In the Microsoft advice for applying a SQL Server 2008 R2 service pack on a cluster, it states that it is very important to “remove nodes from the possible owner nodes list in the failover cluster instance.” This was frustrating, because I didn’t know what that meant. Plus, I had trouble finding this in the Cluster Manager tool in Windows Server 2008 R2.
One problem I have in understanding this was that there are many possible services where you can remove Possible Owners. I chose to only do this on the cluster name, but maybe you would want to remove possible owners on the SQL Server service. Some more clarity is needed in the Microsoft documentation (obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t have had to write this blog post).
Eventually I poked around enough to find the Possible Owners check boxes. Under services and applications, navigate to Services and Applications, then SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER).
In the right-hand pane, right click on the server name, and select Properties.
Go to the Advanced Policies tab, and remove the possible owner, according to the instructions from Microsoft. Continue to follow the directions from Microsoft to install the service pack.
Preferred Owners are a different thing, and that is done in the left pane by right-clicking on SQL Server (MSSQLSERVER), then the preferred owners checkboxes will show up on the General tab.