When installing Exchange 2016 security update sometimes it fails to install and break MS Exchange installation.


After update - all services are disabled and even after enabling them services do not start. I fixed this problem by upgrading MS Exchange from CU8 to CU9. Now I am curious - if the same problem will appear again - how do I repair MS Exchange installation if there is no upgrade at the moment? I tried to install CU9 over itself but the NEXT button is grayed out and I can not continue the installation. I tried to go to control panel Programs and Features and click Change on MS Exchange 2016 installation but I get error: "The installation has failed. Run setup from and installation media location". How do I repair MS Exchange 2016 installation if the next update will break it and there will be no upgrade at the moment?

  • Per my experience, in general, the security update will not break Exchange services, however, sometimes a few unknown factors may cause this issue(After all, it's just a small probability event). To prevent it, I'd suggest you run a full backup before installing the update, in this case, even if this problem occurs, we can also restore Exchange through backup.
    – Niko.Cheng
    Jun 15, 2018 at 9:06
  • If make snapshot of VM, disable network and apply security update I am not sure if the update will be successfully applied because of Active Directory unreachable. Without disabling network Exchange database might change during update and if I would want to revert snapshots - some data in databse will be lost. I Also I was told that if your Exchange becomes not bootable - there is no way to remove it from Active Directory without creating completely new Active Directory. The only way to move to another Exchange server is to remove Exchange gracefully.
    – Link08
    Jun 15, 2018 at 9:42

1 Answer 1


Step 1: Check Status: After a failed CU installation, there are many Exchange Server components which enter into ‘inactive’ state. Use Get-ServerComponentState command to check the status of all ‘active’ and ‘inactive’ components.

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Step 2: Restore it to Active State: For this, you can use the Set-ServerComponentState Command:

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Step 3: Recover Exchange Server after a Failed CU Installation: To recover Exchange server using /prepareAD command to reset permissions, recreate containers & security groups which has been broked due to the failed Cumulative Update installation.

drive letter :\Setup.exe /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms /PrepareAD /OrganizationName:"yourorganizationname" For instance, D:\Setup.exe /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms /PrepareAD /OrganizationName:"ABC"

Now Restart the server and check if All is fine.

If it is not worked, you need to create a new server on a different machine and use /Mode:RecoverServer switch to recover Exchange server. Reference to Repair A Failed Exchange 2016 CU Installation

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