"The cluster node already exists" error may appear during cluster setup

This article provides the resolution to fix the error that "The cluster node already exists" during cluster setup.

Original product version:   Windows Server 2003
Original KB number:   555216

This article was written by Yuval Sinay, Microsoft MVP.

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During create new cluster via Cluster Administrator or cluster.exe command line, an error "The cluster node already exists" may appear.


If the current server is member of exiting cluster, or/and the current resource (most often quorum disk) is available.


The resolution process depends on the current status of the cluster member:

  1. If the current server should belong to exiting cluster, verity that quorum disk in online and all cluster resource available for regular use. The server should not be used as a new cluster member.

  2. If the current shouldn't belong to exiting cluster or/and the cluster configuration cannot be restored or be fixed, follow the following instructions:


    The following process is irreversible, and may require reinstall the cluster.

    1. Go to Start -> Run.
    2. Write Cmd and press on Enter button.
    3. Write cluster node nodename /forcecleanup and press on Enter button.
    4. The message Clean up successfully completed. should be appear after a few seconds.

More information

Clustering Services https://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/technologies/clustering/default.mspx

Managing Disk Ownership in a Windows Server 2003 Cluster https://support.microsoft.com/kb/818878

How to configure Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator on a Windows Server 2003 cluster https://support.microsoft.com/kb/301600