Trouble Upgrading your Exchange 2003 Cluster to SP1?

Note: This information is now available as a public KB article: KB.867624

Some folks on the newsgroups are having difficulty getting their Exchange 2003 clusters upgraded to Exchange 2003 SP1. One example of an error that's been reported:

Not able to upgrade the EVS because of error c1037b44:
"Version of Exchange on this machine does not match the version of Exchange on server ...."

Evan's comment:
Note: If you're running Windows 2003, you will also need to install the Windows/IIS6 GZIP hotfix KB.831464 prior to upgrading the SP1 binaries. This is not specific to clustering, but is a prerequisite for Exchange 2003 SP1 on Windows 2003 (does not apply to Windows 2000/IIS5).

The process to upgrade the cluster to SP1 is very similar to the process followed when upgrading to Exchange 2003 initially, and should look something like this:

1) Move EVS to Node1
2) Upgrade binaries on Node2
3) Take Exchange group resources offline (except for IP, Disk, and Network Name) and move them to Node2
4) Sitting at Node2 (upgraded) Cluadmin, right-click on System Attendant resource and choose "Upgrade Virtual Server"
5) When this completes, bring the resources online on Node2.

Now the resources and the EVS have been upgraded to SP1 and will not be able to come online back on Node1.

6) Upgrade binaries on Node1
7) Confirm that moving the group between nodes is again functional.

Update: June 7, 2004 - It's also been reported that some folks hit a block at Step 4 where the “Upgrade Virtual Server” option isn't available in the context menu. This wouldn't be a big deal, except that the Exchange resources may also not come online and may log Event 1025 “The Exchange virtual server needs to be upgraded before coming online. From the Cluster Administrator Program, select 'upgrade Exchange Virtual Server' from the resource context menu to upgrade this Virtual Server” There are a number of reasons this might happen.

If you've evicted the node from the cluster, your bet bet is to run back through Exchange 2003 Setup and choose the “reinstall” action (which should make the option reappear, and will fix other broken things as well).

But presuming you haven't evicted the node, one possible workaround to get the node back in shape is to trick it into thinking it needs to be upgraded by manually changing the version stored in the ResourceBuild private property. Proceed at your own risk, but a command-line way to do this is:

  CLUSTER RES “<Your System Attendant Resource Name>” /priv ResourceBuild=455081984


Comments (15)

  1. Surfing Scooter says:

    thank you.

  2. JM says:

    How to install Exchange 2003 sp1

    1. Check that hotfix 831464 is installed

    FIX: IIS 6.0 compression corruption causes access violations;en-us;831464

    If not, installing this hotfix is required

    Onm NODEB; reboot (you are not prompted but it is required).

    2. Fail resources to NODEB, install hotfix 831464on NODEA, reboot.

    3. Install SP1 on NODEA; reboot.

    4. Take Exchange Virtual Server offline on NODEB.

    [If you don’t take it offline before you move the EVS, it attempts to come online and will either fail right back to NODEB or will remain in a Failed state on NODEA.]

    This situation depend on how you have previously configured your

    Failover/Failback Policies on Microsoft Cluster Server (197047)


    By default, groups are set not to failback. Unless you manually configure your group to failback after failover, it continues to run on the alternate node after the failed node comes back online.

    5. Move EVS to NODEA.

    6. Bring all non-Exchange-service resources online (network name, physical disks, etc.).

    7. Make sure the EVS is hosted on the node that has been upgraded to SP1 when you select to upgrade it and Upgrade EVS (To select Upgrade Virtual Server use Cluster Admin (cludmin.exe) tool while Right Clicking the name of the EVS). After upgrade you will see

    8. Install SP1 on NODEB; reboot.

    9. Test failover.

    When you install SP1, the option to upgrade the EVS is available on both nodes, but you should only run the option from the node that has really been upgraded to SP1.

    And, if you just failover the EVS from node B to node A, then System Attendant won’t start and the EVS will be failed over again to node B.

    After upgrade if you check Exchange version using Exchange 2003 admin tool you will see version SP1 clustered server

  3. J5 says:

    Thank you,

    Will Try now

    J5- Eric Weintraub

  4. Ben says:

    The procedure described in this page is not correct, you can’t upgrade the EVS if the SP1 wasn’t installed on Node 2. Also, dont’t forget the SP1 setup asks for a reboot, even on a clustered server.

  5. evan says:

    Ben –

    Can you be more specific? Are the steps you’re referring to as incorrect the ones in the actual blog posting, or the ones later on in the comments? The ones in the blog posting tell you to upgrade the binaries on Node2 and then upgrade the EVS while it’s also on Node2, so I’m not sure I understand what you mean…


  6. Ben says:

    Mistake in my previous post:

    Sorry, I meant Node 1.

    All that to say that you can’t use the "Upgrade EVS" option while not all nodes have been upgraded.

  7. evan says:

    Ben –

    I built out a cluster to test this and I did not have the problems you describe. As long as the upgrade is attempted from the upgraded node AND the EVS has been moved to the upgraded node, the attempt to upgrade will proceed.

    If the EVS is sitting on the node which has not yet been upgraded or if you try to do the upgrade in CLUADMIN at the node which has not been upgraded, you will get the c1037b44 error described in the original post.

    But if you make sure the EVS is on the upgraded node (with SA offline… only IP, Network Name and Physical Disk online in this group and the MSDTC resource online in its separate group), you’ll have success with the "Upgrade Virtual Server" option.

    Note that this HAS to work, or else we wouldn’t be able to do "rolling upgrades" to SP1.


  8. Larry Baker says:

    Upgrading a Windows 2000 Advanced Server cluster to Exchange 2003 SP1.

    The hotfix will not apply to IIS, we’ve tried installing the SP to reported success, however, the Services never completely comonline citing errors with MSExchangeMU (1047) and finally forcing the System Attendant Resource to fail.

    Is SP1 not supported on Windows 2000/Exchange 2003 clusters?

  9. evan says:

    Larry –

    The KB.831464 hotfix is a Windows 2003 hotfix and is not required to be applied to Windows 2000/IIS5 prior to upgrading Exchange 2003 to SP1. Sounds like there is something else wrong with your Exchange cluster. Have you seen this KB article: If this article doesn’t help you, you may wish to post more information about the errors out in the Microsoft.Public.Exchange.Clustering newsgroup
    and perhaps someone will have additional ideas. It’ll probably be more effective to troubleshoot it in that forum than through this comment interface.;en-us;newsgroups


  10. evan says:

    Whoops. the KB.822575 hyperlink got munged in the last comment. Here’s the link again without a question mark at the end:

  11. Chris says:

    Call me stupid, but I couldn’t find this information anywhere!!

    I was stuck on the upgrade, getting an event 8123 – SA couldn’t start.

    The step I missed was to upgrade the virtual server.

    Thanks for the clear and concise directions!! You saved me a lot of pain 🙂

  12. Rick Grakowsky says:

    Welp, I’ve installed the KB, SP1 and upgraded the virtual servers. I’ve got a front-end / back-end configuration and the front end servers were upgraded first (well, i pretty much had no choice there) then the back-end servers and everything seemed to go fine…but…

    Now OWA doesn’t work. If I go to I get prompted for the Username/Password, but only get a "Page Not Found" returned. I’ve tried it with and without the domain nameusername configuration with the prompt, but nothing changes.

    Any Ideas?

    Thanks in advance,


  13. Rick Grakowsky says:

    An Update…

    A few hours, about a billion configuration changes, then almost 7 hours on the phone with MS, and still no resolution…

    What I do know at this point is that (1) not a firewall issue, (2) not a DNS issue, (3) logon works if not being directed to non-SP1 servers (ie – when logging on if the mailbox is on a server that does not have SP1 it works fine), (4) able to logon going to front-end servers IP address rather than hostname and (5) works if the IIS Home Directory is changed from to http://<FE Server IP Address>/exchange.

    Of course, they have never seen this before and I’m now in the "we’ll call you back" phase. There best guess at this point is that on the FE Server I changed the "Default Web Site" name to "OWA Front End" and a bug in the service pack didnt handle this very well.

    Some more details in our configuration in the event that anyone else sees this:

    – 3 node windows 2003 cluster in active/passive mode

    – 2 virtual servers, one on each of the active nodes and the cluster group service running on the passive node

    – Front End server is a stand alone machine and not part of the cluster (also windows 2003 of course)

    – All critical updates were installed prior to the installation of the service pack/hotfix and it was working fine.

    – It stopped working immediatly after applying the hotfix and sp. I dont know if it was working after applying the hotfix and before applying the sp.

    – All servers in this cluster have been updated. The non-sp1 servers I mentioned above (the one I could get to) is an exchange deployment in the exact same configuration (hardware, cluster, updates, etc) in a parent domain (w2k3), just without the hotfix and sp1.

    I know that you are all on edge as the to resolution of this issue, so i’ll be sure to keep you all updated…. 🙂



  14. Rick Grakowsky says:

    Still having fun over here…

    A couple conference calls later with IIS, Exchange and DNS techs and still no resolution. They decided to go back and attempt to reproduce the problem and they are hinting that they found something.

    Ok, here we go…

    I have a DNS Host alias called (the OWA part is the important part here) which points to the IP address of my front end server. In the IIS home directory i’ve been using which stopped working after applying SP1. If you change that entry to either the computer name or IP address of the front end server it works fine.

    They contacted me again and asked if I could try add a new DNS Host alias called and point the IIS home directory there. Hmmm…that works just fine.

    Todays status is that virtually every host name, computername or IP address that we’ve tried in that field with the exception of, will work.

    Interesting…at least to me…



  15. Xavier says:

    Same problem here, I’ve got "Upgrade Exchange Virtual Server" option after both nodes were upgraded to SP1.

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