.NET runtime error on installation step 4 - exchange server 2007

On running step 4 of exchange 2007 setup I receive the following error: "Exchange Setup encountered an error" with only an OK button.  No logs are generated in the usual places.

The event log contains a .NET 2 Runtime Error; Event ID 1000:
Faulting application exsetupui.exe, version 8.0.685.24, stamp 45726fdf, faulting module kernel32.dll, version 5.2.3790.4062, stamp 462643a7, debug? 0, fault address 0x000000000000dd10.

I have .NET installed and updated - there are no more updates shown on windows updates.

I then try to run the setup using the setup.com unattended installation and receive the following error messages:

Unhandled Exception: System.IO.FileNotFoundException: Could not load file or ass
embly 'Microsoft.Exchange.Setup.Common, Version=8.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, Public
KeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find th
e file specified.
File name: 'Microsoft.Exchange.Setup.Common, Version=8.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, P
ublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35'

WRN: Assembly binding logging is turned OFF.
To enable assembly bind failure logging, set the registry value [HKLM\Software\M
icrosoft\Fusion!EnableLog] (DWORD) to 1.
Note: There is some performance penalty associated with assembly bind failure lo
gging.
To turn this feature off, remove the registry value [HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Fus
ion!EnableLog].


Exchange Server setup encountered an error.


Again, the .NET error is logged in event log.

The server in question is an HP ML310 with Server 2003 R2 (with Service Pack 2) Standard x64 Edition.  It was 2GB RAM and a Xeon 3050 (2.13Ghz).

This is a totally fresh build and install.  It is not part of our internal AD domain as I intend the server to be used as an Edge Server - ADAM is installed. (I have already successfully installed the majority of Exchange 2007 on a similar machine for the other roles!!)

I have tried installing using a networked DVD drive and also by copying the files locally - both supported options by microsoft.

If any more details are required, then please post.  Thanks in advance - this is driving me nuts!!

My initial thoughts are obviously an error with .NET but none of the hotfixes available appear to work, and microsoft appear not to be aware of the problem.  The fact that no other logs are generated is also a PITA!
WannabeNerdAsked:
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WannabeNerdAuthor Commented:
Ok....for what it's worth; here's what I did to finally get this program to install:

1. Reformatted the system
2. Installed Windows Server 2003 R2 x64 edition
3. DID ABSOLUTELY NO UPDATES
4. Shared the Exchange 2007 DVD from another 64 bit machine (i have no idea whether this made any difference)
5. Ran exchange setup which actually worked (!!)
6. Went to install the Edge role and it checked the server readiness and came back with some updates I actually needed (ie .NET2, ADAM, TCPIP.SYS, DNS server contact)
7. Did these updates
8. Everything now works.

I have not upgraded to SP2, nor did I do any (i repeat ANY) updates before running exchange 2007 setup.

So much for patching your systems!

I have taken a backup of the system and am going to do the updates - i will report back whether this breaks anything.

One very confused sysadmin signing off for now.
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LeeDerbyshireCommented:
I don't have a fix, I'm afraid, but you might try installing it from the command line instead (near the bottom here):

http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Installing-Exchange-2007-Part2.html

The error says that the error is generated by exsetupui.exe , so if you are lucky it may only be the UI part that is failing, and a CLI install might succeed.
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WannabeNerdAuthor Commented:
Lee, cheers for that, but I have already tried that - see the second error that I get from the command prompt giving the specifics.  Thanks for the fast comment though.
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LeeDerbyshireCommented:
Drat, I missed that.  Have you tried enabling the logging as suggested:
-----------------------------------------------------------------
WRN: Assembly binding logging is turned OFF.
To enable assembly bind failure logging, set the registry value [HKLM\Software\M
icrosoft\Fusion!EnableLog] (DWORD) to 1.
Note: There is some performance penalty associated with assembly bind failure lo
gging.
To turn this feature off, remove the registry value [HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Fus
ion!EnableLog].
-------------------------------------------------------------
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WannabeNerdAuthor Commented:
Right, here goes for the response to the enablelog option:

-----------------------------------------------------------------
=== Pre-bind state information ===
LOG: User = BMMAIL1\Administrator
LOG: DisplayName = Microsoft.Exchange.Setup.Common, Version=8.0.0.0, Culture=neu
tral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35
 (Fully-specified)
LOG: Appbase = file:///C:/exchange2007/install/Setup/ServerRoles/Common/
LOG: Initial PrivatePath = NULL
Calling assembly : ExSetup, Version=8.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31b
f3856ad364e35.
===
LOG: This bind starts in default load context.
LOG: No application configuration file found.
LOG: Using machine configuration file from C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\
v2.0.50727\config\machine.config.
LOG: Post-policy reference: Microsoft.Exchange.Setup.Common, Version=8.0.0.0, Cu
lture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35
LOG: Attempting download of new URL file:///C:/exchange2007/install/Setup/Server
Roles/Common/Microsoft.Exchange.Setup.Common.DLL.
LOG: Attempting download of new URL file:///C:/exchange2007/install/Setup/Server
Roles/Common/Microsoft.Exchange.Setup.Common/Microsoft.Exchange.Setup.Common.DLL
.
LOG: Attempting download of new URL file:///C:/exchange2007/install/Setup/Server
Roles/Common/Microsoft.Exchange.Setup.Common.EXE.
LOG: Attempting download of new URL file:///C:/exchange2007/install/Setup/Server
Roles/Common/Microsoft.Exchange.Setup.Common/Microsoft.Exchange.Setup.Common.EXE
.
-----------------------------------------------------

C:/exchange2007/install/  <-- this is the path to the local copy of the files.

file:///C:/exchange2007/install/Setup/Server
Roles/Common/Microsoft.Exchange.Setup.Common/Microsoft.Exchange.Setup.Common.DLL   <----------- that path doesn't exist!! - there is no folder "Microsoft.Exchange.Setup.Common" within Common

Thanks for your help so far Lee
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LeeDerbyshireCommented:
I'll check my source DVD later to see if I have that folder.
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WannabeNerdAuthor Commented:
Been there done that - nope, doesn't exist.  The files were copied directly from the DVD disk, which has already fully installed exchange on another machine but two days ago!!!  (that is what is really puzzling me....why is it not working on this machine??!)
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LeeDerbyshireCommented:
Weird.  I definitely think MS stuff is far more complicated these days than it needs to be.  If I was in your situation, I think I would uninstall .Net, and reinstall it again, then try Exchange again.
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WannabeNerdAuthor Commented:
...already have....
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LeeDerbyshireCommented:
Yikes.  Have you reinstalled the OS?
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WannabeNerdAuthor Commented:
yep. - i'm in the fortunate position that the server is not yet in production....
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LeeDerbyshireCommented:
Seems like you've tried just about everything.  What's different about this machine?  Is the only difference that this one isn't part of the domain?
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WannabeNerdAuthor Commented:
Different HP model server (ML310 as opposed to ML350); and not part of the domain.  I'm starting to think it must be hardware, but can't for the life of me think why it should be.  No errors or anything during install or any updates; nothing at all to suggest there are problems at all.

I read somewhere (can't remember where) that the edge server can be joined to the domain, but the whole point of it is that it shouldn't be(!), so i am loathed to try that really.
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LeeDerbyshireCommented:
It might be worth temporarily joining it to the domain, just to see if the setup still fails.

Faulty memory can produce confusing symptoms, too.  Might be a good idea to set the BIOS to do a thorough test next time you boot it.
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WannabeNerdAuthor Commented:
Joining the domain would change some security privileges I suppose, so it may be worth a shot.

normal ram checks pass, but i will do as you suggest and try a full one.

Apart from that, i'm stumped; do you have any detailed knowledge of the .net error at all?  
ie: "Could not load file or assembly 'Microsoft.Exchange.Setup.Common, Version=8.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, Public
KeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified."

Cheers for your suggestions so far!
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LeeDerbyshireCommented:
Normal RAM check is very superficial.  In the past I've had thorough ones find problems that normal ones missed.  I think E2007 is too new for all it's problems to have been encountered and archived on the web.  I couldn't find anything for this particular error, but I did a search for the generic part
"Could not load file or assembly" .  Lots of results, but too variable to suggest anything more specific to Exchange.

I assume you've got lots of space on the system partition?  The Windows\Assembly folder seems to expand out of all proportion when the Exchange assemblies start to get precompiled.
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WannabeNerdAuthor Commented:
I have tried adding to the domain and installing, but no joy - same errors.

Am downloading new DVD installation from microsoft, as other people have reported some corrupt media doing the rounds, albeit in slightly different circumstances.

Haven't been able to find the options for extended memory testing in the bios - anyone got any ideas where this is on an HP ML310? Thanks.
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WannabeNerdAuthor Commented:
Oh, and plenty of free HD space - over 25GB!
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LeeDerbyshireCommented:
I don't know where the memory test option is on that machine, but there are plenty of executable ones available for download.

If it won't work when added to the domain, then it is now looking very much like a hardware problem, or an incompatibility.
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WannabeNerdAuthor Commented:
Full memory tests done thru HP SmartStart stuff - no problems there either.  Downloaded new installation DVD....exactly the same problem.

Am starting to think it's hardware incompatibility....the HD controller is the top of my list unless anyone knows any different.... I am starting to loose the will to live.  Does anyone from Microsoft read these pages? ;-)
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LeeDerbyshireCommented:
I doubt that anyone from MS is here.  You could try adding another drive controller, as a test.
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LeeDerbyshireCommented:
Hm.  Very strange indeed.  I wish I had an answer, but I doubt that we'll ever find out what went wrong.
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