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.

39 Responses to Windows Server Essentials 2016 – Install Stuck at 1739 or 3939

  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.

    • techbakerliborg says:

      Here is what we found. By restating the windows update service and the BITS service it forced a restart and continued

  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…

  8. dochammoc says:

    Same here stuck on 17%. I was installing on bare metal on a Foxconn P41 motherboard and Celeron E1600 cpu. Starting service did move the install along. Thanks!

  9. Andrew Jensen says:

    Bro! You are a lifesaver, thank you so much for this article. Microsoft obviously has some debugging to do on their installer.

  10. Marty Felker says:

    Just (re)started the Management Service and the install continued past 17% immediately. This is a Hyper-V installation on Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14986. Thank you!

  11. Sam says:

    Like most of us, I encountered this issue while installing Windows 2016 Essentials (MSDN) on a physical machine. It seems Microsoft still hasn’t addressed this issue. Thanks for the quick solution.

  12. Chris French says:

    Stuck on 39% – After restating the machine and looking through the logs, found the issue was the WSEMgTService needed restarting.

  13. ABasson says:

    Thank you! I also experienced a problem where it got stuck on 17%. Started the service (lile you mentioned) and there it continued. Thanks once again.

  14. Syed Shah Akramullah says:

    Yes it worked with starting the WseMgmtSvc.

  15. Steve says:

    Thanks for the solution!!! I had the same issue as everyone else. Server 2016 Essentials- initial setup stalled @ 17%. Started service described above- immediately continued past 17%!!!! Thanks again !!!!

  16. Gavin says:

    39% – WseMgmtSvc was stopped. Restarted

  17. Drumhead says:

    Thanks a lot for this workaround

  18. Big Rog says:

    I had the same problem, it worked during the install, but every time an update needs to reboot it hangs and will not install them. Is this do to the reg change

    “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.”

  19. David Gordon says:

    Thanks for this – I had exactly the same issue.

  20. Can not get pass 16%. Have tried the work around in regedit (that was already set to false). Then the one (Windows Server Essentials Management Service) it was already running. Set my dns to and that did not work. Stuck, any thoughts?

  21. RustyCaliforniaTech says:

    Stuck at 16%. It was failing at user creation (creating the “network administrator” account) (don’t have the log files handy to paste details here). The name did NOT have admin in it, etc. The problem was SPECIAL CHARS IN THE PASSWORD. So keeping the password alphanumeric worked, then changed it later.

  22. Wolf359 says:

    I had the same issue on a Fujitsu Server (ServerView and WinSrvEss2016).
    But I can solve it as follows:
    ==> During the installation a DHCP Server was available (also during EssentialConfig)

    I think the Configuration Program made an update or downloads itself a solution.
    (Sorry for my english)

  23. Michael says:

    Was stuck at 39%, started the Windows Server Essentials Management Service as mentioned above and it started moving again. Currently up to 75%. Thank you for the post.

  24. Daniel St. says:


    I am fighting with Win2016 and Win2012r2 Essentials in the same way I like to install inside a VM (Synology VMM) additional I have a AD running from Synology.

    # Windows 2016, member in Synology AD
    As soon I start the essentials config during the preparation before 0% it stops, and I should restart…

    # Windows 2016, config with Essentials AD
    Here the installation stuck at 15%, Service is running.

    Can you give me a good tip?


  25. Peter says:

    Thanks for your post. I installed Windows Server Essentials on a Dell Optiplex 780 without any problems. I installed it as virtual machine (VirtualBox) on windows 7 host. and it got stuck at 17% and 39%. Starting the Windows Essential Management Service helped in both cases.

    • Peter says:

      In addition to my former post:
      After the installation I couldn’t add users. The solution for me was to check again the services. Windows Server Essentials Management Service was again not running (though it was set to “Automatic”). After starting the service manually I could add users. Btw also Windows Server 2016 Essentials Health Service and Windows Server 2016 Essentials Notification Service weren’t running, though they were also set to “Automatic”.

  26. Mark Berry says:

    I’m stuck at 95%. I’m installing Server 2016 with the Essentials role on bare hardware (Dell T30 with a 1TB SSD). I’m migrating from 2012R2 Essentails, so I’ve got the 2016 set up as a replica domain controller, and the FSMO roles have already been transferred to 2016. The logs are full of .NET errors, timeout, etc.; it’s hard to know what’s relevant. When I try to start the Essentials Management Service, it immediately fails (event 7034 service terminated unexpectedly). I had the DNS set to the 2012R2 server. Confirmed that DNS is working on 2016 and changed the NIC to point to its own IP for DNS. Can’t even figure out how to start over–the Cancel button is grayed out; when I restarted the server, the wizard picked up at 95% again and stayed there. Suggestions?

    • Can you kill the wizard process? Can you share some of the errors?

      • mcbsys says:

        Wound up re-installing Server 2016 from scratch. It hung briefly at 95% but completed this time. I guess it will remain a mystery!

        [Having some trouble with these comments … commenting while logged in to WordPress didn’t work, so I logged out and submitted a “standard” comment. Then I didn’t get the notification of your reply.]

      • mcbsys says:

        [Of course, this time, commenting via WordPress _did_ work. My weekend for non-reproducible errors…]

  27. Newbie says:

    This worked for me on a fresh new install. Thank you!!

    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.

  28. marc.nardo says:

    Thanks for this because Microsoft support is 0 and if we made the mistake to buy them we are hostages of one the worst software company in the world.

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