How to recover an Exchange 2007 cluster with the error “The installation on node is inconsistent” 1

Problem

When you’re building (or already) have a active/passive Exchange 2007 cluster and you try to move the cluster to the other node, it’s possible you receive an error like this :

The installation on node ‘NODE’ is inconsistent. ConfiguredVersion=, UnpackedVersion=8.2.176.2. An upgrade might not have completed successfully.

As the error already explains, there is a version problem. To understand this problem you need to know a little bit about the installation steps Exchange does while installing.

Installation Steps

When Exchange is installing, it logs all information about the installation in the following folder : C:ExchangeSetupLogs

In this directory there are multiple files. Each filename is based on the installation of a particular part of the process. For example, when you install the Mailbox role then the following file is present in the log directory : Install-MailboxRole-<data>.ps1. In this logfile all information is placed regarding the process of the installation of the mailbox role.

Also information about the installation is being written to the file : ExchangeSetup.log.

For troubleshooting installation, these are the files you need to look at.

Furthermore Exchange keeps the process of the installation in the registry of the server. This is done to keep track of the current installation state. Check out the following location in the registry : HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftExchangev8.0<role>

During an Exchange installation there will be 3 keys : Action, Unpackedversion, Watermark. For example :

Action: Install
UnpackedVersion: 8.2.176.2
Watermark: 73f422c6

When an Exchange server is ready and correctly installed, there will be 2 keys present in that location : ConfiguredVersion, UnpackedVersion.

ConfiguredVersion: 8.2.176.2
UnpackedVersion: 8.2.176.2

But I see the watermark is still present…???

When the installation went wrong and the watermark is still present, you can trace where the installation went wrong. Copy the Watermark (in this example 73f422c6) and open the .ps1 file corresponding the role you were installing. Locate the watermark. You should find something similar like this :

# Tasks for ‘Transport Common Service Control’ component
# [ID = 73f422c6, Wt = 1, isFatal = True] “Starting the Microsoft Exchange Transport Log Search service”
start-SetupService -ServiceName MSExchangeTransportLogSearch

Know we know the installation stopped while starting the Microsoft Exchange Transport Log Search service. To get more detail we open the ExchangeSetup.log and locate the errors regarding the MSExchangeTransportLogSearch. In our example we found the following lines :

[data time] [2] Found process that matches executable file MSExchangeTransportLogSearch for service MSExchangeTransportLogSearch: 2888. Start time: date time, Exit time: -.
[data time] [2] Generated Watson report with dump for the service MSExchangeTransportLogSearch
[data time] [2] [ERROR] Unexpected Error
[data time] [2] [ERROR] Service ‘MSExchangeTransportLogSearch’ failed to reach status ‘Running’ on this server.
[data time] [2] [ERROR] Cannot start service MSExchangeTransportLogSearch on computer ‘.’.
[data time] [2] [ERROR] The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion
[data time] [2] Ending processing.
[data time] [1] The following 1 error(s) occurred during task execution:
[data time] [1] 0. ErrorRecord: Service ‘MSExchangeTransportLogSearch’ failed to reach status ‘Running’ on this server.
[data time] [1] 0. ErrorRecord: Microsoft.Exchange.Configuration.Tasks.ServiceDidNotReachStatusException: Service ‘MSExchangeTransportLogSearch’ failed to reach status ‘Running’ on this server. —> System.InvalidOperationException: Cannot start service MSExchangeTransportLogSearch on computer ‘.’. —> System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception: The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion
— End of inner exception stack trace —
at System.ServiceProcess.ServiceController.Start(String[] args)
at Microsoft.Exchange.Configuration.Tasks.ManageServiceBase.StartServiceWorker(ServiceController serviceController, String[] serviceParameters)
— End of inner exception stack trace —
[data time] [1] [ERROR] Service ‘MSExchangeTransportLogSearch’ failed to reach status ‘Running’ on this server.
[data time] [1] [ERROR] Cannot start service MSExchangeTransportLogSearch on computer ‘.’.
[data time] [1] [ERROR] The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion
[data time] [1] Setup is halting task execution because of one or more errors in a critical task.
[data time] [1] Finished executing component tasks.
[data time] [1] Ending processing.
[data time] [0] The Exchange Server Setup operation did not complete. For more information, visit http://support.microsoft.com and enter the Error ID.
[data time] [0] End of Setup

As you can read from the lines, the famous Watson was present and caused the installation to fail.

And how do I solve this problem?

To solve the issue there are a few steps to take. You cannot just restart the setup of Exchange.

  1. Make sure that the cluster is running on the clusternode that is correctly installed.
  2. Remove Exchange from the passive cluster node.
    setup.com /mode:uninstall /roles:mt,mb
    run from a Command prompt in Administrator Mode

  3. After the Microsoft Exchange Server setup operation completed successfully, evict the node from the cluster.
    Start the Failover Cluster manager, right click the passive node, select more Actions… and then click Evict.
  4. When the node is gone from the cluster, re-join the node to the cluster again.
  5. Reinstall Exchange on the passive nodesetup.com /mode:install /roles:mailbox
    management tools will install automatically
     

Sources :
Tim McMichaelMsExchange Team

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Hans Sleurink

Hans Sleurink works as a Senior Technical Consultant at VodafoneZiggo in the Netherlands where he designs and deploys Microsoft Unified Communications solutions . His main focus is on, but not limited to, Skype for Business / Lync including Enterprise Voice, Anywhere365, AudioCodes, KEMP, Exchange, Office 365, Active Directory and other UC related topics.

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