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I tried installing Exchange 2016 CU 12 on Windows Server 2016, version 1607, build 14393.2273, after a fresh installation of the OS. The server is part of a simple domain. At the end of setup, I get this message:

Error:
The following error was generated when "$error.Clear(); 
    if (get-service MSExchangeServiceHost* | where {$_.name -eq "MSExchangeServiceHost"})
    {
        restart-service MSExchangeServiceHost
    }
    " was run: "Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.ServiceCommandException: Service 'Microsoft Exchange Service Host (MSExchangeServiceHost)' cannot be started due to the following error: Cannot start service MSExchangeServiceHost on computer '.'. ---> System.InvalidOperationException: Cannot start service MSExchangeServiceHost on computer '.'. ---> System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception: The dependency service or group failed to start
--- End of inner exception stack trace ---
at System.ServiceProcess.ServiceController.Start(String[] args)
at Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.ServiceOperationBaseCommand.DoStartService(ServiceController serviceController)
--- End of inner exception stack trace ---".

The dependency turns out to be Microsoft Exchange Active Directory Topology (MSExchangeADTopology).

Watson report about to be sent for process id: 1808, with parameters: E12IIS, c-RTL-AMD64, 15.01.1713.005, M.E.Directory.TopologyService, M.E.Directory.TopologyService, M.E.D.T.C.ConfigurationData..ctor, System.TypeInitializationException, bf1a-dumptidset, 15.01.1713.004.
ErrorReportingEnabled: False 

Update: Trying to install CU 13 yields this message:

Watson report about to be sent for process id: 4048, with parameters: E12IIS, c-RTL-AMD64, 15.01.1779.002, ExSetupUI, ExSetupUI, M.E.S.E.SetupWizard.PopulateWizard, M.E.S.ExSetupUI.AssemblyLoadFileNotFoundException, a60d-dumptidset, 15.01.1779.002.
ErrorReportingEnabled: False 

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • Is IPv6 disabled? – Lenniey Aug 12 at 15:31
  • @Lenniey nope, enabled and working normally, both v6 and v4 addresses set. – Mr. TA Aug 12 at 15:43
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According to error messages, you can try following methods.

  1. Check if the MSExchangeServiceHost service is in automatic state and not in disabled state or restart it.

  2. Re run exchange 2016 setup (Exchange Server 2016 prerequisites for your reference)

  3. Check if the Microsoft unified communications Managed API 4.0

For more details:Unable to upgrade CU . Cannot start service MSExchangeServiceHost on computer

What’s more, if you installed Forefront Protection for Exchange Server, if yes, please disable it and check the result.

  • Thanks for the suggestions. The MSExchangeServiceHost doesn't start because of the AD Topology service - it's set to Automatic start but that is irrelevant. Tried re-running the setup many times. The Microsoft unified communications Managed API 4.0 is installed correctly. Forefront is not installed on this server. – Mr. TA Aug 13 at 17:44
  • Have you checked event log or Exchangesetup log for more details? I found a similar case and it said: Microsoft Exchange active directory topology service is un automatic mode and then run setup again. When you re run setup again and you have to make sure that this service is in automatic state and not in disabled state. I hope it will be helpful to you. – Joy Zhang Aug 15 at 8:55
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The solution turned out to be:

  • Clean AD by removing all of the Exchange-specific schema (there are tutorials online on how to do it). This has to be done very carefully. It's very easy to corrupt AD and then you're in a world of pain.
  • Restore a backup of the Exchange server from before attempting to install Exchange (or reinstall Windows from scratch).
  • Make sure the fresh Windows does not have IIS installed and/or configured to have any sites (this can easily corrupt Exchange installation).
  • Then install Exchange again.

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