Exchange Installation Error HRESULT E_FAIL

Error HRESULT E_FAIL

I was recently installing and configuring a new server with 32 processors and installing server 2008 Standard and Exchange 2007 SP1 Standard. During installation I received the following error:

HRESULT E_FAIL has been returned from a call to a COM component.

After finding a Knowledge-base article from Microsoft, I discovered Exchange 2007 SP1 doesn’t support installation on a server with more than 24 processors but is perfectly fine updating and running on a server with more than 24 processors.

Here is the fix for installing Exchange 2007 SP1 on a server with more than 24 cores.

For Windows Server 2008 and for Windows Server 2008 R2

To reduce the number of active processor cores, follow these steps:

    1. Click Start, and then type cmd in the Search programs and files box.
    2. Right-click cmd.exe in the Programs list, and then click Run as administrator.
       If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type the password, or provide confirmation.
    3. At the command prompt, copy or type the following command, and then press ENTER:
      msconfig.exe
    4. Click the Boot tab.
    5. Select the operating system that is used with Exchange Server 2007. Typically, this is labeled Current OS.
    6. Click Advanced.
    7. Note the number of processors that are currently set, and then set the number of processors to 24 or fewer.
    8. Restart the server.

We can now bypass the Error HRESULT E_FAIL message with the workaround in place

  1. Install Exchange 2007.
  2. Click Start, and then type cmd in the Search programs and files box.
  3. Right-click cmd.exe in the Programs list, and then click Run as administrator.
     If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type the password, or provide confirmation.
  4. At the command prompt, copy or type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    msconfig.exe
  5. Click the Boot tab.
  6. Select the same operating system that you selected in step 5 and that is used with Exchange Server 2007.
  7. Click Advanced.
  8. Restore the number of processors to the value that you noted in step 7.
  9. Restart the computer.

Now that we are finished, we don’t need to worry about the Error HRESULT E_FAIL message from earlier and we can use Exchange freely on our new hardware.

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