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Under certain environmental circumstances, the SBS setup task that promotes the SBS 2011 Standard server to be a domain controller may fail. This article will focus on how to recognize this situation, provide guidance to isolate the underlying condition and then provide remediation steps to allow the SBS setup process to continue.
These types of failures are more likely to occur in a domain join/migration installation than in a new domain installation.
The SBS setup will handle a failure in the DCPROMO or JOIN_DPROMO task as fatal and stop the SBS setup process from continuing. The SBS setup process will return you to a desktop and display the following message:
If you view the error log it says:
FATAL: DcPromo_JoinDomain: The server was not promoted to a domain controller.
Furthermore, the SBSSetup log in C:\Program Files\Windows Small Business Server\Logs will contain text similar to this:
 110303.104131.9648: Task: Running Task(DcPromo_JoinDomain) with Type(Microsoft.WindowsServerSolutions.Setup.Tasks.DCPromoJoinDomainTask) and Assembly(SBSSetupTasks.dll).
(Note: The name of the task could be DcPromo or DcPromo_JoinDomain. Also the ErrorCode value may be different)
There are a number of causes that could result in the error: The server was not promoted to a domain controller
To determine the cause, search the SBSSetup.log from top to bottom, for “Setup: ErrorCode is”. Focus on the first instance of the ErrorCode as the cause of the error. Ignore the error codes from the second and third tries.
In the example SBSsetup.log above, you would focus on Setup: ErrorCode is ExitBadSafeModePwd, (42) as the cause of the error and not Setup: ErrorCode is ExitUnableReadDomainList, (26).
For a full list of Active Directory Installation error codes, please see:
You cannot get more details on the error by looking in the dcpromo log referenced in the SBSSetup.log as it will only keep the log for the third attempt and we are only interested on the first failure.
To further diagnose the failure, you would need to check the following logs:
You will have multiple versions of dcpromoui.nnn.log, you are looking for the one that matches the first attempt by the SBSSetup, usually dcpromoui.001.log.
When looking in the DcPromo.log, always search for “[ERROR]” from top to bottom, once you find the line, for example: “04/08/2011 10:19:41 [ERROR] Failed to install to Directory Service (5)”, then concentrate on the error code in the (), on this case 5, which translates to ACCESS_DENIED.
The solution you need to follow will depend on the root cause of the failure. This article will focus on solutions for common errors that have been reported and will not provide a solution for every Active Directory Installation error code.
First Error in SBSSetup log: Setup: ErrorCode is ExitBadSafeModePwd, (42)
This basically indicates that the account being used in the answer file has a weak password whereas the password policy of the domain requires a strong password.
Strong passwords must meet the following minimum requirements:
· Passwords cannot contain the user's account name or parts of the user's full name that exceed two consecutive characters.
The solution in this instance is to change the password for the account being used in the source domain controller to a strong password before resuming setup. In this scenario, you can resume the SBS setup by launching SBSSetup.Exe from C:\Program Files\Windows Small Business Server\Bin.
If you are experiencing this error in a clean, new domain installation, then the issue is most likely related to the OEM pre-installation solution being used. It may not be designed to support Small Business Server 2011 Standard and you should attempt to install Small Business Server 2011 Standard without the OEM pre-installation solution.
For this issue or other source environment issues, once the root cause is resolved, do not run dcpromo manually to promote the SBS 2011 Standard server to a domain controller. In this scenario, you can resume the SBS setup by launching SBSSetup.Exe from C:\Program Files\Windows Small Business Server\Bin.
First Error in SBSSetup log: Setup: ErrorCode is ExitPromoDemotFailedNeedReboot, (53)
This is a generic error that can be caused by a number of factors. To diagnose the issue open the following 2 logs:
If that is the case, you will see the following in the logs.
By default, Administrators have the right assigned to them in the Default Domain Controllers group policy. Either the group policy is not set correctly, not applying as expected or the account is not a member of the right groups.
For more information about this issue:
Once the cause of the problem is corrected on the source domain, make sure you restart the new server, and then resume the SBS setup by launching SBSSetup.Exe from C:\Program Files\Windows Small Business Server\Bin.
First Error in SBSSetup log: Setup: ErrorCode is ExitInvalidArgument, (77)
If your server is already a domain controller, you may receive error ExitInvalidArgument, (77). If that is the case, run dcpromo again to demote the SBS 2011 Standard server to a member server. You should be prompted to reboot the SBS 2011 Standard server. After the reboot, resume the SBS setup by launching SBSSetup.Exe from C:\Program Files\Windows Small Business Server\Bin.
For other Active Directory Installation error codes not described in this article
1. Look up the description here:
2. Attempt to resolve the root cause by reviewing the available Dcpromo logs in the SBS Logs directory and in the c:\windows\debug folder.
3. Once resolved, do not run dcpromo manually to promote the SBS 2011 Standard server to a domain controller.
4. Resume the SBS setup by launching SBSSetup.Exe from C:\Program Files\Windows Small Business Server\Bin.
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