Exchange 2007 SP3 failed, now what!?

In an effort to update my inherited and grossly out-of-date environment so that I could eventually installed Ex2013, I attempted to apply Exchange 2007 SP3 on my single Exchange 2007 SP1 (no rollups) server running on Server 2003.  All steps were fine until It failed with:

[10/3/2015 11:18:14 PM] [0] Setup will run the task 'uninstall-msipackage'
[10/3/2015 11:18:14 PM] [1] Setup launched task 'uninstall-msipackage -logfile 'C:\ExchangeSetupLogs\ExchangeSetup.msilog' -ProductCode '24b2c164-de66-44fe-b468-a46d9d5e6b31' -PropertyValues 'BYPASS_CONFIGURED_CHECK=1 DEFAULTLANGUAGENAME=ENU''  
[10/3/2015 11:18:14 PM] [1] Beginning processing.
[10/3/2015 11:18:14 PM] [1] Property 'PackageName' is 'EXCHANGESERVER.msi'.
[10/3/2015 11:18:14 PM] [1] Removing MSI package with code '24b2c164-de66-44fe-b468-a46d9d5e6b31'.
[10/3/2015 11:25:48 PM] [1] [ERROR] Unexpected Error
[10/3/2015 11:25:48 PM] [1] [ERROR] Unable to remove product with code 24b2c164-de66-44fe-b468-a46d9d5e6b31. Fatal error during installation. Error code is 1603. Last error reported by the .msi package is 'The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed. This can occur if you are running Windows in safe mode, or if the Windows Installer is not correctly installed. Contact your support personnel for assistance.'.
[10/3/2015 11:25:48 PM] [1] [ERROR] Fatal error during installation
[10/3/2015 11:25:48 PM] [1] Ending processing.
[10/3/2015 11:58:48 PM] [0] End of Setup

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If I'm reading this correctly, it failed while trying to uninstall the prior SP1.  A search for EXCHANGESERVER.MSI turned up nothing.  No idea why it wouldn't be in C:\Windows\Installer.  So I could put that SP1 file there, but I'm not sure if that is correct solution.  I'd like confirmation on that.  I don't believe there is a problem with Windows Installer as there were many, many files uninstalled successfully during the upgrade until it failed.

I  have not restarted the server, have not restored any files from the backup I made of C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Microsoft Exchange, and I have not attempted to restart or enable/restart any of those disabled Exchange services.

I did enable/start HTTP SSL, IIS Admin, and WWW so I could restart the SP3 install.  I now get the error that the binary files are not present and only build-to-build upgrade mode is available.

So now I'm screwed I think.  I have no idea where to go as I can't restart the SP3 installed as all relevant services are now disabled.  I'd be happy to get Exchange up and running prior to my upgrade attempt but ultimately I would love SP3 with the latest rollup.  

Any and all help would be tremendously appreciated.
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Amit KumarCommented:
Better you recover it now and install SP1.

Also without updating SP2 you can't upgrade it to SP3.. so keep in mind that one.

follow below steps: (nothing to delete in AD)

1. stop existing server.
2. install OS on same hardware or new hardware
3. Same IP and same host name to be given
4. Before joining in domain just reset password of exchange computer from ADUC
5. Join in domain and install required pre-requisites
6. now open command prompt with Admin permission and go to path where Exchange 2007 SP1 is dumped
7.  setup.exe /m:recoverserver
8. above command will recover all roles those have been installed.

After recovering you can install latest CU of SP1 first then install SP2 then install Latest CU of SP2

then Install SP3 with latest CU. it will be successful installation

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88D1TAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your response.  Before I attempt any of that, I note the following:

1) Per the TechNet release notes of SP3 (, SP3 can be installed on the base version of Exchange, SP1, or SP2.  Where do you see that it can NOT be applied to an SP1 install, and if that is true, I wonder why the install didn't throw out a warning before doing anything.

2) Per a TechNet article for Setup /M:RecoverServer (, it should NOT be used as a repair tool or to recover a failed install/uninstall.  I'm not so sure this process is the correct process to run in my case.
Amit KumarCommented:
Not sure why it did not threw error, but you will have to go step by step.

Setup /M:recoverServer is a recovery switch to recover a failed server in Exchange org.

for any failed installation you can use this switch.
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88D1TAuthor Commented:
Thanks again for your help.  So are you saying that I can use the RecoverServer option on my broken box, or only on the new box following your steps above?
Amit KumarCommented:
just turn off the box without doing anything, you can format it and install new OS on same hardware or another hardware then reset computer's account from AD user and computers console... then install pre-requisites then recover Exchange 2007.

You can try this article....
88D1TAuthor Commented:
Well I certainly had other things to do these last 36 hours, but I'm back up and running and may have actually came out ahead by a fresh OS install (and VM).  One hurdle was that the old/broken Exchange Server was an DC so I couldn't reset password in Step 4.  Once the server was removed as DC, the rest completed successfully.
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