SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 1 Unattended Setup Error – "The specified value ‘Upgrade’ is invalid"

SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 1 Unattended Setup Error - "The specified value 'Upgrade' is invalid"


I was recently sent a question regarding a failed unattended install of SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 1.  The customer had spent some time searching online for the error message, but found surprisingly little detailed information for unattended SQL Server patching operations, unlike the other setup operations, which are documented thoroughly here.  

The command line attempting to be executed was:


The summary.txt file showed the following error message: 

The specified value 'Upgrade' is invalid. To run in unattended mode, you must specify a valid ACTION. The valid values for ACTION are: '  None  RemovePatch  Uninstall  Install  Upgrade  Patch  Repair  LandingPage  ClusterReport  RunRules  PrepareFailoverCluster  CompleteFailoverCluster  InstallFailoverCluster  RemoveNode  AddNode  EditionUpgrade  Bootstrap  ComponentUpdate  Help  RebuildDatabase  RunDiscovery  PrepareImage  CompleteImage  ConfigureImage'

Interestingly the error message states that 'Upgrade' is invalid, but then lists it as a potential value for the ACTION parameter.  The confusion is that it is a valid value in version upgrade scenarios (ex: upgrading from SQL Server 2012 to SQL Server 2014), but not in this service pack patching scenario.  Replacing this value with 'Patch' allows the unattended installer to complete and for the service pack to be applied.


Hope it helps,
Sam Lester (MSFT)


Comments (4)
  1. Colin Hunter says:

    Also getting the 'action not valid' message when attempting a patch:

    D:setup.exe /ConfigurationFile=c:tempSQL2014Unattended_ConfigurationFileUpgrade.ini /ACTION=Patch

    Then it tells me that Patch is a valid action !

  2. Hi Colin, if it is a public facing site, can you send the link where you are getting the installer package along with the specific package name if there are multiple available?  Also, are you supplying a value for the /ACTION parameter inside your .ini file?  In the summary.txt log file, does it show the ACTION parameter is set to PATCH or UPGRADE?

  3. Donny Ma says:

    If SQL 2012 RTM is installed, can I do an unattended patch with SP2 and CU7 in one command line action?  I tried this, but am also getting the "action not valid" if I use the "Install" action.  I can use the "Patch" action, but that seems to forbid adding CU7 via the UpdateEnabled flag.  Is the inclusion of a CU only allowed on the initial SQL install, and not on a SP install?

  4. Andrei says:

    I am also getting ‘Install’ is invalid action error when installing SQL 2014 Express with SP1.

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