will certainly check what you have mentioned about security permissions.

    Once again, thanks for the prompt response to my post. It is very much appreciated.



  4. Wayne Walker says:

    Hi Brian,

    Just a quick update, in case anyone else is experiencing this issue.

    I checked all the security related items you mentioned. In this environment, the single Domain based Service Account I mentioned is used for everything, including all the Project Server (WSS) related Application Pools. And of course I’m working logged on as that Service Account.

    What I have found, is that the thing which is preventing the “Microsoft Office Project Server Events Service” and the “Microsoft Office Project Server Queue Service” from starting is the WSS based “Project Server Checker Timer Job”. And this has only occured after applying the Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 1 (PS2007, SP1).

    I tried stopping and restarting the “Windows SharePoint Services Timer” Service and also disabling and re-enabling the “Project Server Checker Timer Job” job (in WSS Central Admin), but to no avail.

    From what I have stepped through, having now applied the Service Pack to 2 separate instances of Project Server 2007, it is the application of the Project Server 2007 Service Pack that is causing this issue. It dosn’t appear otherwise.

    My client is going to open a support ticket, so once we have  a fix, I will return and provide the details of the solution.



  5. Thanks for the update Wayne. When the call is logged be sure to detail exactly what has been loaded.  There isn’t actually a Project Server 2007 Service Pack – but an Office Servers 2007 service pack. Does the Project Server Service CHecker Job show a last run time?  This is usual to have this job in the definitions.  How do you come to the conclusion it is this job stopping the others?


  6. Gunnar Kressel says:

    any Update? We have exactly the same Problem with the both Services “Microsoft Office Project Server Events Service” and the “Microsoft Office Project Server Queue Service”.

    Best regards,


  7. Wayne van Niekerk says:

    I have also run into the same problem after installing SP1. Any help would be appreciated.



  8. It may be a time out issue getting a response from the Service Control manager.  One workaround my Colleague Eric Marinho da Silva found is as follows.  It involves making changes to the regsitry so only try this if you have backups of your registry and know what you are doing:-

    When we start to run the Queue or Event service we have the following event ids:


    Service control manager

    Timeout (30000 milliseconds) waiting for the     to connect.


    Service control manager

    The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion

    To fix the issue, please use the following steps:

    1. Run "C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedWeb Server Extensions12binpsconfig –cmd upgrade –inplace b2b –wait –force".

    2. In registry editor add/modify the following values on "HKLMSystemCurrentControlSetControl":

    a) ServicesPipeTimeout   DWORD   60000  (decimal).

    b) WaitToKillServiceTimeout changed to “120000”.

    3. Reboot the server

    Please let me know if this works for you.

  9. Gunnar Kressel says:

    Yes! The Services starts without any problems.

    Thank you this hint.

    Best regards,


  10. says:

    Brilliant! My services are now starting fine. Thanks so much for your help.



  11. Relieved_Server_Guy says:


    Stroke of genius – we had some problem, but now resolved. Thanks a Million, you just saved my bacon…..

    Can we please have this reg change included in the next service pack please?

    Thanks dude!!!!!!!!!!!!

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