Windows Server Essentials 2016 – Install Stuck at 17% or 39%

2016This week I had a Skype conversation with a fellow MVP and friend from Brazil, Daniel Santos. He reported an issue he was having installing the Essentials 2016 TP4 OS which was stalling at 17% during the Essentials configuration Wizard.

He also reported that the environment had not changed and that previous TPs had installed correctly.

I volunteered to login to his server and check it out.

His Lab was running on a Windows 10 workstation with Hyper-V.

He was also using a Portuguese language edition of the TP but reported the same issue with the English one, I got him to start over with the English one so I could read it!!

Sure enough at 17% the install, stalled. At this point we had the following logs created in c:\programData\Microsoft\Windows Server\Logs

  • SetupCMDLets
  • ProviderRegistryService
  • SharedServiceHost-ManagementServiceConfig
  • SharedServiceHost-NotificationServiceConfig

At 17% the SharedServiceHost-ManagementServiceConfig log shows us that IIS has been installed, and that the AD Binaries are being installed.


What should happen is a reboot should occur, the wizard should push on to 25%, then by 39% DCPromo has completed and the CA is installed.

Daniels server was stuck at 17% even after a manual reboot.

We did a manual DCPromo on the server and installed AD, but again the Essentials wizard was stuck on 17%.

I noticed that the Essentials registry Setup Key had a value for ‘RebootExpected’. and that it was ‘True’. This fit in with what i was expecting in that the server was not registering the fact that it had been rebooted. I decided to change this to False.

HKLM>Software>Microsoft>Windows Server>Setup


As soon as i did that, the Wizard failed, and i was presented with the choice to hit ‘retry’.

After doing that the wizard went through and completed successfully.

We have not had a comment back from Microsoft so far, will update the post when we do!

Daniel has since installed a 2012 R2 Hyper-V Server, and an Essentials 2016 Guest and confirms that has installed correctly. I have installed it on a Bare Metal HP Microserver N40L also without any issue.

Following on with our own research, Daniel and i reproduced the Installation Stall a few more times and Daniel found that starting the Windows Server Essentials Management Service was enough to kick-start the install, without resorting to editing the registry.


The real question to answer now, is what is causing it to stall, but for now at least, we have a workaround!

About Robert Pearman
Robert Pearman is a UK based Small Business Server enthusiast. He has been working within the SMB IT Industry for what feels like forever. Robert likes Piña colada and taking walks in the rain, on occasion he also enjoys writing about Small Business Technology like Windows Server Essentials or more recently writing PowerShell Scripts. If you're in trouble, and you can find him, maybe you can ask him a question.

8 Responses to Windows Server Essentials 2016 – Install Stuck at 178 or 398

  1. Chris White says:

    I can confirm this issue on a Windows 10 build 1511 x64 Hyper-V host. I manually started the Windows Server Essentials Management Service and it continued past 17% to 39% where it rebooted and I had to manually start it again. It seems it is not starting after each reboot. Thank you for finding this fix as it was what I needed to continue testing this release.

  2. Mark says:

    Just a related query Robert, couldn’t find your email address, but have you tried to integrate Exchange 2016 with Windows Server Essentials R2 as per

    I just built a Essentials R2 DC and and Exchange Server 2016 on Windows Server 2012 R2 (on VMs of course) but the dashboard integration in Essentials cant see the Exchange 2016 Server. Not sure if Microsoft intended or is aware of it but it kind of kicks using Exchange 2016 in the butt for now for those joining to an Essentials Domain.


  3. Brad Burnett says:

    I am also stuck at 17%, persisted after a manual reboot, your reg update worked (saw that b4 I saw the service option). Thank you!

  4. david h says:

    i have started the service as above and i also noticed that dns was set to so i added google dns server and rebooted the server and run essentials role again and it completed without any issues

  5. Brilliant! Thank you so much for your help on that one, it was driving me nuts.

  6. Jack says:

    With Server Standard 2016 RTM I seem to be stuck on 16%….can’t uninstall or reinstall essentials experience. Having to reinstall the entire OS…

  7. Erik Renaud says:

    i am installling server 2016 essentials rtm right now at got stuck again at 17% (just like i did with tp5). starting the wsemanagement service did the trick to unblock it… will see if it completes and if it starts normally after it is all done…

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