Wednesday, November 19, 2008

MS Exchange server FAQ1

  1. What is Exchange 2003 Forestprep?

Exchange 2003 Forestprep extends the AD schema to include Exchange specific information.

  1. What is Exchange 2003 Domainprep?

Exchange 2003 Domainprep creates the groups and permissions necessary for Exchange servers to read and modify user attributes.

  1. What is a DC?

A DC is a Windows 2000 or 2003 Domain Controller that holds active directory partitions for a domain (used for things like user authentication).

  1. What is a GC?

A GC is a Global Catalog Server. A GC holds a full set of attributes for the domain in which it resides and a subset of attributes for all objects in the Active Directory Forest.

  1. What is DDNS and why do I need it?

Dynamic DNS (described in RFC 2136) allows servers to dynamically update and create records in DNS. Dynamic DNS is used by the Exchange server to create server records and other entries used by the Exchange Servers for things like message routing. In a simple Exchange organization, DDNS is not strictly necessary, but makes administration much easier.

  1. What is a border server?

A border server is an Exchange server that communicates with external servers. In a single server organization, your server is by default a border server. In a multi-server configuration, you may have one or more dedicated servers that communicate directly or indirectly with foreign servers and then pass the mail to other internal Exchange servers.

  1. What is a mixed mode Exchange environment?

An Exchange environment which contains Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2000 and Exchange 5.5 servers.

  1. How does an Exchange 5.5 site compare to an Exchange 2003 Routing Group or Administrative Group?

In a mixed mode Exchange environment the Exchange 2003 Administrative Group and Routing Group correspond to the Exchange 5.5 site. In a native Exchange 2000 environment, the Administrative Group is a group of Exchange objects sharing a common set of permissions and routing groups define how those servers communicate with one another. A single Administrative Group can contain several Routing Groups. Example: Your North American Exchange servers might be grouped in a single Administrative Group, but subdivided into several Routing Groups to optimize interserver communication. An Administrative Group contains zero or more Routing Groups.

  1. What happened to the M: drive?

The EXIFS (M: drive) feature has been disabled by default. If the feature is still needed, it can be assigned to an available drive letter with a registry setting.

  1. Do I need Windows XP to use Outlook RPC over HTTP?

Yes. Windows XP with Service Pack 1 + KB331320

  1. When will Exchange 2003 SP1 be available?

When it is ready

  1. How do I configure the Recovery Storage Group?

In Exchange 2003, there is a new feature called the "Recovery Storage Group" (RSG). This is a special instance of ESE (a 5th instance) which can be spun up to provide:
a. Item/Folder/Mailbox level restore without the need for a spare server
b. "Dial tone" (blank mailbox) support if you lose a database and need to get the users quickly up and running for send/receive

To create the RSG, go into Exchange 2003 ESM, right-click on your server object and choose to create a new Recovery Storage Group.
Once the RSG exists, you can add a database to it (any MDB from any Storage Group from any server inside the same Admin Group). Then, use NTBackup or similar to restore a backup into the RSG. Now, you can use ExMerge to extract the data from the RSG and merge it into the production database (for scenario a.), or you can swap the RSG-restored database for the temporary production database (for scenario b).

One of the goals for the Recovery Storage Group

  1. Under Exchange 5.5 I couldn't restore a single mailbox without 3rd party products. With Exchange 2003, is it any easier to restore a single mailbox or back up a single mailbox?

Yes and no. Under Exchange 2003, a mailbox is not deleted immediately when a Windows account is deleted. Although restores have been greatly improved with the new Recovery Storage Group (RSG) and the Volume Shadow Copy Service, there is no built in mechanism for backing up a single Exchange mailbox. This would still require a 3rd party brick level backup utility.

  1. Can I back up the EXIFS drive using NT Backup or another backup application?

You can, but you will be sad. Do NOT back up the EXIFS drive of an Exchange 2003 server. It can result in messages and attachments being inaccessible via the Outlook client.

  1. How can I prevent a user from sending and receiving Internet mail?

Follow the steps outlined below:

    1. Create a group called InternalOnly.
    2. Create a recipient policy that gives them a fake SMTP address. i.e. @fake.domain. Leave the X400 address alone so they can receive internal mail.
    3. Drill down through Routing Groups > Group Name > Connectors > SMTP internet connector(s), choose its properties. Choose the Delivery Restrictions tab, and under "reject", add this group. Do this for each connector.
    4. Follow the steps in KB277872, regarding Connector Restrictions.
      [Now they can't use the SMTP connector(s) to send external mail]
  1. Can I use Exchange 2000 tools to manage Exchange 2003 Servers?

No, the property sheets of the 2003 servers will appear as read-only. You should avoid using Exchange 2000 ESM in environments where Exchange 2003 is installed. Not only will you not be able to access new Exchange 2003 features, but there is also the risk of damage to new objects that Exchange 2000 does not understand. If you must continue to use Exchange 2000 ESM, apply the latest Exchange 2000 SP3 roll-up to your Admin workstation(s) -

The roll-up includes support for the msExchMinAdminVersion attribute (also known as ESM versioning). Essentially, each Exchange object in the AD is stamped with a minimum admin version. If ESM detects that the data value is greater than the version of ESM running, it will not allow edits to that object.

The following objects may become damag

  1. Can I use Exchange 2003 tools to manage Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000 Servers?

Yes, with the exception of the following Exchange 2000 components; Key Management Server, Exchange Instant Messaging, Chat, MS-Mail / Schedule+ / DirSync / cc:Mail Connectors

  1. I created a secondary Public Folder Hierarchy, but only the original public folder hierarchy appears in Outlook.

Current versions of Outlook only support a single public folder hierarchy. Secondary Public Folder hierarchies can be accessed with the web.

  1. In Exchange 5.5, I could have multiple mailboxes associated with a single user account. How do I do that in Exchange 2003?

Exchange 2003 requires a user object for each mailbox. You can create a disabled user object, associate a mailbox with it, and then grant another user object 'receive as' and 'send as' permissions to that mailbox.

  1. What is the difference between 'receive as' and 'send as'?

'Receive as' allows a user object to open a mailbox. 'Send as' allows a user to send out a mail message as the mailbox that has been opened.

  1. How do I restrict a user or domain from sending mail to my users?

First, add the address or domain you wish to filter to the Filtering Tab of the Message Delivery Global Settings. Next, you need to apply the filter to the SMTP virtual server you wish to filter. (Administrative Group | Server | Protocols | SMTP | | Properties | Advanced |

  1. I've created more than one address list. Which list will users see for their GAL?

The following criteria are used when determining what a client will see for the Global Address List.

    • Which Address List do you have permissions to see?
    • Which Address List contains your mailbox object as an entry?

If your mailbox appears as an object in more than one address list:

    • Which of the remaining Address Lists contains more entries?
  1. What do the event IDs mean in the message tracking log?

They are listed in Appendix A

  1. Is Single Instance Storage maintained when moving users between servers | storage groups | databases?


  1. In my native E2K3 organization is there any requirement for RPC connectivity between servers?

In order to move users between servers, RPC connectivity is required.

  1. How can I archive messages sent or received by my users?
    1. Messages can be archived on a per store basis by enabling the option on the general properties tab of the Mailbox Store in the Exchange System Manager.
    2. Use an event sink (either write your own or use the simple one provided by Microsoft and described in “Archive Sink Readme.txt”
    3. Use a 3rd party message archival tool.
  1. Why when I try to add an additional mailbox store do I receive the following error? This storage group already contains the maximum number of stores allowed. ID no: c1034a7a

You are running the standard version of Exchange 2003 which is limited to a single 16GB private information store.

  1. How do I get the Exchange Advanced Tab in Active Directory Users and Computers?

Open Active Directory Users and Computers. Click on the View menu item at the top of the application. Select “Advanced Features” on the menu list. When you open a property page for an Active Directory object that has a mailbox associated with it, you will now see the “Exchange Advanced” tab at the top.

  1. How do I control the format of the addresses before the @ sign in a recipient policy?

You can use the following variables: %g Given Name, %s Surname, %i initials in the recipient policy.


User: Tommy Lee Jones
Domain: = = =

Less commonly used variables include, %m (alias) and %d (display name).

  1. How do I make Exchange automatically send a welcome message to all newly created users?

There is nothing in the product that will do this. You can create a WELCOME.MSG that you deploy with Outlook, but that only applies the first time Outlook is opened after creating a new profile. Otherwise, you could script mailbox creation and send a message at the end of the script.

  1. How do I determine what version of Outlook applies to a build or version number?

  1. Is there any way to append a text message to all out bound email for Exchange 2003?

On a single Exchange server deployment, there is no 100% reliable way to accomplish this with an SMTP Transport Event Sink; even though KB273233 suggests that creating a second SMTP Virtual Server works. However, at startup the Exchange Information Store binds to the SMTP Virtual Server that starts first and you can not rely on the routing of the mail from SMTP VS 1 to SMTP VS 2 as the KB273233 proposes. Also note that under special circumstances the database can become corrupted if you use an SMTP Transport Event Sink to manipulate outgoing (MAPI) message contents. This is currently under investigation by Microsoft and a QFE to prevent the store corruption is under development. ****

There are 3rd party products that will do this too.

  1. How do I add a disclaimer to outgoing SMTP messages in Visual Basic/Visual Basic Script?

You can do it, however, see there are limitations. It reliably works only on a border server, which can be either a Windows 2000 or 2003 SMTP Server with or without Exchange 2000/2003 installed. For more information, see KB317327 and KB317680

  1. How do I add a disclaimer to outgoing SMTP messages in Visual Basic?

How To: Add a Disclaimer to Outgoing SMTP Messages in Visual Basic – KB317327

  1. Resource / Conference room scheduling

Outlook 2003 offers basic resource booking functionality through Direct Booking. For more information refer to “Direct Booking of Resource Without a Delegate Account”

There are 3rd party products such as Exchange Resource Manager and AutoAccept Sink for Exchange that will automatically accept/decline meeting requests for conference rooms and other resources.

  1. How do I find an SMTP mail address in Active Directory if Active Directory Users and Computers tells me it is in use when I try to create a new user?

Either open Outlook to create a new message with that SMTP address and hit “CTRL+K” to resolve it, or use a Windows Scripting Host script to find it. For the latter, see (look for FindUserWithADSI.wsf and FindUserWithCDO.wsf)

  1. How do I disable the "Automatically update e-mail addresses based on recipient policy" on all users or contacts?

' Default setting for "msExchPoliciesExcluded" is empty
' Once disabling the automatic e-mail address update it is:
' "{26491CFC-9E50-4857-861B-0CB8DF22B5D7}"

' Default setting for "msExchPoliciesIncluded" is:
' "{26491CFC-9E50-4857-861B-0CB8DF22B5D7}" plus a unique GUID for each applied Recipient Policy separated by a comma
' And after turning off the automatic update "msExchPoliciesIncluded" is only:
' "{26491CFC-9E50-4857-861B-0CB8DF22B5D7}"

  1. How do I restrict users from Creating Top-Level Folders?

For Exchange 2000 public folders, you can follow the instructions in this article KB256131. But with Exchange 2000, however, any time a new server is added to the organization, these permissions will be reset.

In Exchange 2003 these permission are restricted by default so to install Exchange 2003, you will automatically restrict them.

“Allow create top-level public folder access control entry for everyone” permissions and “allow anonymous logon from the organization container” permissions are removed during the installation of Exchange 2003.*****

  1. Why do the storage quota settings not take effect immediately?

This problem has been fixed in AN Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Post-Service Pack 3 MDB patch. For more information see KB327378

  1. How do I limit which Outlook client versions can access my server?

You need to create the Disable MAPI Clients registry value to disable MAPI client access. For more information, see KB288894

  1. What tools are used to administer Exchange 2003?

Active Directory Users & Computers - Used to create users, distribution groups and contacts.

Exchange System Manager - Used to manage the Exchange Server, create address lists, recipient policies, and now does some user level actions...

  1. I created a user in AD Users and Computers, but in the Exchange system manager it doesn't appear under Mailbox Store | Mailboxes. What did I do wrong?

Probably nothing. A mailbox will not appear under Mailbox Store | Mailboxes until either someone has logged into the mailbox or the mailbox has received a mail message. Some administrators send a welcome message to a mailbox shortly after it has been created, which would cause it to appear.

  1. How can you tell the exact version of Exchange you are running?

Here is a list of build numbers for Exchange 2000/2003:

Exchange 2000

    • 4417.5 = Exchange 2000 RTM
    • 4712.7 = Exchange 2000 SP1
    • 5762.4 = Exchange 2000 SP2
    • 6249.4 = Exchange 2000 SP3
    • 6396.1 = Exchange 2000 Post-SP3 Super Roll-up
    • 63xx/64xx = Exchange 2000 Post-SP3 Hotfixes

Exchange 2003

    • 6728.12 = Exchange 2003 Beta 1
    • 6803.8 = Exchange 2003 Beta 2
    • 6851.10 = Exchange 2003 Release Candidate 0
    • 6895.5 = Exchange 2003 Release Candidate 1 (Candidate)
  1. How do I create users from an Excel table?

There is no built-in way to accomplish that. However, see for a Windows Scripting Host script that uses an Excel table to create users and mailbox enable them.

  1. How do I Enable the Security Tab for the Organization Object?

This tab is not enabled by default. For instructions on how to enable it see KB264733

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