The winRM client received an HTTP server error status 500

Background

When attempting to add the Windows Backup server role to a new Windows 2012 R2 domain controller, it failed with a WinRM error.

Trying to run winrm quickconfig from the command line resulted in the error: ” The WinRM client received an HTTP server error status 500″.

Looking in the event log shows nothing special. Trying to restart the WinRM service (Windows Remote Manager) in the Services console achieves nothing.

If you read a bunch of forum posts about it, the error often seems to relate to Exchange 2010, and the fix is to (re)install the WinRM IIS Extension.

However, my DCs do not run Exchange or IIS, so this was a bit different.

Fix

In this instance, the only fix was to unconfigure and reconfigure the WinRM instance using sconfig.

In a command prompt, or PowerShell,  run sconfig. The following console opens.

Note that that option 4, Configure Remote Management, is showing Unknown.

In the console, type 4 and hit Enter.

==================================================================
                         Server Configuration
==================================================================
1) Domain/Workgroup:                    Domain:  example.com
2) Computer Name:                       DC1
3) Add Local Administrator
4) Configure Remote Management          Unknown
5) Windows Update Settings:             Manual
6) Download and Install Updates
7) Remote Desktop:                      Enabled (more secure clients only)

8) Network Settings
9) Date and Time
10) Help improve the product with CEIP  Not participating
11) Windows Activation

12) Log Off User
13) Restart Server
14) Shut Down Server
15) Exit to Command Line

Enter number to select an option: 4

Note that the next screen shows that Remote Management is Enabled. Enter 2 to disable Remote Management.

--------------------------------
  Configure Remote Management
--------------------------------

Current Status: Remote Management is enabled

1) Enable Remote Management
2) Disable Remote Management
3) Configure Server Response to Ping

4) Return to main menu

Enter selection: 2

Disabling Remote Management...

The next screen shows that the Remote management is disabled. Enter 1 to re-enable it.

--------------------------------
  Configure Remote Management
--------------------------------

Current Status: Remote Management is disabled

1) Enable Remote Management
2) Disable Remote Management
3) Configure Server Response to Ping

4) Return to main menu

Enter selection: 1

Enabling Remote Management...

The next screen shows Remote Management is enabled again. Enter 4 to return to the main SConfig menu.

--------------------------------
  Configure Remote Management
--------------------------------

Current Status: Remote Management is enabled

1) Enable Remote Management
2) Disable Remote Management
3) Configure Server Response to Ping

4) Return to main menu

Enter selection: 4

From there, you can either close the command window, or enter 15 to exit SConfig.

In order to double-check the config, you can run winrm quickconfig.

C:\>winrm quickconfig
WinRM service is already running on this machine.
WinRM is already set up for remote management on this computer.
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