About MSDTC and Troubleshooting it

MSDTC – Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator. This fellow has caused me many hours of troubleshooting. This post is a set of troubleshooting step I have successfully been able to perform. This is my notes regarding MSDTC.



MSDTC stand for Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator. It is a service that makes it possible for applications to perform atomic transactions over different data sources. That means if an application (e.g. a BizTalk orchestration) wants to insert data in different databases and keep the transactions in one scope, it will use MSDTC to accomplish this. If one data source fails, the MSDTC service can roll back the previous transactions in the same scope so you don’t end up with incomplete transactions.

Info. Working with Windows Fail over Clusters, you often need to cluster MSDTC as a clustered Service.

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MSDTC – CID issues

If the servers are created from a clone, MSDTC will have the same CID values in the registry. MSDTC can’t communicate with the same CID values, you must reinstall it.

You can view the CID values from the registry. Start-> type: regedit -> Enter-> Registry Editor will open. In Registry Editor Browse to: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CID :


This CID values must be different on the servers that uses MSDTC.

Note. As far as I can tell, the CID values will be the same if you cluster the DTC. Look at these screen shoots. Each server started with unique CID values, after I clustered the DTC in a Windows Failover Cluster the registry looks like this now:

CID node1 cluster

My-sql01 – Node 1.

CID node2 cluster

My-sql02 – Node 2.

And this is working in the cluster with two nodes running a SQL instance.

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Uninstall MSDTC

Note! If the server/node is in a cluster, take it offline first!

Run msdtc -uninstall from the command prompt as Administrator:

command prompt open
cmd uninstall msdtc

You won’t get any feedback in the command prompt if the command was executed at all or any status report.

To get some feedback, we can read it in the windows log. Start-> Event Viewer-> Windows Logs-> Application:

event viewer uninstall

After you have uninstalled MSDTC, reboot.

You can do a reboot with this command, shutdown -r -t 00:

cmd shutdown

Note! After reboot make sure that the node is still offline in the cluster before you try to reinstall MSDTC.

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Install MSDTC

Note. If node is in a cluster, make sure it is offline first.

Open a command prompt as Administrator. Run command: msdtc -install or msdtc.exe -install.

cmd install MSDTC

Once again, no feedback in the command prompt. Go to event viewer:

install feedback in event viewer

After you have successfully installed MSDTC, reboot the server again.

shutdown -r -t 00

Note! After the MSDTC Service is reinstalled, the startup type will be set to manually. We don’t want this, it must be Automatic. Change this under: Start-> Services-> Right click Distributed Transaction Coordinator:

DTC Service Start Type

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Install MSDTC – Could not install

Note! First thing to double check if you encounter problem is that your run the command prompt as Administrator. Try also to run with the full command: msdtc.exe -install.

On one node when I tried to install MSDTC I encountered this problem:

“Could not install the MS DTC service”

Two blogposts helped me to troubleshoot the problem:

blog1 help error MSDTC
2nd post help MSDTC

The second suggestion to delete the registry keys under the CID folder was the one that helped for me. Reboot the server after each step!

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MSDTC – Settings

Settings for MSDTC are made in Component Services.

Start-> type: Component Services Enter-> Expand to Local DTC and right click to bring up Local DTC Properties-> Go to Security Tab and make settings there.

This should be the must reliable settings to make MSDTC work:

MSDTC Settings

Note! If DTC is clustered, you must make the same changes there, clustered DTC is located in the folder under Local DTC.

Note! You must have the same settings on all the servers that will make use of DTC.

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RPC – Settings

By default, the DTC transaction will communicate over a large number of random ports in the span from 49152 to 65535. You often would like to narrow this span. You can do this setting in the Component Services.

Start-> Component Services-> right click My Computer-> open tab Default Protocols-> Connection-oriented TCP/IP Properties-> Add-> Type your port range. See Image:

RPC Settings

Note! You must do the same settings on all the servers!

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TCPView is a tool to see which dynamic ports are in use. Can be good for troubleshooting MSDTC. You can have it open while using the tool DTCping.exe (see next heading).

You can download TCPView (TCPview.exe) here:

Example from a test:


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DTCPing is a tool that tests the connectivity for DTC between two servers.

You can download DTCPing (DTCPing.exe) here:

You must start DTCPing on both servers you are testing and start them both simultaneously or short after each other. It can matter which server you start the test from, so try the test two times and change starting server.

Here are two screenshots from the test between MY-BTS01 and MY-SQL01:

Note! You must use the NetBIOS name see: https://www.raspberryfield.life/2019/03/22/dns-names-vs-netbios-names/ [2019-04-27]

Info. You will have more information in the logs produced by the tool. They are created in the same folder as DTCping.exe.

Test from MY-BTS01 to MY-SQL01:

DTCPing test1

Test from MY-SQL01 to MY-BTS01:

DTCping test2

Info. Don’t forget to try the test again but start with the other server this time.

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DTCTester is the third and last tool to test MSDTC.

You can download DTCTester (dtctester.exe) here:

To use this tool, we must create an ODBC connection to the database we are communicating with. Here is a short guide how to create the ODBC connection:

Open ODBC Data Sources (32-bit) From Start:

ODBC Data Source 32-bit

Select Add and then SQL Server:


A new window will open. Name the connection and specify the server you want to connect to:


Leave the default values:


Use the default settings:

ANSI rule

Use the default settings in the final settings window, and click Finish:

Finish ODBC

After you clicked finish, a new window will open. Here you should test the connection, click Test Data Source.. . Another window will open with result of the test:


After the test, you newly created connection will show up in the ODBC Data Source Administrator:

ODBC Source

Now when we have an ODBC connection, we are ready to use the DTCTester tool.

Open a commend prompt as Administrator and change the directory to the same location as the dtctester.exe:

cd to DTCtester

The command to test a DTC transaction is: dtctester <odbc name> <username> <password>. Type that and the test will begin. During the test, you are prompted to type enter to start the transaction, press Enter.

DTC tester

After you have pressed Enter, you will see result from the test:

Finish dtctest

If you don’t get any errors, the test was successful.

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MSDTC is an important component that can cause a lot of troubleshooting. I hope this post have given some pointers to handle DTC.

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