Installing Systems Center Essentials fails: “The specified domain does not exist or cannot be contacted.”

I’m trying to evaluate Microsoft’s Systems Center Essentials 2007. I say “trying” because every time I install it, I get an error in the setup log file.

The specified domain does not exist or cannot be contacted.

This makes no sense, because I’m logged in with a domain administrator account and the setup program is validating the domain-level service account. What gives? After two failed tries, I searched Microsoft’s web site, and I found this:

(KB 937831) The installation of System Center Essentials 2007 fails during the Reporting part of Setup and the following information is logged: “The specified domain does not exist or cannot be contacted”
– Fixes a problem that occurs if the computer’s NetBIOS domain name does not match the domain or if the computer’s domain suffix does not match the domain.

There’s a hotfix for the setup program (go figure) that fixes the problem. Unfortunately, the symptom (NetBIOS name discrepancies) is not the case in my situation, but the error message is the same. I tried applying the hotfix, and — guess what — SCE installed successfully.

Here’s the oddest part of it all. Why doesn’t Microsoft pre-apply the hotfix to the evaluation installer that they make available on their web site?

One thought on “Installing Systems Center Essentials fails: “The specified domain does not exist or cannot be contacted.””

  • Thank you so much for this little tidbit. I was going to try downloading the trial installer and make a vm and bla bla bla.

    I had the same thought – why doesn’t the virtual pc image ship with the hotfixes and such installed. I assumed it would – until Windows Update popped up asking me to download and install…

    Too bad I can’t say the same about the success of the patch.

    Great trial software that doesn’t work out of the box 🙂

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