How to upgrade to Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1 using command-line

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Let’s go over the process to upgrade your existent Exchange Server 2013 version to the latest Service Pack 1 using command-line.

Before starting I would like to point out a few key tasks that the administrator should be aware before any regular upgrade on your environment:

  • Make sure that you have a valid and tested backup of you Exchange Server, Mailbox Database(s) and Active Directory
  • Make sure that all third-party vendors that you use on your environment support the Service Pack 1
  • Make sure that there are no backup jobs running the upgrade process
  • Stop all backup services; and third-party services, such as System Center Operations Manager and so forth
  • Make sure that you don’t have any pending restart due Windows Updates and/or previous roles/features installed on the server
  • If you have a DAG then it is important to put the server in maintenance mode (I’m writing an article about that in the near future however here is the official documentation

The first step is to download the Exchange Server 2013 SP1 (  and extract the content to a local folder (we are going to use C:EX2013SP1 for instance).

Before starting the process let’s check our existent servers using the following cmdlet and as you may have noticed we have 2 (two) Exchange Server 2010 and 1 (one) Exchange Server 2013. Based on the AdminDisplayVersion we can find out what we have in place, for Exchange Server 2010 we are using Service Pack 3 ( and for Exchange Server 2013 we have RTM (15.0.516.32).

Note: A list of all releases for Exchange Server 2010 and earlier versions can be found here: For a list of all Exchange Server 2013 releases, we can use this link:


Open a command prompt as administrator, and go to the folder where the Exchange Server 2013 SP1 was extracted, and run the following command and the results will be shown in the figure below as well.

Setup.exe /m:upgrade /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms


If you don’t have any issues then you server was upgraded properly, and if we run the same first cmdlet of this Tutorial, then we should have the AdminDisplayVersion of (15.0 Build 847.32)


Have you got any issue during the installation ?

I hope not but in some cases an error may show up during the installation process and we need to start the troubleshooting process.

The first place to start finding error messages and start your research is the folder C:ExchangeSetupLogs where all the installation process stores the information and that helps a lot.  Also the Event Viewer always is a good option.


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Anderson Patricio is a Canadian Exchange Server MVP and MCSM (Solutions Master) and he contributes to the Microsoft Community with articles, tutorials, blog posts, forums and book reviews. He is a regular contributor at, and (Portuguese).

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1 Response

  1. Andy Murtagh says:

    Hi Anderson,

    Great post, thanks for sharing. I’d like to make a minor suggestion if I may, to avoid others falling into the same trap as me. You rightly say above that the operation should be run from an elevated command prompt. I’ve gotten into the habit of doing pretty much everything that I do now in Powershell rather than the command shell simply because I always tend to have it open anyway, but this is a sterling example of something that won’t respond well if you do. It skips several stages including organisation prep, service stopping, etc. which all but guarantees issues off the back.

    Whilst you’ve absolutely warned to use command prompt in your blog I all but glossed over it as the habit of running from Powershell is now so engrained and it took me three hours longer than it should have to resolve the impacts that my own silliness had! As your post was one of the first results to show up when searching it might be worth making that nice and bold and highlighted to spare someone else the same anguish, or worse if the issues took the install process beyond someone’s comfort zone!

    Thanks again,

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