Update Essentials Connector before Upgrading Windows 10

Mark Berry November 11, 2016

Almost a year ago, I wrote about how the Windows 10 Update Breaks 2012 R2 Essentials Connector.

I thought that was fixed if you install KB3172614 on your server as MS blogged here.

That’s not enough.

Recently a Windows 10 Home machine applied the 1607 anniversary update. The Essentials connector was gone again.

The short answer:  after applying KB3172614 to the server, you need to go to each Windows 10 machine, uninstall the Essentials Connector, then go to http://server/connect to download and re-install the Essentials Connector.

The Old Way:  KB Article

Robert Pearman explained in July what was going on. The old connector was a KB article, which gets clobbered when you install a Windows 10 upgrade. If you have this connector, on the client PC, the Launchpad “About” will show version 10.0 (Build 10240) Copyright 2015:

Essentials Connector 1

Essentials Connector 2

The list of installed updates will include “Windows Server Essentials Connector”:

Essentials Connector 3

The list of installed programs will not include “Client Connector for Windows Server Essentials”:

Essentials Connector 4

The New Way:  Standalone Program

In my test, over-installing the connector (i.e. without uninstalling first) was not enough. So first, from the list of installed updates shown above, uninstall the Windows Server Essentials Connector. Note this does require a restart but does not remove your computer from the domain (if it’s on one), but it does change your NIC to use DHCP for DNS. That means in a default setup, your machine will behave as if away from the office and will not be using the server for DNS. That should be okay for as long as this takes you.

Next, go to your server’s http://server/connect page, download the connector, and install it. When you finish the wizard, it will tell you you will be logged off, but you won’t be. Your NIC has the fixed IP of your server for DNS again. When I checked backup items from the server dashboard, the settings had been retained from the earlier connector.

The Launchpad “About” will show version 10.0 (Build 0) Copyright 2015:

Essentials Connector 5

The list of installed programs now includes “Client Connector for Windows Server Essentials” version 6.2.9805.10:

Essentials Connector 6

After that, when you apply a Windows 10 upgrade like the 1607 Anniversary Upgrade, the Essentials Connector will stay installed.

Note Robert’s article includes workarounds for two new issues associated with the 1607 release.


  1. Windows 10 Update Breaks 2012 R2 Essentials Connector | MCB Systems   |  November 11, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    […] I’ve discovered that you need to uninstall and re-install the Essentials Connector before upgrading Windows 10. Details in this article. […]

  2. Paul   |  December 06, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Does anybody else find that you cannot install the connector on a fresh Windows 10 machine without first manually changing that machine’s DNS to point to the Essentials box? And that after joining the domain, all of one’s personalization settings don’t get transferred to the new domain profile?

    Or am I just doing something wrong?

    Thanks to the author of this post, though–very handy!

  3. Mark Berry   |  December 06, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Paul – I just rebuilt a Win10 machine and as I recall, had no trouble installing the connector after visiting http://myserver/connect. As for your other question, maybe you’re talking about roaming profiles? In any case, I’d suggest posting that as a new question on an Essentials forum.

  4. Jason Hoffman   |  January 02, 2017 at 7:19 am

    I’ve experienced the issue with Windows 10 pro with the Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials server. I’ve uninstalled the connector software from the Windows 10 Pro machine, and attempted reinstall,via” http://server/connect” but am getting “windows server essentials connector configuration wizard has stopped working” and the install fails… Not sure if this has been seen before. I’ve been searching and haven’t seen this noted.

  5. Mark Berry   |  January 02, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Jason, I googled that error and found several results. For example, one thread (https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-networking/windows-server-essentials-connector-configuration/4bed0c65-4838-4c87-9a38-a8ec4cdf3bbd) suggests setting your client’s DNS to point to the server before running the wizard. Does that fix it?

  6. Jason Hoffman   |  January 02, 2017 at 10:23 am

    I had found this by googling , but I tried again just to be sure.. and same result. I thought I’d seen some google result referring to a registry key change, but I could of been mistaken. Not sure if anyone else saw a similar result.

  7. Mark Berry   |  January 02, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Jason, you’ll probably have to dig into the logs. I’d suggest posting the question to a Server Essentials forum for a broader audience, e.g. https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/home?forum=winserveressentials.

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