I have just installed Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials on a new PC.

The server boots to the windows desktop, and a wizard appears asking us to enter an admin username, a domain, and name the PC.

Upon pressing submit, we receive the following error:

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This message then re-appears every time the server is rebooted.

I've tried installing all windows updates. I have also tried re-installing and installing all updates before attempting to use the Config wizard. In all cases, we get the same problem.

Looking in the event viewer, it seems the service "Windows Server Essentials Management Service" is crashing:

The Windows Server Essentials Management Service service terminated unexpectedly.  It has done this 2 time(s).  The following corrective action will be taken in 60000 milliseconds: Restart the service.

Any suggestions on how to proceed and complete this configuration wizard?


I have managed to resolve the issue, thanks to this blog post: http://techspeeder.com/2014/06/09/an-error-occurred-while-configuring-windows-server-essentials-please-try-again/

The username we had picked for the admin account was "CompanyNameAdmin".

It turns out having the word "admin" or "Administrator" in the username causes it to fail.

Clearly putting a check for that before submitting was too much work for Microsoft :@

  • Weird; this worked for me also (Server 2016 Essentials). Oct 7 '18 at 0:01

I have just managed to fix this issue on Essentials 2016 without reinstalling the OS:

  1. Cancel the Wizard when it appears
  2. Stop the Windows Server Essentials Management Service (no need to Disable)
  3. Run the Wizard again manually by going to Run and entering:

C:\Windows\explorer.exe "C:\Windows\System32\EssentialsRoleConfigWizard.exe"

  1. The Wizard will fail again - start the Windows Server Essentials Management Service
  2. Now click Retry and the Wizard should complete

I have only tried this once and I had actually manually installed Active Directory roles by this point, so not sure if this is a pre-requisite, but (somewhat unbelievably!) it worked and the Wizard completed successfully.

EDIT: I had also given ServerAdmin$ Log on as service rights by this point as well (https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/sbs/2013/12/04/you-may-be-unable-to-run-post-deployment-configuration-wizard-after-you-install-the-windows-server-essentials-experience-role/)


I solved the issue by myself in one of my environments by changing the user of the first admin user created during the wizard after the dot so it was not the same as the domain. I explain.

  • The customer was Laundromat Smith.
  • Domain: SMITH
  • User created during the wizard: john.John.smith

Solution was to creare user as johnsmith instead.

To apply, I removed the role Windows Server Essentials Experience. I was asked to perform a clean up. I did it and then I removed the role. Rebbot. Reinstall the role. Started the wizard again and everything worked fine. Hope to have been useful.


This issue usually occurs when you probably installed windows 10 pc and added them on to your windows server 2012 R2 / essentials and when checked on your dashboard and the user added shows offline. You probably read somewhere that you need to install the connector software. You follow the instructions and install it. You then realise that the connector is not for the windows10 pc and you try to uninstall it. Whilst you are uninstalling the the connector from the Server you come across a message stating "Could not delete key \SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Server. Verify that you have sufficient access to that key, or contact your support personnel". Since this is not removed you are keep on getting the error message when you try to configure your windows Server essential experience.

The solution I have found is; Assuming that Certificate Authority is already stopped and that you have removed it from your servers roles and features before you are able to install the windows server essential experience.

1) Open your Server Manager > Manage > Remove Roles and Features and remove windows server essential experience. If the server requires a restart, do this first 2) Run - Regedit to edit the registry of your server. and go to HKey_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows Server and rename this folder to " Windows Server.old" then exit the registry 3) Go back to Server Manager > Manage > Add Role and Features and Install windows server essential experience. Once it installs it will ask you to configure your experience. It should work just normal and configure the server without giving you the error message.

Hope this helps guys.

  • I'm not sure what you are referring to - this occurs when first installing Windows server, so cannot be an issue with adding a Windows 10 PC.. additionally, the steps you mention cannot be performed as you cannot access the windows desktop. The issue has been resolved - I've marked my previous answer as accepted. Aug 12 '19 at 12:40

I had a similar issue, which was caused becasue the Server was built using Software RAID, i.e Windows Mirroring. As crazy as this sounds, apparently if you have drives configured this way Server Essentials will not complete, it is a known Microsoft issue. If this is the problem unfortunately you will need to re-install from scratch with either Hardware RAID or no RAID.

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