Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Manager WinRM Error Fix

I have a Windows 10 workstation which I use to manage all my servers. I have of course installed Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT), and the individual tools work fine. Recently I do more and more within Server Manager. Adding all my servers to Server Manager makes it easier to get a quick overview of all of them, with automatic grouping depending on which roles and services are active on each.

However, when I add all my servers, there’s a problem – several servers are listed in the Manageability column as being “Online – Verify WinRM 3.0 service is installed, running and required firewall ports are open”, and very few management options are open to me. The servers are running Windows Server 2008 R2.

This post explains how to resolve this. There is another post to cover the same solution for Windows Server 2008. Highlighted downloads are the one that’s most likely to be useful – 64 bit. Please note that SP1 is an essential prerequisite for this.

The original error in Server Manager

The resolution is relatively simple, but took a little bit of digging.

Firstly we need to make sure .NET Framework 4.5 is installed on each server. This is easily downloaded from Microsoft as a standalone installer, here. That installer covers both 64-bit and 32-bit, and Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

If you already have it installed, maybe as part of a later version (4.7.1 is available from Windows Update at the time of writing), this installer will simply report it’s not needed.

Then the Windows Management Framework 4.0 is required. This is the important bit for what we’re trying to do, .NET 4.5 is simply a prerequisite for this. It includes PowerShell 4.0, WMI 3.0 and the all-important WinRM. Technically we can just use Windows Management Framework 3.0, but 4.0 is the right version for Windows Server 2008 R2.

Again, this is easily installed as a simple standalone installer from Microsoft, here. You only need the right file for your server out of the two available:

  • Windows6.1-KB2819745-x64-MultiPkg.msu is for Server 2008 R2 64-bit
  • Windows6.1-KB2819745-x86-MultiPkg.msu is for Server 2008 R2 32-bit

Following that install, there’s an extra hotfix needed. It’s not always needed but as it’s quick and simple I always install it. It’s not available for direct download or through Windows Update, you have to ask for it. Request it here and they’ll email you a link (it just takes a few seconds it only needs your email address).

There are six options, again you just need the right one for your server. Weirdly, the Windows Server 2008 version is listed as “Windows Vista”, and the Windows Server 2008 R2 version is listed as “Windows 7/Windows Server2008 R2 SP1”. Both of those are available in three platforms.

  • Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, x64 for 64-bit Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, x86 for 32-bit Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, ia64 for Itanium Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Vista, x64 for 64-bit Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Vista, x86 for 32-bit Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Vista, ia64 for Itanium Windows Server 2008

I would recommend a reboot after all these installs, even if only one was needed.

Once that’s all done, run a Powershell window as Administrator, and enter the following:

Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

Configure-SMRemoting.ps1 -force -enable

This allows the remote commands for management to run, then opens the correct ports on the Windows Firewall for all the required connectivity.

Then, back in Server Manager, you can right-click on each server and Refresh. Full management connectivity should be there now.

Summary of files needed, in order:

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