“Passphrase” error while creating a new SharePoint 2010 farm with PowerShell cmdlet “New-SPConfigurationDatabase”

I tried to create a new SharePoint Server 2010 farm by using PowerShell cmdlet “New-SPConfigurationDatabase” in one of the first steps.

I got this error:

New-SPConfigurationDatabase : The passphrase supplied does not meet the minimum complexity requirements. Please select another passphrase that meets all of the following criteria: is at least 8 characters; contains at least three of the following four character groups: English uppercase characters (A through Z); English lowercase characters (a through z); Numerals (0 through 9); Non-alphabetic characters (such as !, $, #, %). Type a passphrase which meets these requirements.

At C:UsersService.SP_InstallDesktopSetupScript.ps1:41 char:28
+ New-SPConfigurationDatabase <<<< -DatabaseName $spconfigdbname -DatabaseServer $dbserver -Passphrase $sppassphrase_sec -FarmCredentials $spfarmcredential
+ CategoryInfo : InvalidArgument: (System.Security.SecureString:SecureString) [New-SPConfigurationDatabase], SPException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell.SPCmdletNewSPConfigurationDatabase

This is my script:

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

$sppassphrase_sec = (ConvertTo-SecureString $sppassphrase -AsPlainText -force)


#Securing Settings
$spfarmcredential = new-object -typename System.Management.Automation.PSCredential -argumentlist $spfarmuser, (ConvertTo-SecureString $spfarmuserpwd -AsPlainText -force)

New-SPConfigurationDatabaseDatabaseName “configdb” -DatabaseServer “sqlserver” -Passphrase $sppassphrase_sec -FarmCredentials $spfarmcredential

After debugging I found the following:

When I write the value of variable “$sppassphrase” the the console (with cmdlet write-host) I get:
instead of

The problem is: The part “$sV3SthlkyN” will be interpreted as variable name!!!

You have to use escape sequences at least for the “$” character:



Use ‘ instead of ” and you will not have a problem at all!


You’ll get what you’ve expected: The correct password string including “$”… (But the solution above also works!)

4 thoughts on ““Passphrase” error while creating a new SharePoint 2010 farm with PowerShell cmdlet “New-SPConfigurationDatabase”

  1. hello!This was a really quality subject!
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  2. Thank you!! I was wondering what was wrong with my pass-phrase since I could get other pass-phrases to work. I needed to know why.

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