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Exchange 2007 SP3 Upgrade Disaster - Services Not Starting RRS feed

  • Question

  • Yesterday, I tried to install Exchange 2007 SP3 on a production server with Windows Server 2008 SP1 and Exchange 2007 SP2 installed.

    The upgrade checks passed, and the upgrade began. The upgrade failed due to “System Center Management service not starting”.

    After checking and finding this service not responding, I decided to reboot the server. After the restart, a number of services such as DNS, DHCP and all the Exchange services had not started. I tracked back the dependencies to the “Windows Event Log” service, which is currently hanging on “Starting”, under services.msc.

    I can’t re-run the SP3 installation, as it fails checks due to DNS and Remote Registry not being available. “DNS Server” service will not start, but “Remote Registry” service is actually started.

    To make matters worse, this problem is very difficult to solve when I don’t have a working Event Viewer.

    Can someone please point me in the right direction?

    Thanks.
    Justin

    Saturday, May 14, 2011 2:16 PM

Answers

  • The problem had to be resolved by doing a clean install followed by Disaster Recovery of Exchange.

    Not even an in-place upgrade to repair the OS helped. The services still did not start after trying this.

    Friday, June 3, 2011 7:13 AM

All replies

  • Try removing the System Center Management Service first.

    Or build a new Windows Server from scratch if this is machine that's previously been used for something else.


    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."
    Saturday, May 14, 2011 4:07 PM
  • I've uninstalled the System Center applications and services, and rebooted.

    The "Windows Event Log" service is still hanging on Starting.

    Unfortunately, I don't have the option of building a new server.

    Any other ideas?

    Saturday, May 14, 2011 8:51 PM
  • On Sat, 14 May 2011 20:51:21 +0000, Justin Fortmann wrote:
     
    >
    >
    >I've uninstalled the System Center applications and services, and rebooted.
    >
    >The "Windows Event Log" service is still hanging on Starting.
    >
    >Unfortunately, I don't have the option of building a new server.
    >
    >Any other ideas?
     
    Start the machine in safe mode?
     
    This doesn't read like it's a problem caused by the Exchange update.
     
    ---
    Rich Matheisen
    MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
     

    --- Rich Matheisen MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
    Saturday, May 14, 2011 9:02 PM
  • Safe mode is not an option. The server is geographically quite far away, with no IT support on-site. Hence also why a rebuild is not an option either at this stage.

    The server was rebooted earlier in the next week after Windows updates, and everything was working fine. Nothing was changed since then.

    Friday night, I applied the SP3 upgrade, and that's when all the problems started.

    I'm busy now using procmon to try and get to the bottom of the problem, but I'm not convinced this is going to help me figure it out. I feel like I'm looking for a needle in a haystack at the moment, due to the number of services not starting, and my assumption that the Windows Event Log service is the start of all the problems. I might be barking up the wrong tree.

    Are there maybe logs other than the Windows Event Viewer (currently not working) that could help me figure this problem out?

    Edit: I've just noticed that a Feature "Desktop Experience" that I Added and Removed last week, did not actually properly Remove from the server. Every time I reboot the server, I get a message afterwards saying the server didn't shutdown properly, which I suppose means the server is crashing during the reboot, possibly while Configuring (removing the desktop experience feature). I've found numerous reports on the internet of similar problems with Desktop Experience, and like many others, I installed it (temporarily anyway) for the Disk Cleanup utility.


    Sunday, May 15, 2011 8:18 AM
  • It seems as if Desktop Experience is in an inconsistent state of trying to be uninstalled.
     
    I've tried using Server Manager and servermanagercmd to tell it again to uninstall, but both fail.
     
    The Roles and Features sections of Server Manager say "Error".
    When I click "Remove Features", I get the error "Server Manager Encountered an unexpected error while collecting data about the status of this computer".
    When I use “servermanagercmd –remove” command, I get “Error: Failed to initialize.”
     
    I’ve read a number of posts about having to uninstall KB973540 and KB968816 to fix the Desktop Experience problem, but neither are installed.
     
    Any ideas?
    Sunday, May 15, 2011 1:30 PM
  • On Sun, 15 May 2011 13:30:04 +0000, Justin Fortmann wrote:
     
    >It seems as if Desktop Experience is in an inconsistent state of trying to be uninstalled. I've tried using Server Manager and servermanagercmd to tell it again to uninstall, but both fail. The Roles and Features sections of Server Manager say "Error". When I click "Remove Features", I get the error "Server Manager Encountered an unexpected error while collecting data about the status of this computer". When I use ?servermanagercmd ?remove? command, I get ?Error: Failed to initialize.? I?ve read a number of posts about having to uninstall KB973540 and KB968816 to fix the Desktop Experience problem, but neither are installed. Any ideas?
     
    Moving your question/problem to a server O/S forum would be a good
    start.
     
    If you're installing servers in locations with no technical talent
    it'd be a good idea to spend the extra money to install something like
    ILO (for HP) or DRAC (for Dell). Or maybe an IP-based KVM.
     
    ---
    Rich Matheisen
    MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
     

    --- Rich Matheisen MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
    Sunday, May 15, 2011 9:30 PM
  • Rich, thanks, yes I do plan on implementing ILO shortly.

    ** Please can a mod move this thread to Windows Server \ General topic. **


    • Marked as answer by Gen Lin Friday, June 3, 2011 6:56 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Justin Fortmann Friday, June 3, 2011 7:13 AM
    Monday, May 16, 2011 6:29 AM
  • The problem had to be resolved by doing a clean install followed by Disaster Recovery of Exchange.

    Not even an in-place upgrade to repair the OS helped. The services still did not start after trying this.

    Friday, June 3, 2011 7:13 AM