Monday, October 17, 2011

SBS 2011 Exchange Not Installing

We have done several migrations from SBS 2003 to SBS 2011 without any significant incidents. This week we had a bit of hassle with Exchange 2010 not installing during the installation. No errors were reported by any of the premigration tools.

In the Exchangesetup.log and SBSSetup.log we got the following error:
[REQUIRED] A reboot from a previous installation is pending. Please restart the system and rerun setup.
Based on some quick research, the general recommendation seems to be that you should reinstall SBS 2011 rather than trying to add Exchange 2010 after the fact. So, to recover, we restored the system state to the old SBS 2003 server (which we cleverly created just before starting the installation).

At this point, we figured that maybe there was something weird because we had selected to download and install updates as part of the install. So, for attempt number two we did not install the updates and got a different error about being unable to find a domain controller. This one turns out to be an error that can occur if you have restored system state on Windows 2003. Apparently the file replication service gets confused. And although the KB for the hotfix below appears completely unrelated it seemed to resolve the issue. See the following:

Onward with further attempts and the original error continued. More searching and there were a fair number of references to registry keys specifying the restart was required, but we checked those and they did not exist on our server. However, for your reference:
We also found a few references to automatic printer installation causing this issue. This client does have a GPO that automatically installs printers. So, we disabled that and still no fix.

We think the problem was that DHCP was not configured on the source server. This client has an IP-based phone system that provides DHCP. This was configured by the phone provider to ensure that the necessary options are pushed out to the phones. When you configure the answer file for SBS 2011 installation there is a checkbox asking you to select whether DHCP is installed on the source server. However, the documentation explicitly states that DHCP must be installed and configured on the source server.

When DHCP was installed on the SBS 2003 server, it would not run because it conflicted with the DHCP on the phone system. So, finally, SBS 2003 and the new SBS 2011 were isolated off the main network. Then installation proceeded as normal.

Just for the record, my business partner Darrin is the one who finally figured this out.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Byron,

    A very interesting read. I came across a similar issue while installing a fresh SBS 2011 on a VM running on Hyper-V. Figured out that we need to disable the Time Synchronization Services on the Guest Machine.

    Nevertheless, a very good article and I am pinning it to my favorites.

    Thank You,