SBS 2008 Setup Hang while Expanding and Installing Files

How very annoying this was.

I’m setting up an SBS 2008 server for a client and the setup process got to the “expanding and installing files” part.

5030287937_db7155a831_z.jpg (618×499)

It was running in the background whilst I was doing some other bits and pieces but I noticed it had seemed to get stuck right at the end for some time.

As is always the way when waiting for software to install I thought it was just me so left it a bit longer. (Progress bars play tricks with your mind!)

Eventually I realised nothing was going on so pressed ALT+F10 to bring up a command prompt.

From here I opened the log file

C:\Program Files\Windows Small Business Server\Logs\SBSSetup.log

and found this at the bottom


Looking at the timestamps it had been at this stage for some time so I figured the downloading of the update had stalled.

I used the BITSADMIN tool to see if there were any queued up jobs but no luck. Though on reflection I forgot to use the /ALLUSERS flag so there could have been jobs queued that I didn’t see.

I disconnected the network cable and reconnected it with a faint hope it might kick off the download again but no luck.

I even restarted the DHCP Client service with a similar hope but nothing happened.

So I bit the bullet and used “net stop wuauserv” and “net start wuauserv” to restart the Windows Update Service.

The progress shot to the end, SBS setup finished and within in a couple of minutes I was at the desktop.

The SBS Console reported this installation issue.


Since the problem seemed to be just on the download of an update and not an install I’m pretty confident I’ll be able to run Windows Updates again to pick up whatever didn’t get installed.

The main frustration was that I didn’t know there was an issue as there was no feedback to think there was anything wrong.. It was only the fact I thought it was taking too long that made me investigate. I could have very easily have left it running overnight to have come back the following morning just to find it in the same state!

This is where practise makes perfect. I’ve seen the SBS setup process run so many times I know roughly how long it should take to complete.

Anyway – the SBS logs directory is a really great source of information. I may have linked to this in the past but there is a great post on the official SBS blog about them.

* UPDATE *I wrote a follow up post about this as my problem wasn’t entirely sorted!

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

Latest posts by Andy Parkes (see all)

Posted in SBS

18 thoughts on “SBS 2008 Setup Hang while Expanding and Installing Files

  • I found this very useful, as my migration was dong the same thing. but took it a step further.

    during the hang @ 15% i pressed cntl alt del and went to task manager,saw that the trusted installer service and the windows update service was at 0 % cpu and kb, so wnt to services and restarted windows update service. bosh…. the progress bar moved up slightly and the process in task manager seems normal. it hasnt completed yet but looking good.!

  • Hi, thanks very much for this article, proved really useful, have been sat here for an hour thinking… it must be finishing soon, restarted the windows update service and voilla.

    One note to add though I was installing SBS 2011, its not ALT+F10 anymore for SBS2011 its now Shift+F10

    Thanks again.

  • That fixed it for me, Thanks! SBS 2011

    After checking the SBSSetup.log the updates were at 91% from 3 hours ago, and no progress.

    I stop/restarted the Windows Update Service, and presto!

  • Thanks so much for this post. I was stuck during an SBS 2011 install. How ridiculous is it that it gives you no clue that something is wrong? Great work Andy.

  • And here’s the part that is even more dumb, after restarting SBS it looks like all updates had applied without issue. I checked for updates and there were none available. Dumb dumb dumb.

  • Having the same issue on 2011, will try Wayne’s suggestion shortly. At the recommendation of another article I’ve switched SATA ports to see if that helps, but I think my install is bricked already after an unexpected reboot.

  • So eventually, it looks promising that mine was actually the SATA ports, switched from the standard to the RAID controller, now it is installing. Go figure.

  • For interest’s sake and perhaps more traffic to this article, the server I’m using is an HP ProLiant MicroServer N40L

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