Computer Performance, Exchange 2003

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Microsoft Exchange 2003 - Troubleshooting Home

Introduction to Troubleshooting Exchange 2003 Server

This section covers troubleshooting Exchange 2003 server.  My advice includes how to repair corrupt mailstores, how to track faulty connections and NDRs.  (Backup and Restoring mailboxes are covered in the disaster recovery section).

I begin by explaining how to get into state before you attempt a solution; and I end with examining key tools such as ADSI Edit.

Topics for Troubleshooting Exchange 2003

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The Secret of Problem Solving

You have a problem?  I can help with a solution.  You may not be expecting my first piece of advice, no computer text books mention it, but Guy says: 'Start by getting into state'.  What I mean is get into the right frame of mind.  Say to yourself, 'I Can do it.  There must be a solution'.  Avoid the dangerous whirlpool of this thinking, my problem is impossible, there is no way out, nothing will work.  Often physically doing nothing, but mentally getting into state, prevents you from making the problem worse.  How often have you tried to fix a machine but ended up breaking things that were actually working properly?

Start by leaving the problem for just a few minutes; make yourself a pot of tea, or a cup of coffee, (nothing stronger to drink at this stage!).  When you return to the computer, the first thing to do is get a piece of paper and write down the problem, draw a diagram if that helps.  Often just walking away for only a few minutes clears my head and I am now ready to solve that problem.  O.K. so now you are in problem solving state, time for real practical advice.

Basic Exchange 2003 Troubleshooting

My mantra is getting you started, reminding you of the best places to check.  Your role is that of a detective looking for clues.  What is the significance of a red dot here, an error message there.  Once you have assembled the clues it's time to develop a theory as to the underlying cause of the problem. Finally, draw up a list of possible solutions.

  • Open the Event Viewer and check the Application Log.
  • Can you send yourself an email?  If necessary, use OWA:  http: //server/exchange.
  • Ensure that all the necessary services are started, remember to scroll down to 'M' for Microsoft Exchange, now you can see services like MSExchangeIS.
  • What happens if you go to the command prompt and type:
    telnet servername 25?   Do you get a Hello response?
  • Are there any clues in the Exchange System Manager, Servers, Queues?

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Troubleshooting a Corrupted Mailstore

If Event viewer reports MSExchangeIS errors, then the following utilities will help to resolve the problem.  In an ideal world, you need experience of Eseutil and Isinteg utilities BEFORE disaster strikes.  So practice some of the safer commands, for example eseutil /d or isinteg -s servername -tests alltests.

  • Eseutil - Powerful tool for repairing Exchange store databases
  • IsInteg - Fixing corrupt tables in the store.

General Troubleshooting

Classic places to collect clues.  Find out why the email did not get through.

Troubleshooting Connections - Exchange Logs

If the email is not getting through, examine Exchange's logs.  The biggest problem is finding the best log for your particular situation.

Troubleshooting Performance

If you feel that your server ought to be running faster, then take the time to create a counter log.  Start with the big 4 objects, memory, processor, disk and network, then progress to Exchange specific counters such as MSexchangeIS (Information Store).

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Troubleshooting Tools

What ever the problem, always begin by checking the event viewer.  I will be amazed if there is not a clue as to what's wrong with your Exchange Server in either the Application or System logs.

Guy Recommends : SolarWinds' Free VM MonitorSolarwinds VM Console Free Download

The best feature of this new this new version of SolarWinds VM Monitor is that it checks Windows Hyper-V.  Naturally, it still works with virtual machines on VMware ESX Servers.  VM Monitor is a clever desktop tool that not only tests that your server is online, but also displays the CPU and memory utilization for each node.

It's easy to install and to configure this virtual machine monitor, all you need the host server's IP address or hostname and the logon info. Give this virtual machine monitor a try - it's free.

Download your free copy of SolarWinds VM Monitor.

Exchange 2003 Troubleshooting Wizards

  • ExDeploy - Exchange 2003 CD.  Will guide you through any installation, or migration.
  • ExMerge - Specialist tool for extracting data from one mailboxes and importing it into another mailbox.

Troubleshooting Exchange 2003 Summary

Begin by getting into the right troubleshooting frame of mind.  Believe in yourself.  Collect the best tools and examine the numerous Exchange 2003 Server logs.  I challenge you to always start your quest for clues by examining the Application log.

See Also


Download your Exchange 2003 Disaster Recovery and Troubleshooting eBook for only $9.95

Exchange 2003 Disaster Recovery and Troubleshooting EbookThe extra features you get in your eBook include:  'How to...' sections with screen shots.  Checklists to prepare your migration plan.

Lots of tips, recommendations and troubleshooting advice.  Printer friendly pages in both PDF and Word format.

 

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 Exchange Monitor from SolarWindsSolarWinds Exchange Monitor

Here is a free tool to monitor your Exchange Server.  Download the utility, then inspect your mail queues, monitor Exchange server's memory, confirm there is enough disk space and check the CPU utilization.

Free Download of SolarWinds Exchange Monitor

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