A general error occurred that is not covered by a more specific error code

In my lab, I recently attempted to install Exchange 2013 SP1 on a server that had Exchange 2013 previously removed from it as a part of my testing.

During the install process, after selecting which roles would be installed (and leaving the default selection to install any needed Windows roles and features), I received an error “A general error occurred that is not covered by a more specific error code.

Thinking that there was something that was previously missed, I opened PowerShell to install required Windows components for Exchange 2013 hosted on Windows Server 2012 R2.  I ran the following command to ensure all that is required was installed…

Install-WindowsFeature AS-HTTP-Activation, Desktop-Experience, NET-Framework-45-Features, RPC-over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, RSAT-Clustering-CmdInterface, RSAT-Clustering-Mgmt, RSAT-Clustering-PowerShell, Web-Mgmt-Console, WAS-Process-Model, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Digest-Auth, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Http-Redirect, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console, Web-Metabase, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Mgmt-Service, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Server, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Static-Content, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-WMI, Windows-Identity-Foundation

…however, I received an error here too.  The same error.  “Install-WindowsFeature : A general error occurred that is not covered by a more specific error code.

I figured that the error during the Exchange setup was due to the fact that I had left selected to ‘install any needed Windows roles and features’.  Normally, this would not be an issue or concern but in this case, I just wanted to get Exchange installed.  Therefore, I deselected the option to ‘install any needed Windows roles and features’ and was able to proceed with the installation without further error.

Ultimately, this is not something you will want to gloss over.  You will want to troubleshoot to find the root cause.  Or if you have a virtual environment, just create a new VM to host your Exchange server.

Good luck.

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