Installing Exchange Server 2007/2010 Update Rollups

Have you ever tried to install an Exchange Server Update Rollup which ended with an error message?

I recently did some troubleshooting on installing Exchange Server 2010 Update Rollup 3 and picked up some experiences I would like to share, in addition to provide some general guidelines for installing Exchange Update Rollups.

The installation may fail when installing either manually by downloading the installation package or by using Windows Update. Afterwards event 1024 are logged to the application log stating that the installation failed with the error code 1603:


This really doesnt help much, and in addition to the failed installation all Exchange-related services are now stopped and disabled, leaving the server offline.

Start by restoring the service-state. First, enable and start Windows Management Service using an elevated Windows PowerShell prompt:

Get-Service Winmgmt | Set-Service –StartupType Automatic; Get-Service Winmgmt | Start-Service

Then run the ServiceControl.ps1 located in the Exchange bin-folder and the pass it the argument “AfterPatch”:


The server should now be restored to an operational state. Next, download the Exchange Update Rollup if you havent done that in the first installation attempt. Next, retry the installation from the elevated PowerShell promt using msiexec with the /lv parameter:

msiexec /lv c:tempex-ur3-install.log /update C:tempExchange2010-KB981401-x64-en.msp

This will instruct the Windows Installer service to log verbose output from the installation to the file specified. After the installation fails you will see an event with event ID 1023 logged to the Application log:


Next, open the log-file and look through it for error messages. The output in this file are really verbose, so you might want to ask for assistance in the Exchange Software Updates Forum on the Exchange Server TechCenter.

In my recent troubleshooting incident I found the following in the log-file:


This indicates that the servicecontrol.ps1 script failed to run correctly. As stated in KB-article 981474 this is caused by the defined PowerShell execution polices. For the installation to succeed, oddly enough, any execution policies must be temporarily undefined.

To see if any PowerShell execution polices are defined on the system, run Get-ExecutionPolicy –List:


In this case, an ExecutionPolicy was defined both locally and in a Group Policy Object. I first cleared the Group Policy setting and then the local setting using the following command:


Execute gpupdate /force and verify that all the ExecutionPolicies are set to “Undefined”:


Redo the steps described above to restore service-state and retry the installation. In this case the installation now succeeded:


At the end I will provide some general guidelines for installing Update Rollups in Exchange Server 2007/2010:

  1. Use elevated Administrator-privileges when running the installation either from Windows Update or by manually downloading the installation file.
  2. Verify that all Execution Policies are set to “Undefined”.
  3. Uninstall any interim Exchange hotfixes installed since the last Update Rollup.
  4. Verify that the ExchangeSetupLogs directory are present on the system-drive. The installer uses this directory for saving service-state information.

Please leave a comment below if you got any further guidelines. I will update this blog-post if I gather more information regarding installing Update Rollups.