Uninstalling and reinstalling the Windows 2012R2 Failover Clustering feature

In some cases, it may be necessary to uninstall and reinstall the Windows Failover Clustering feature on a server that is currently a member of a Failover Cluster.  This can be done via either Server Manager, or PowerShell.  Below are the steps to complete the process using each method.  These instructions document the process for Windows Server 2012 R2, however the steps are similar for other versions of Windows.

Uninstall the Windows Failover Clustering feature via Server Manager

Complete the following steps with a user account that has administrative rights over the cluster, from any server that has access to the cluster.  If the desired server is not listed, first add it by clicking Manage > Add Servers in Server Manager.

  1. In the Nodes view of Failover Cluster Manager, right-click on the node where the Failover Clustering feature is being uninstalled, select More Actions > Evict, and wait for the node to be removed from the Nodes view.
  2. Open Server Manager and click Manage > Remove Roles and Features.
    • If prompted, click Next on the “Before you begin” window.
  3. Select the server where the Failover Clustering feature is being uninstalled, and click Next.
  4. Click Next on the “Remove server roles” window.
  5. On the “Remove features” window, deselect the checkbox next to “Failover Clustering” and click Next.
    • If prompted, deselect the checkbox next to “Remove management tools (if applicable)” to retain the Failover Cluster Management Tools and PowerShell modules, if desired, and click Continue.
  6. On the “Remove features” window, click Next.
  7. Select the checkbox next to “Restart the destination server automatically if required”, and confirm that the server will be restarted if required if prompted before clicking Remove.
  8. The server will be rebooted when the feature is successfully removed.

Install/reinstall the Windows Failover Clustering feature and add the node to a cluster via Server Manager and Failover Cluster Manager

Complete the following steps with a user account that has administrative rights over the cluster, from any server that has access to the cluster.  If the desired server is not listed, add it by clicking Manage>Add Servers in Server Manager.

  1. Open Server Manager and click Manage>Add Roles and Features.
  2. If prompted, click Next on the “Before you begin” and “Select installation type” windows, then select the server on which the Failover Clustering feature is to be installed.
  3. Click Next on the “Select server roles” window.
  4. Select Failover Clustering on the “Select features” window, and click Next.
    • If prompted, select the checkbox next to “Include management tools (if applicable)” to install the Failover Cluster Management Tools and PowerShell modules, if desired, and click “Add Features”.
  5. Select the checkbox next to “Restart the destination server automatically if required”, and confirm that the server will be restarted if required if prompted before clicking Install.
  6. The server will be rebooted when the Feature is successfully installed.
  7. When the reboot is complete, open Failover Cluster Manager, Click “Add Node”, and follow the instructions in the “Add Node Wizard” to add the node to a cluster.

Uninstall the Windows Failover Clustering feature via PowerShell

Complete the following steps from an elevated PowerShell prompt with a user account that has administrative rights over the cluster, from any server that has local or remote access to the cluster.  If necessary, run the following commands first to import the Failover Clustering and Server Manager PowerShell modules:

Import-Module FailoverClusters
Import-Module ServerManager

Once the modules have been loaded or verified:

  1. Run the following command to evict the node where the Failover Clustering feature is being uninstalled:
    Remove-ClusterNode -Cluster <clustername> <nodename>

    • Select Yes if prompted for confirmation.
  2. Run the following command to confirm that the desired node is not listed as a member of the cluster:
    Get-ClusterNode -Cluster <clustername>
  3. Run the following command to remove the Failover Clustering feature from and reboot the desired node:
    Remove-WindowsFeature Failover-Clustering -ComputerName <nodename> -Restart

Install or reinstall the Windows Failover Clustering feature and add the node back to the cluster via PowerShell

Complete the following steps from an elevated PowerShell prompt with a user account that has administrative rights over the cluster, from any server that has local or remote access to the cluster.  If necessary, run the following commands first to import the Failover Clustering and Server Manager PowerShell modules:

Import-Module FailoverClusters
Import-Module ServerManager

Once the modules have been loaded or verified:

  1. Run the following command to remove the Failover Clustering feature from and reboot the desired node:
    Install-WindowsFeature Failover-Clustering -ComputerName <nodename> -Restart
  2. When the reboot is complete, run the following command to add the node back to a cluster:
    Add-ClusterNode -Cluster <clustername> <nodename>
  3. Run the following command to confirm that the desired node is listed as a member of the cluster:
    Get-ClusterNode -Cluster <clustername>

I hope you find this information useful.  Happy clustering!

Eriq Stern
Support Escalation Engineer
Windows High Availability Team