Tag Archives: Watermark

Exchange uninstall fails with BuildToBuildUpgrade error

Uninstalling is typically not an issue. One of my Exchange 2019 servers (running on Windows 2022 Server Core) have been running for quite some time, but I had to uninstall it.

Running the setup application failed with a BuildToBuildUpgrade error, almost immediately after starting the setup:

PS C:\> setup.exe /mode:uninstall /IAcceptExchangeServerLIcenseTerms_DiagnosticDataOn

Microsoft Exchange Server 2019 Cumulative Update 12 Unattended Setup

Mailbox role: Mailbox service
Mailbox role: Client Access service
Mailbox role: Transport service
Mailbox role: Front End Transport service
Mailbox role: Client Access Front End service
Management tools
Setup previously failed while performing the action "BuildToBuildUpgrade". You can't resume setup by performing the action "Uninstall".

The Exchange Server setup operation didn't complete. More details can be found in ExchangeSetup.log located in the <SystemDrive>:\ExchangeSetupLogs folder.

If have seen setups failing before, but normally during an upgrade to a newer setup, but never during an uninstall.
Just like other setup failures, check the registry for Action and Watermark entries in the HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ExchangeServer\v15. Only the MailboxRole had these entries, the ClientAccess and HubTransport did not have these entries.

Delete the Action and Watermark keys and resume setup.
Unfortunately, I don’t know why this happened in the first place since my Exchange server has been running without issues for a longer time.

Exchange 2016 Setup RecoverServer fails with internal transport certificate warning

I am currently working with a customer on their Exchange 2016 design, implementation and disaster recovery process. While writing a new Exchange 2016 disaster recovery document I ran into this issue in my lab environment while running “Setup.exe /Mode:RecoverServer /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms”.


For search engine options this is a part of the actual error message.

Mailbox role: Transport service FAILED

The following error was generated when “$error.Clear(); Install-ExchangeCertificate -DomainController $RoleDomainController -Services SMTP” was run: “System.InvalidOperationException: The internal transport certificate for the local server was damaged or missing in Active Directory. The problem has been fixed. However, if you have existing Edge Subscriptions, you must subscribe all Edge Transport servers again by using the New-EdgeSubscription cmdlet in the Shell.

Edit: I ran into the same issue with Exchange 2019 running on Windows 2019 Server Core.

The solution looks simple since it says “the problem has been fixed”. However, running the setup application again results in the next error message.


Again, for search engine possibilities:

Performing Microsoft Exchange Server Prerequisite Check

Configuring Prerequisites COMPLETED

Prerequisite Analysis FAILED

A Setup failure previously occurred while installing the HubTransportRole role. Either run Setup again for just this role, or remove the role using Control Panel.

For more information, visit: http://technet.microsoft.com/library(EXCHG.150)/ms.exch.setupreadiness.InstallWatermark.aspx

The Exchange Server setup operation didn’t complete. More details can be found in ExchangeSetup.log located in the :\ExchangeSetupLogs folder.

To remove the watermark, start the registry editor on the Exchange 2016 server and go to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\ExchangeServer\v15\HubTransportRole and delete the Watermark and Action entries.


Rerunning the setup application unfortunately results in the 1st error, despite the “the problem has been fixed” and the removal of the watermark entries.

It turns out that I have two Edge Transport servers in my environment, with an Edge Subscription. This Edge subscription is using the self-signed certificate for encryption purposes, and since this self-signed certificate on the new Exchange 2016 server differs from the original (before the crash) self-signed certificate the encryption possibilities fail.

To resolve this, using ADSI Edit to find the msExchEdgeSyncCredential on the Exchange 2016 server you are recovering, and delete all credential entries.


When running the Setup application with the /RecoverServer option again (for the third time ) it will succeed and successfully recover the Exchange 2016 server.