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FIX: SQL Server Installer Hangs on Existing Clustered Instance “Running Discovery on Remote Machine”


You’re trying to install a service pack, cumulative updates, or run the installer to add a shared feature on a SQL Server clustered instance. The installer just hangs and doesn’t progress without any indication on the GUI as to why.

You check the the setup logs and the last entry on the log looks something like this:

(01) 2022-01-14 04:54:50 Slp: Running discovery on remote machine: CLUSTERNODE02
(08) 2022-01-14 04:59:50 Slp: at Microsoft.SqlServer.Setup.Chainer.Workflow.ActionInvocation.ExecuteActionHelper(ActionWorker workerDelegate)
(08) 2022-01-14 04:59:50 Slp: at Microsoft.SqlServer.Setup.Chainer.Workflow.ActionInvocation.ExecuteActionWithRetryHelper(WorkflowObject metaDb, ActionKey action, ActionMetadata actionMetadata, TextWriter statusStream)
(08) 2022-01-14 04:59:50 Slp: at Microsoft.SqlServer.Setup.Chainer.Workflow.ActionInvocation.InvokeAction(WorkflowObject metabase, TextWriter statusStream)
(08) 2022-01-14 04:59:50 Slp: at Microsoft.SqlServer.Setup.Chainer.Workflow.PendingActions.InvokeActions(WorkflowObject metaDb, TextWriter loggingStream)
(08) 2022-01-14 04:59:50 Slp: at Microsoft.SqlServer.Setup.Chainer.Workflow.ActionEngine.RunActionQueue()

There’s no indication of any errors or what the delay is about.



SQL Server install for cluster includes checks that verify the status and configuration of all other nodes. This requires elevated permissions, remote management configuration, and related services to be running. Some companies have server security policies that can turn off or remove these permissions or services.  This causes the check to run for a long time.

During cluster creation, the cluster admin checks this using the cluster validation check. I highly recommend not to change the configuration/permissions afterward.

Here are some references about cluster configuration requirements:


Here are the most common items to check:

1. Administrative Shares are Missing – Windows Server

2. Check that All Ports used by Cluster Service is Not Blocked

3. Check and make sure Windows Remote Management Service is enabled on the nodes.



As with all the rules for SQL setup, you have options to skip rules. To workaround the cluster checks for the installation you can specify /SkipRules and specify the rule name Cluster_VerifyForErrors_Instance_Name. This will let the installer skip the check for the cluster and let the process proceed. Note that if you’re running SP/CU, that would be the installer’s executable instead of setup.exe, for example SQLServer2017-KB5006944-x64.exe.

Note: Rules checks are there to make sure the servers meet the requirements for the installation.  Don’t skip any rules unless you’re familiar with them and know what you’re doing.

setup.exe /SkipRules=Cluster_VerifyForErrors_Instance_Name


I hope this post useful. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments, and don’t forget to sign up for the next post.





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