I finally had some time to install and play around with Skype for Business Server 2015 and Exchange Server 2016 in my test environment. One of the features I was looking forward to in SfB Server 2015 was the ability to use offline messaging. I followed lots and lots of different articles, and this feature should be enabled out of the box from CU3(?) onwards. You can enable it manually on older CU’s also, following
for example. There are many other guides as well, but they’re all about the same. However, I learned the hard way that this feature is not yet enabled in the on-premise version of SfB Server 2015. Correct me if I’m wrong though. Some info regarding this (without an answer):
After some serious Googling I was still unable to enable offline messaging though. This basically means that all of my updating was for “nothing”. Well, not completely. At least I learned how to force-update SfB Server 2015 🙂
First I installed the latest CU for SfB Server 2015 from https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3061064/updates-for-skype-for-business-server-2015 (in my case February 2017 Cumulative Server Update Installer) as this should’ve “fixed” lots of offline messaging stuff. Well, installing this CU wasn’t so straight forward after all. I followed the installation method to apply the update to a back end server or Standard Edition server. This is where the problems started.
The first problem was regarding the Url rewrite module 2.0 for IIS on Windows Server 2016. It wouldn’t install and you’ll receive an error while running the SfB Server 2015 Update Installer. Luckily I found a solution at http://stackoverflow.com/questions/35319942/url-rewrite-does-not-install-on-windows-10-iis-10. (You should edit the windows registry before running the Update Installer). Well, the problems didn’t stop here. After this problem was fixed I was greeted with:
and after a while the Update installer told me that the Conferencing Server update failed:
(never mind the versions in the screenshot, they are wrong as I had to “borrow” this picture from the ucsorted.com link below).
If you read the log it’ll tell you “ERROR 1603: OCSMCU.msp had errors installing”. I did some googling and found these:
The TechNet forum post suggest uninstalling some updates which I couldn’t even find on my system. This made the whole “fix” rather useless. The other link also talks about problematic updates, or the fact that you shouldn’t let SfB Server update itself at all before installing a new CU. This seemed very weird and the solution to reinstall everything from scratch also seemed very far fetched. There had to be a better solution.
Well, using my own common sense I started thinking about alternatives. After a while I figured why not uninstall the Conferencing Server component from the SfB Server 2015 installation and replace it with the stock one from the installation media? That said, I uninstalled the problematic component (even though SfB tells you it’s “dangerous”):
After uninstallation of the Conferencing Server component, I copied the OCSMCU.msi file from the original install media (X:\Setup\amd64\Setup) and ran it. It installed without problems. It was now time to run the Skype for Business Server 2015 Update Installer again:
And just in case I ran the Skype for Business Server 2015 Update Installer once again to see the result:
All dots are green, success indeed 🙂
I then continued following the installation instructions and ran:
net start w3svc
Install-CsDatabase -Update –LocalDatabases:
All good and everything seems to be working 🙂
I do wonder why there always seem to be problems with every update for Lync/SfB Server… oh well.