July 21, 2023

How to Fix: Server Manager Cannot Load The Server List

Mayank Kumar

If you are managing a Windows Server and have encountered a sudden error in Server Manager, this article may be of interest to you. As you know, Server Manager typically launches automatically when you log in to Windows Server. However, recently, I began receiving the following error message when using Server Manager:

Server Manager Cannot Load The Server List


If you encounter this error message and clicking “OK” makes it disappear temporarily, but it reappears every time you restart the server or launch Server Manager, you might be stuck in a loop. Fortunately, there is a solution to fix this issue by repairing the ServerList.xml file using PowerShell. Here’s how you can do it:

To fix the issue of “Server Manager Cannot Load the Server List,” follow these steps using Windows PowerShell:

  1. Open an administrative Windows PowerShell session.
  2. Terminate the Server Manager process by executing the following command
    Get-Process ServerManager | Stop-Process -Force
  3. .Create a PowerShell variable to store the path of the server manager list XML file. Enter the following command and press Enter:                      $file = Get-Item “$env:APPDATA\Microsoft\Windows\ServerManager\ServerList.xml”
    Note: Replace <USERNAME> with your actual user account name.
  4. Backup a copy of the ServerList.xml file with this command:
    Copy-Item -Path $file -Destination “$file-backup” -Force
  5. Clone the existing server element to a new server element using the PowerShell clone() method:
    $newserver = @($xml.ServerList.ServerInfo)[0].clone()
  6. Update the new cloned element with the relevant server information using these commands:
    $newserver.name = “servername.domain.com”

    $newserver.lastUpdateTime = “0001-01-01T00:00:00”
    $newserver.status = “2”
  7. Append the updated server information to the existing list of servers:
  8. Save the updated XML elements to the existing ServerList.xml file:
  9. Start the Server Manager process with the following command:
     Start-Process -FilePath “$env:SystemRoot\System32\ServerManager.exe” -WindowStyle Maximized

After completing these steps, the Server Manager should start without the error message. Credits for this PowerShell-based solution go to KeithMayer’s blog.

I hope this helps resolve the issue!

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