How to disable SmbWitnessClient

Haws, David [US] (MS) 26 Reputation points

I'm running Windows Server 2016. SmbWitnessClient is crashing explorer.exe. I do not need SmbWitnessClient. How do I remove or disable SmbWitnessClient?

Windows Server Clustering
Windows Server Clustering
Windows Server: A family of Microsoft server operating systems that support enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.Clustering: The grouping of multiple servers in a way that allows them to appear to be a single unit to client computers on a network. Clustering is a means of increasing network capacity, providing live backup in case one of the servers fails, and improving data security.
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Accepted answer
  1. TimCerling(ret) 1,151 Reputation points

    The SmbWitnessClient is only used on clusters with the file shares using the Continuous Availability feature enabled. In that case, the SmbWitnessClient purpose is to speed detection of a cluster node failure.

    Are you using the Continuous Availability feature on some file shares on your cluster?

    Have you run the cluster validation wizard? Any warnings?

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  1. Leon Laude 85,566 Reputation points

    Hi @Haws, David [US] (MS) ,

    To troubleshoot, you could start by checking the event logs for any clues why the SmbWitnessClient may be crashing your explorer.exe.
    If you don't need the SmbWitnessClient service, you may simply try disabling it in the Services.msc or by running the following command:

    Stop-Service "ServiceName"  
    Set-Service "ServiceName" -StartupType Disabled  


    (If the reply was helpful please don't forget to upvote or accept as answer, thank you)

    Best regards,