Re-Installing WSEE Role on Server 2019 After InPlace Upgrade


Hi there!

So sorry for the disturbance… Years ago, we purchased the MSI installer to have the Essentials role installed on Server 2019 standard through The Office Maven. It’s worked wonders – thank you for that!!

However, we are running into an issue where (for unrelated reasons) the Windows component store has become corrupt (SFC /SCANNOW fails). This issue transcends Server 2019; it’s affecting a handful of Server 2019, Server 2016, and even Win 10. The official fix from Microsoft Support is to perform an in-place upgrade (AKA re-install the OS by running setup from a mounted ISO). Mounting the ISO and targeting the source WIM via a DISM command still fails. Microsoft couldn’t figure it out after extensively troubleshooting.

The in-place upgrade (AKA re-install) DOES work. It repairs the corruptions. However, when we follow the procedure on Server 2019 w/ the WSEE product installed, we find that the role disappears, and the server is dysfunctional. When we try to re-install the WSEE role via the purchased MSI file, it says it’s already installed. Thus, we are in a bit of a predicament. We end up having to restore from a backup and “put the worms back in the can” so to speak.

Do you folks have any thoughts as to how we can re-install the WSEE role after the in-place upgrade has completed? The MSI file says it’s already installed, and Windows behaves like it’s totally missing. I am all for manually re-installing the “hacked” role, so to speak. I’m just not sure how.

Many thanks in advance!!

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Best Answer

Yes, I have a solution for this.

When you perform an in place upgrade like that, Microsoft will indeed forcefully remove all of the Windows Server Essentials assemblies, services, etc. (just as they do during the Windows Server 2016 to 2019/2022 in place upgrades) leaving you with an orphaned Windows Server Essentials Experience instance. When you attempt to run the WSEE Installer again, it will refuse to run because another version of the product is already installed. To remedy this, I have built a small “WSEE Zapper” program that you can run in order to remove the orphaned WSEE instance from the server, and thereby allowing you to be able to run the WSEE Installer again.

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Woah! Thanks for the reply, and for the info! To be honest, it’s been so long since we purchased your product, I figured my post was the ultimate Hail Mary attempt to fix this. Thanks for your attention!

One question about the WSEE Zapper… If we “zap” the orphaned WSEE instance from the [repaired] server, when we re-install the role via the MSI installer, will our actual “data” be retained? (e.g. users, rwa settings, etc.) I want to say yes, as far as I understand it. But I just wanted to check with the professionals first.

Thanks in advance!!

  • Mike
    Yes, all of your data should be left exactly the same as it was before you did the in place upgrade. Of course you should make sure that you have a good backup of it just in case.
  • Mike
    FYI… You will not have to fully reconfigure WSEE again after running the WSEE Zapper. You simply run the WSEE Installer afterwards, and the “Configure Windows Server Essentials” wizard will open and reconnect everything back up for you without doing a brand new configuration. If for some reason, the wizard doesn’t start automatically when the WSEE Installer finishes, just manually run it from the shortcut that gets added to your server Desktop.
    Hey Mike! I am currently re-running the “Configure Windows Server Essentials” wizard after re-installing the WSEE role. It’s asking me to re-set up my domain and admin account. Is this expected, or am I going down the wrong path? Thanks!
    Eh, I take that back. I rebooted once to get the wizard to launch. I got spooked by the domain settings and rebooted again. The wizard re-launched again and said everything was all set. Interesting! I think we’re good now though.
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Awesome, thank you!! I’ll give it a try ASAP. Just gotta schedule the downtime. Have a great weekend!

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