SQL Server 2005 SP2 installation hangs on a 2 Node cluster with the message: "Awaiting first complete passive cluster node"


SQL Server Enterprise Edition 2005 32 bit on Windows Server 2003 Enterprise SP1

Consider a scenario where you are installing SQL Server 2005 Servce Pack 2 on a clustered environment. Sometimes you will notice that the installation get hung while installing the patch on the passive node, the setup screen will show you following message:

Awaiting first complete passive cluster node


The hung condition would prevail for unlimited period of time and eventually we end up killing the setup process. My research have identified a peculiar scenario wherein the setup calls a DOS command cmd /C dir HYPERLINK "file:///\\ServerName\DriveLetter$"\\ServerName\DriveLetter$". Ideally, this command shouldn’t take long time to complete. However, MS DOS has a feature which reads an environment variable called DIRCMD and applies the same to any blank dir commands. On the passive node of the cluster this was set to DIRCMD=/P/OGNE (under User or System environment variables).


Further I found that /p Displays one screen of the listing at a time. To see the next screen, press any key on the keyboard, [source: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc773112.aspx ]. In other words when cmd /C dir HYPERLINK "file:///\\ServerName\DriveLetter$"\\ServerName\DriveLetter$" was issued on the passive node, command prompt  kept waiting for a key input to show the next listing which caused the setup on the passive node to hang.


To resolve this you can try to remove DIRCMD=/P/OGNE variable from both nodes of the cluster. To access environment variables you can go to My Computer > Right Click Properties > Advanced Tab > Environment Variables and search for DIRCMD under both user and system variables and delete it.


After this change the installation should run smoothly.


NOTE: This post should not be treated as the Microsoft’s Recommendation or Resolution to the problem, it is only a workaround which worked in our environment and so we would like to share it with you.

Sumit Sarabhai

SE, Microsoft SQL Server


Reviewed by,

Shamik Ghosh and Sudarshan Narasimhan, Tech Lead, Microsoft SQL Server

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