Error Solved: Exchange Server is in Inconsistent State | Stellar (2024)

Summary: The error message, "Some Controls are not valid. The Exchange Server is in an inconsistent state…” appears in Microsoft Exchange 2010. It occurs when an Exchange admin or user launches the Exchange Server setup to either reinstall or upgrade the Exchange server. In this guide, we help you resolve the error and restore the mailboxes to a new server if the error isn’t resolved.


  • Reasons for ‘Exchange Server is in an Inconsistent State’ Error
  • Methods to Fix ‘Exchange Server is in Inconsistent State’ Error
  • To Summarize

Microsoft Exchange is a mission-critical application in many small, medium, and large organizations. It enables a powerful and reliable mail server for communication within and outside the organization. As an Exchange admin, you may require upgrading or reinstalling the Exchange server when it is damaged, or its support ends, such as in Exchange 2010.

However, while upgrading or reinstalling Exchange, you may experiencean “Exchange server is in an inconsistent state. Only disaster recovery mode is available. Please useSetup /m:RecoverServerto recover this Exchange server”error.

Error Solved: Exchange Server is in Inconsistent State | Stellar (2)

Reasons for ‘Exchange Server is in an Inconsistent State’ Error

The Exchange Server inconsistency error is caused when the Exchange server object already exists within the Active Directory (AD). The error indicates Exchange server corruption and occurs more frequently in situations when a previous version of the Exchange server has been uninstalled, and you are attempting to reinstall or upgrade the Exchange server.

Further, you may experience this error after upgrading the Exchange server. For instance,

You upgraded the Exchange Server from 2010 to 2013 and, out of sheer convenience, named the new Exchange with the same domain name as the one in the last version. In such a case, it is most likely that you encounter Exchange Server is in an inconsistent state error message.

Methods to Fix ‘Exchange Server is in Inconsistent State’ Error

To fix the issue, you can use the recommended disaster recovery switch mode, i.e., Setup /m:RecoverServer, to recover the Exchange server.

However, if you don’t wish to use disaster recovery mode to resolve the error (as it requires setting up a new Exchange), you must remove the Exchange server object from AD before reinstalling or upgrading the server.

Below we have discussed these methods to resolve the Exchange Server in inconsistent state error and successfully upgrade or reinstall the server.

Method 1: Rename New Exchange Server Domain Name

The simplest troubleshooting method is to rename the current server with a different name from the earlier Exchange Server in that domain. First, make sure both servers have different names and then join the server to the domain controller.

Once that’s done, try to reinstall or upgrade the Exchange version again. If you still encounter the Exchange Server in an inconsistent state error message, follow the next method.

Method 2: Remove Exchange Server Object and Relaunch Exchange Setup

If you attempt to reinstall the Exchange setup on the Active Directory from where it was previously uninstalled, you must first remove the Exchange server object from the Active Directory. The steps are as follows,

  • PressWindows+R, typeADSIEDIT.msc,and click ‘OK’ or press ‘Enter.
  • Then navigate to CN=Configuration, CN=Services, CN=Microsoft Exchange, CN=<Your Organization Name>, CN=Administrative Groups, CN= <Exchange 2010 Administrative Group>, CN=Servers, CN=<Server Name>
  • Find and delete the server object.
  • Wait for a while for the changes to replicate throughoutActive Directory.
  • Reboot and then relaunch the Exchange setup to upgrade or reinstall the Exchange version.

Method 3: Rebuild the Server in Recovery Mode

When the Exchange server is in an inconsistent state or does not work, you may try to rebuild it by setting up a new Exchange server with the same configurations using theSetup /m:RecoverServerswitch. This helps rebuild the server by retrieving the information and settings stored in the Active Directory of the Inconsistent Exchange server.

Recovery Mode Pre-Requisites

Exchange account must be a part of the following groups:

  • Domain Admins Group
  • Enterprise Admins Group
  • Exchange Organization Management Group

Steps to Rebuild Exchange Server by using Recovery Mode

The recovery mode works only when the Exchange server is in an inconsistent state, but Active Directory is available. The steps are as follows,

Step 1:Disable Exchange Server User Account Control (UAC)

In Windows Server 2012 / 2016/ 2019, follow these steps to disable UAC.

  • Go toStart > Control Paneland clickSystem Security
  • SelectChange User Account Control settingsunderAction Center
  • Now move the slider bar down to theNever notifyand clickOK
  • Restart the Windows Server machine for changes to take effect

The steps are more or less similar in Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2.

Step 2:Locate and Run Exchange Setup File in Disaster Recovery Mode

Set up a new Windows Server with the same version as the old (inconsistent one) and the same naming convention with identical hardware, drive partitions, and letters. Then download the same Exchange version ISO and right-click on it to mount it.

After mounting the Exchange Server ISO image, follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • Open Command Prompt and navigate to the Exchange Server setup file location (that you just mounted).
  • Then execute the following command in the same Command Prompt window,
.\setup.exe /m:recoverserver/iacceptexchangeserverlicenseterms
  • The switch ‘recoverserver’ will enable the rebuilding of the Exchange server with the help of the parameters and information stored within the Active Directory of the inconsistent or damaged Exchange Server.
Error Solved: Exchange Server is in Inconsistent State | Stellar (3)
  • After the setup is completed, reconfigure any custom settings and restart the server.

This should resolve the issue. However, if these methods don’t resolve the problem, the problem could be with the Exchange database, not the Exchange server. The Exchange server’s mailbox database (EDB) may be corrupt for various reasons.

For instance, Exchange has suffered an abrupt shutdown due to power failure, hardware, and software-related issues, sudden power loss, etc. In such cases, Exchange administrators must act fast and recover the database after resolving the issue.

To repair such inconsistencies with the database, you can use EseUtil. However, EseUtil can fix minor inconsistencies with soft recovery and purge data when you run hard recovery, which can lead to data loss.

Thus, it’s recommended that you use anExchange server recovery tool,such asStellar Repair for Exchange, if soft recovery fails to recover the database. It is a highly recommended Exchange recovery tool by Exchange admins and MVPs.

Rating by MVP:

Error Solved: Exchange Server is in Inconsistent State | Stellar (4)


To Summarize

Exchange server inconsistency can disrupt email communications and hinder productivity. Thus, it is critical to resolving an Exchange server in an inconsistent state by running the Exchange Setup in Disaster recovery mode (Setup /m:RecoverServer), renaming the Exchange server, or removing the Exchange server object from the AD. All these methods are discussed in this guide to help you fix the Exchange Server is in inconsistent state error.

Further, if the server is not restored and the error isn’t fixed by following the methods, it’s probably the Exchange mailbox database that is corrupt or damaged. In such a case, you need an Exchange recovery tool such as Stellar Repair for Exchange. Although you may use EseUtil, do not perform hard recovery if soft recovery fails to fix or recover the database. Instead, use the software to repair the damaged database and directly restore mailboxes to the newly set up or any other Live Exchange server.

You may also save the recovered mailboxes from the database to PST or other formats and import the mailboxes into a working Exchange database to restore mailbox connectivity. It supports Exchange versions, including 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, and 5.5.

Check out whatMVPsays about Exchange Recovery Tool from Stellar.

About The Author

Error Solved: Exchange Server is in Inconsistent State | Stellar (5)

Eric Simson

Eric Simson is an Email Platform Consultant and is associated with Stellar Data Recovery from last 6 years. He writes about the latest technology tips and provides custom solutions related to MS Outlook, MS Exchange Server, Office 365, and many other Email Clients & Servers.

  1. Thanks bro,

    Solution 2 worked great for me.


  2. Your instruction helped me a lot.


    1. Thanks for your kind words!

      You can also share your feedback here


  3. Should I run this one recovery mode in Exchange 2013 also?


    1. Yes!

      You can try without any fear under the observation of experienced administrator.


  4. I was facing a problem regarding the Inconsistent state error message on my Exchange server. This solution is an easy way for me.

    Sure, I will share this guide with my all Canadian friends.


    1. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!


  5. Excellent! Have got my Exchange server up and running again after reinstalling Exchange Server, after that I simply used ‘recoverserver’ switch.

    Thanks for helpful assistance!


  6. Thanks for helping me fix my corrupt database. Stellar Repair for Exchange is truly spectacular.


    1. Good!

      If you face any trouble, then contact our technical support team. This service is absolutely free.


  7. Our experienced administrators are trying to recover lost mailboxes since Friday.

    How can a tool do this task automatically?

    Please explain!


    1. Try demo version for result analysis.


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Error Solved: Exchange Server is in Inconsistent State | Stellar (2024)


Why is Outlook not connecting to the Exchange Server? ›

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How do I rebuild Exchange 2016 search index? ›

How to rebuild Exchange search index
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  2. Stop services. Stop the services first by running the two commands. ...
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What is Microsoft Exchange Server? ›

Exchange Server is an enterprise-class collaboration product that focuses on sending, receiving and storing email messages. In addition to managing messaging traffic, Exchange Server provides several other collaboration features, like calendaring and tight integration with other Microsoft Office applications.

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Summary: “The content index state is failed and suspended” is an error that appears in the Exchange Server DAG setup that can prevent the DAG from switchover or failover to another server if a disaster strikes or the primary server stops working.

How do I fix Outlook Exchange Server? ›

How to Fix "Outlook Cannot Connect to Server" Error?
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How do I fix Microsoft Exchange connection? ›

On the Tools menu, choose Accounts. In the left pane of the Accounts dialog box, select the account. Verify that the account settings are correct. Tip: To confirm that you are using the correct credentials, try to connect to your account from another Exchange application, such as Outlook Web App.

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To recover MS Exchange databases to the original location:
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  3. Select the required session date and time.
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How do I restore my Exchange 2016 mailbox? ›

Steps to connect a deleted Exchange mailbox to a user in Exchange 2019, 2016 and 2013
  1. In the 'Exchange admin center' click the 'mailboxes' tab under 'recipients'
  2. Click on the three-dots menu and select 'Connect to a mailbox'
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How do I restore Exchange Server 2016? ›

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Do you need Exchange Server for Outlook? ›

Exchange can be used both with Outlook and other email clients. Outlook can't be used with email servers other than Exchange. It's possible to use it without Exchange, but it requires working offline. Microsoft Exchange services are cloud-based.

What is the difference between Exchange and Outlook? ›

Exchange is a mail server, which means it's a dedicated network resource management program. Outlook is an email client, which means it's a software program installed on your desktop that is designed to send and receive emails.

What is the difference between Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Exchange Server? ›

Microsoft Exchange Server is built on dedicated physical or virtual servers which require a lot of maintenance, while Microsoft Exchange Online is completely cloud-based. Microsoft Exchange Server needs both server licenses as well as client access licenses for employees to use the system.

What does indexing error mean? ›

An IndexError means that your code is trying to access an index that is invalid. This is usually because the index goes out of bounds by being too large. For example, if you have a list with three items and you try to access the fourth item, you will get an IndexError.

What is the meaning of indexing status? ›

Indexing, broadly, refers to the use of some benchmark indicator or measure as a reference or yardstick. In finance and economics, indexing is used as a statistical measure for tracking economic data such as inflation, unemployment, gross domestic product (GDP) growth, productivity, and market returns.

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Content indexing allows developers to tell the browser about their specific offline content. This allows users to discover and view what is available, whilst giving developers the ability to add and manage this content.

How do I connect my Outlook to my Exchange server? ›

Find Your Microsoft Exchange Information in Outlook for Windows
  1. Open Outlook and click File.
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How do I force Outlook to sync with Exchange server? ›

Manual synchronization

Select the folder that you want to synchronize. On the Outlook ribbon, select Send/Receive, and then select Update Folder to synchronize one offline folder, or select Send/Receive All Folders to synchronize all offline folders.

How do I connect Outlook to Exchange Online? ›

If you don't have an Outlook mail profile, set up your Microsoft 365 Exchange Online mailbox for the first time, by following these steps:
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  4. Enter your password and click Done after you add the account.

How do I know if Outlook is connected to Exchange server? ›

Check the connection status for Outlook (Windows): Hold Ctrl and right-clicking the Outlook quick-launch icon in the system tray near the clock. Select connection status. Here you will see the number of persistent connections utilized by Outlook.

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