Exchange 2010 SP3 Upgrade Error

Today whilst busy updating one of my other sites I encountered the following error:

Some controls aren’t valid. Setup previously failed while performing the action “Install”. You can’t resume setup by performaing the action “BuildToBuildUpgrade”.

For some reason Exchange thinks it did not install correctly when the previous installation was done. To fix this you need to edit the Registry, please take note doing so you do at your own risk. Make a backup of your Registry before commencing with the mods.

Open regedit (Start -> run), navigate to the following key:
-> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ExchangeServer\v14

Under each role, Mailbox, Hub Transport, Client Access, have a look for an action and watermark entry, delete these 2 keys and then reboot your Exchange Server. You can now run the installation again of your Service Pack.

Hope it helps.


18 thoughts on “Exchange 2010 SP3 Upgrade Error

  1. Ernie March 31, 2013 / 5:57 pm

    Thanks! Saved me some time 🙂

  2. Al Montes April 8, 2013 / 8:34 pm

    Ed Thank you for your knowledge and posting. It worked after I deleted entries.

  3. Nielsio April 24, 2013 / 7:58 pm

    Thanks! saved time again!!!!

  4. terry July 6, 2013 / 2:36 am

    Thank you sir.

  5. Jesse West August 6, 2013 / 11:34 pm

    thank you!

  6. August 30, 2013 / 2:15 pm


  7. yousfihmd October 24, 2013 / 9:09 pm

    thanks a lot.
    it helped me out

  8. Joe January 23, 2014 / 10:34 am

    Thanks a lot!

  9. ed February 27, 2014 / 12:30 pm

    Thanks Ed! Brilliant

  10. Ham March 20, 2014 / 10:19 am

    Similar experience but no registry keys. I’m quietly crapping my pants here.

  11. agentbuzz March 21, 2014 / 11:13 pm

    Thank you! This happened to new brand new Exchange 2010 Mailbox servers. I followed your instructions and everything upgraded fine.

  12. agentbuzz March 21, 2014 / 11:15 pm

    Thank you! This happened to two brand new Exchange 2010 SP1 Mailbox servers. I followed the instructions and everything upgraded properly.

  13. caren April 11, 2014 / 6:37 pm

    For me it was only on the unified messaging role the other roles did not have those entries. but it worked perfectly after I deleted them. thanks

  14. A Johnson May 12, 2014 / 9:35 pm

    Resolved it for me, too; thank you.

  15. Erick November 21, 2016 / 3:20 pm

    Thansk, U’ve safe me

  16. mo January 1, 2017 / 6:41 pm

    thanks brother appreciate it.

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