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The Background

I wanted to add the CAS and Hub server roles to an Exchange 2007 mailbox server in my Test Lab. I already had another server that was performing Hub and CAS roles but I wanted to later decommission that so that I could install an Exchange 2010 Hub and CAS server.

So it was important that I install another CAS and Hub server firstly. I could then route all connections from one server to another, and then carry on with the decommissioning of the server.

Key error messages and symptoms

Error: Process execution failed with exit code -1.


When I went to run setup to install the new roles onto the existing mailbox server, I was faced with the following error message from within the setup screen:

Client Access Role install Failed

Error: Process execution failed with exit code -1.

Now, if you are here because you have experienced the same error message then I am not so sure that I have an exact answer for you because my Exchange Server developed more problems that I had to deal with. They are chronicled elsewhere (or soon will be) in my blog.

But I’m pretty certain that this problem originally stems from a problem with my DNS and a network configuration change I made to the same server.


I couldn’t find much when I researched the exit code -1 error.

But this mailbox server had two network cards in it – but with only one card active. The other was disabled. The server wasn’t going to be a mailbox server for long – I had plans within the Test Lab for there to be two Hub servers and two CAS servers, both with dual network cards so they could straddle the internal network and the network associated with my router.

To cut a long story short, I did two things:

  • I inadvertently had two Name Servers in DNS with the same IP address, where one of the servers no longer existed.
  • I enabled the second network card with that same IP address.

My network had been running well for over a year with the error in DNS. I had just been lucky in that all the computers were accessing the existing server.

I left the enabled network card running for a day with no problems.

I next Terminal Service’d into the mailbox server to install the new roles, and I was getting the Exit Code -1 error. Looking next at the server itself, the network icon had a red x next to it. But I couldn’t get into the Network and Sharing Center to look at the settings. In the end, I had to restart the server in Safe Mode to regain access to the adapter settings. There I found that, inexplicably, the default gateway was missing from one of the network cards. I remember too that one of the DNS entries had a IP address too.

I replaced the settings with the correct values and rebooted, and the server came up with networking functioning again. I was able to continue trying to install the new roles, although I would come up against more problems that would lead to the loss of the server.

Here is where I hope that my experience will help you. I only did the first step of the two steps that I think might have resolved the Exit Code -1 error.

1. Resolve the empty gateway setting.

Multiple default gateways are always a tricky thing. You’ll get an error from Microsoft about it:



I think I may have clicked ‘No’ inadvertently and this led to a blank gateway.

2. Check DNS.

I wasn’t aware at the time that I had a DNS problem so didn’t check at this early stage in time. Check your DNS now, looking for any IP addresses that you are using as DNS servers. Check that the IP addresses aren’t being used elsewhere in DNS.

I think that in installing the new roles, the Exchange setup queried the DNS settings on one adapter and, with them being incorrect, was unable to progress with the install. It’s my guess that, with one of the gateways missing, Exchange couldn’t query for any other correct Name Servers.

But what do you think? Did this help you?

Best wishes…



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