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You receive the following message when installing Update Rollup 3 for Exchange Server 2010:

“Setup Wizard for Update Rollup 3 for Exchange Server 2010 (KB981401) ended prematurely because of an error. Your system has not been modified. To install this program at a later time, please run the installation again.”


In my case this turned out to to be a User Account Control (UAC) gotcha.  Basically, I didn’t launch the *.msp file using “Run as Administrator”.  Interestingly, the error is misleading in that it does modify the system.  If you look at the installed updates on the system the Update Rollup appears as being installed.  In other words it is partly installed.


The steps to resolve the issue are:

1. Go to Control Panel, Programs, Programs and Features, Installed Updates.  Highlight the update and then click Uninstall.

2. Open a CMD prompt using right-click “Run as Administrator”.  Browse to the folder where the file is located and launch the file named Exchange2010-KB981401-x64-en.msp.

One of these days I’m really going to get the hang of UAC :-) . Until I do, it would be really nice if the Microsoft product teams could provide more helpful error messages for UAC failures.


  1. DW Hunter says:

    VERY Useful – ran into this problem tonight. Thank you!


  2. frustrated says:

    Domain Admin should assume full permissions. I’m so frustrated with things that should be easy, but take 4 steps just to make sure you have sufficient permissions to run it. But of course to get to the point that you realize you dont’ have sufficient resources, you run it, get a very generic email message and then spend 15 minutes combing message boards you find using Google… If I wanted this much trial, error and research I’d be using Linux…

  3. frustrated says:

    Sorry, got caught up in my rant. What I meant to say first was thank you for sharing that helpful information, you saved me quite a bit of time.

  4. Admin says:

    Thank’s for this post.
    I spent a lot of time on this problem!

  5. Derek says:

    So, I also got the same problem and when I did the uninstall of the rollup 3, it got stuck at “Please wait while Windows configures Microsoft Exchange Server” for over an hour. I opened Services and all Exchange services are now disabled. I am about to cancel the rollup uninstall and it will be a disaster.

  6. Joedy says:

    Thanks heaps helped me install the rollup

  7. Erich says:

    Thank you for posting the solution for this frustrating behaviour. The same is true for rollup4, I lost some hours yesterday.

  8. Mr T says:

    Thanks! It worked for me!

  9. Frank D says:

    Thanks a bunch, worked great

  10. nnatic says:

    Thank you for this.

    I hate when we run into this kinda stuff. it worked on one of my exch servers but not the others which really through me off. There should be a check for admin permissions at the beginning of the install with proper error handling for it.

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