Sunday, October 4, 2009

Exchange Server stopped!

I am running Windows Small Business Server 2003, and occasionally the Exchange services (the three basic core ones MSExchangeSA, MSExchangeIS, MSExchangeMGMT) don't start. This means mail is unavailable.

Other software that is running which might be involved:

a) Symantec Endpoint Antivirus
b) Symantec Information Foundation Mail Security for Microsoft Exchange
c) EFS Full Version (POP3 Mail downloader: www.chimera.co.nz)

I have run the MS Diagnostic Tools (see post entitled: Microsoft Software Diagnostics), but this came up all clear.

I haven't quite worked out how to resolve this issue, though it does appear that program is at fault somewhere. The error log reflects this (though who can trust error logs.. they only report what the programmer wants you to see; and sometimes they are logged for errors unanticipated by the programmer, meaning they don't necessarily reflect truly on the problem).

The error log says: "A service process other than the one launched by the Service Control Manager connected when starting the Microsoft Exchange Management service. The Service Control Manager launched process 3704 and process 3380 connected instead." PID's 3704 and 3380 did not exist when I checked on the server.

However for now, this is what I have done.

A. Set the three core exchange services, when failed to restart three times.
B. Set a batch file with net start commands, to run as scheduled task 6:30AM Daily.
C. Have a batch file with net start commands on desktop for office manager to run, if need be.

I suspect that something along the following lines is causing the problem.

i. Exchange is stopped for Antivirus tasks, and then can't start because AV still has a hold on the EXCH DB files.

2. EFS is using the DB files before EXCH has started, causing it to now be allowed to start.

For the rest of you still searching for a solution:

MS Forums are a great place to leave your problem for experts to respond to.

EXCH Forum
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/exchangesvrgeneral/threads

Reasons Exchange 2003 doesn't start:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316710 (Service: Kerebos not set to automatic)
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/312945 (Lexmark printer software causing stops)

Hints for sorting it:
http://forums.msexchange.org/m_150582700/mpage_1/key_/tm.htm#150582711

Cheers, josh

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