Got annoying Exchange error messages? Tell us!

Published Mar 24 2005 05:08 PM 720 Views

We are looking at improving strings (text, wording) of error messages, event log messages, Perfmon counters, popups etc for next version of Exchange. We'd like to get some feedback on what you see as problematic areas in this subject.

Good examples would be some specific product areas (components, tools, GUI) that do not give you good (helpful) errors, when errors do happen, or errors that you get are unclear. Please give us the exact error message as you see it in the product today so that we can ensure we know exactly which one you want us to improve.

Please note - this should be related to Exchange Server product only. Post your examples \ annoyances as comments here. Thanks!

- Nino Bilic

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Easy to find the fix, but would be nice if it told you why it was happening without having to go search down the solution.

Applying an SSL cert and requiring SSL on the default website, renders the PF admin not usable within the ESM. "ssl certificate name is incorrect error= c103b404"
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Half of our environment uses POP and we're an international company. Many of our users receive e-mail in a character set which is not European ISO and each time they download a message in non Europeak ISO format this error appears in our event logs. Once again - these users are not using outlook but the KB article mentions an issue with outlook. Couldn't get get something more descriptive?

Error 3/24/2005 5:28:05 PM POP3SVC
Content Engine 1023 N/A NAEX06A
Error 0x7d6 occurred while rendering message 0001-00000026fed6 for download for user
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Exchange System Manager:

1. When adding a new offline address list, after you have selected the name and server the list will reside, it shows a listing of Addresses. The ability to clear this box rather than having to delete all of them one by one.

2. Recepient Policys, the ability to sort by column name or policy name. Currently in a long list it sorts by priority making it hard to find policy names quickly.


Change the ability to archive a STORE to a mailbox, perhaps rules to archive my MAILBOX or domains? This would allow us to put different companies in the STORE and have them archive to different mailboxes. Ie Company1 goes to arvhive mailbox1 and Company2 goes to archive2.

More rules, like tools that allows processing on the SMTP server for SCL, RBL, etc, rather than having one global rule that all users have to use.

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It would be nice if notes could be added to eventvwr details much like MOM so that errors can be customized for our ORG and corrective action taken.

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This isn't exactly what you are asking for -- but I have an idea...

How about a troubleshooting wizard that helps admins turn on the right diagnostic logging services/categories. For example, I had a customer yesterday who called in with a problem getting messages to deliver to distribution lists. He knew to look in the Event Viewer for errors -- but since he didn't know which Exchange Diagnostic Logging components to push to Maximum, he wasn't getting useful data. I envision a wizard that asks questions like:

"Are you having problems delivering messages to local mailboxes? Remote mailboxes in other Routing Groups? Internet users?" (and lots of other questions)

...and then, based on the answers given by admins, the wizard recommends the correct Diagnostic Logging Services/Categories to increase to Maximum.

Just my 2 cents. Have an excellent Friday! - Jeff
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what I really missing in Exchange is to find out, what user is responsible for growing a specified database when he sent a few MB sized email in BCC to many recipients. It's too hard to find malefactor of the incident.

I can't remember now what isses I don't like in the GUI and what I'd like to have in next version, but there are some :)
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It would be nice if NDRs contained descriptive text regarding the cause of the NDR, especially in the case of the destination mailbox being over-quota. Most end-users don't have the savvy to know what an SMTP response code of 5.2.2 means. Even better if the NDR text could be customized. There was an unsupported tool for this at one point, but we never could get it to work...
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I second the NDR comment. "An unspecified error has occurred" doesn't work for my users who want to know what happened without calling me. If the recipient refused the attachments, that would be good to know.
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Would be nice if there were good tools to look through transaction logs to see why they are rapidly building up when no other visible reasons exist. <br> <br>Lack of such tools caused me to be online with MS Support for 5 hours on Monday.
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NDR's - they really are most uninformative. (They should say why they were sent - like over-quota or whatever.)

Also, when an internal user sends email to an outside user and it is rejected, something other than "You do not have permission to send to this recipient" would be good - because rarely is it as simple as no permission.

Take this (munged) example: <> on 1/04/2005 11:16 You do not have permission to send to this recipient. For assistance, contact your system administrator.
< #5.7.1 SMTP; 550 5.7.1 Unable to relay for>

If it can't be made more specific, then make it at least less misleading
- very generic like "Unable to deliver email." I would suggest for externally destined email, something like "Unable to deliver email.
[SERVERNAME] responded with <[SMTP ERROR]>. Contact your system administrator for assistance if necessary."

Anyway, just a piece of feedback.


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Scenario ; Migration from Exch 5.5 site by adding Exch 2k3 server to the site, to move mailboxes, etc and decomm the Exch 5.5 server.
An existing ADC server is in place and the CA's are setup.

When running the Exch 2k3 install, an error occurs when the ADC ConfigCA is being created. Logs show something like " LDAP failed, Invalid Credentials...."

Went through a range of attempted resolutions, from adding a new 5.5 server to point to in the site, fresh install of W2k3 server,...
Considered creating another ADC server to use for the remainder of the migration phase.

Before this last consideration, re-entered the username & password to be used for each of the CA's on the ADC. Attempted the install of Exch 2k3 again and completed successfully !
Conclusion is that when entering the credentials to be used for the CA's, there is no validation that the credentials are in fact valid credentials. Suggestion is to either validate the credentials before the CA is instituted, or, modify the error details in the 'active directory connector setup.log' to indicate that the 'Invalid Credentials' can be corrected by verifying correct username &/or password used for the CA's is correct.

Good Luck & Regards
Peter W

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From Exchange 2003 Standard:

MSExchangeIS Public Store
Replication Error

Fehler -2147221233 beim Lesen der Eigenschaft 0x674b0014 für Objekttyp tbtMsgFolder aus Datenbank "Erste SpeichergruppeInformationsspeicher für Öffentliche Ordner (COMPUTER)".
(my) translation:
Error -2147221233 reading the properties 0x674b0014 for objecttype tbtMsgFolder from database "First storage gruopinformation group for Public Folders (COMPUTER)"
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I've gotten this one repeatedly because we have more than 50 mailbox stores in a cluster. We have an open case and it is being worked on at MS, to my understanding, but little progress has been made in months. This error literally floods our logs.

Event Type: Warning
Event Source: MSExchangeMTA
Event Category: Resource
Event ID: 3121
Date: 4/1/2005
Time: 9:08:57 AM
User: N/A
Computer: Servername
A resource limit has been reached when attempting to open an association. Number of associations configured: 501 [XAPI MAIN BASE 36 91] (14)

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I'm currently trying to migrate some public folders from an win2003 server 20 an sbs2003 server and am having a nightmare for such a simple task.

In my eventlog(all in spanish) I am getting:

Tipo de suceso: Advertencia
Origen del suceso: MSExchangeSRS
Categoría del suceso: Procesamiento interno
Id. suceso: 1400
Fecha: 01/04/2005
Hora: 16:24:58
Usuario: No disponible
Error 1 del servicio de replicación de sitios de Microsoft Exchange, que no pudo inicializar su base de datos de Exchange (EDB). El servicio de replicación de sitios esperará en un estado de semi-ejecución para que pueda restaurarse la base de datos desde una copia de seguridad y el SRS pueda montarla.

yes, great, it can't initialize its database... but WHICH database... filename...a little hint.

I would say more than 50% of the stuff exchange writes to the event log is similarly cryptic. Please, logs cost nothing, put more info.

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This one crosses over between sbs and exchange:

Exchange under SBS has a 16gb db limit. When it hits this it generates an error in the event log which is picked up by the sbs monitoring tools the next day and mailed out...of course since exchange shuts down after writing the eventlog error it doesn't send anything.

Surely exchange could generate an email to the site administrator as it nears this limit?

The first time I came across this limit due to a clients system just closing down with no alerts, it just stopped.

As exchange nears its limit it generates eventlog warnings which the sbs monitors don't pick up. Ideally it should generate errors so that eventlog monitors will pick them up AND sbs should generate an email like it does for low disk space.

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While its not exactly what you asked for, I personally find the logging either too minimal or over the top. O for a lotus notes type console where you could just look at the console and see that it was sending or recieving, replicating, encountering an error or whatever.

I find myself constantly trying to work out what exchange is doing when something it either not arriving or not being delivered.

Call me old fashioned but plain text msexchange-activity.log is soooo much easier.


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Non delivery to non existent domains is a frequent problem. Someone types and exchange fails to deliver it. Ok, not a problem, but the failure is reported as an error in eventlog.

Sbs reports each and every one of these as an error... they're not errors. If the smtp queue can deliver emails but fails to lookup the dns address of a single email it should not be reporting failure to deliver single messages as important.

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Scenario : Exchange 5.5 migration to Exchange 2003. Adding Exch 2K3 server into pure Exch 5.5 site readying for mailbox migration. An ADC server in place, 2003 AD in place.

When installing Exch 2K3 on new server in site, fails to install at the point of setting up the ConfigCA, reading the log, 'ADC setup.log', error is given as LDAp credentials invalid. But where ? After attempting resolutions ;
1. New Exch 5.5 server in site to point to
2. Rebuild fresh install of W2K3 server
3. Additional ADC server
Discovered that the credentials used on the ADC machine, for that particular site were invalid, ( typo error ). Suggest that the error message advise to recheck credentials to be used, or in the setup of ADC, validation of account name/password to be used.
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It would be nice if MAPILogonEx returned error codes instead of dialog boxes ("The server containing the global address list is no longer...", "Your microsoft exchange server is unavailable...", etc.) Or maybe there is a way to suppress the message boxes?

As it stands, there is no way that I know of to handle the message box/error programatically, which means that my application is stuck with a dialog box that the user needs to handle.

Shouldn't the dialog box be part of Outlook, and not MAPI?
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One thing that is annoying in System Manager is changing the priority of recipient policies. For example, if I create a new recipient policy, the policy is placed one above the policy with the lowest priority. If I want to move the newly created policy to the top, I have to right-click on the policy and choose move up. This moves the policy up one spot. I will then need to repeat the process x number of times depending on how many recipient policies I have. In my opinion, there should be a dialog box that comes up which lets you change the priority with up and down arrows buttons. For example, the arrow buttons that you see in the NIC configuration, on the DNS or WINS tab.
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9548 ... disabled account and no msExchMasterAccountSid ...
Account administration often just disables accounts and manually setting "Associated external account" to SELF is not practical or even not possible due to limited permissions/delegation model.

In addition, mails are not delivered into the mailbox during that time and senders get NDR's...

Why no enabling the store / RUS to adjust for msExchMasterAccountSid / Associated external account consistency with SELF permissions... ?
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