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Best of Questions and Answers from Webcast: Exchange Server 2003: Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts

Mouse ExtremeI love this webcast!

Below I’ve pasted an edited and cleaned up copy of most of the Q&A from today’s webcast on Exchange Server 2003: Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts

SUPER BIG thank you to Michael J. Murphy and Harold Wong for handling the Q&A on the back-end, and who’s work this really represents.


Questions and Answers:

“[This webcast] was advertised as Level 300…”

Hmm… Sorry about that. Some of the items will be 300 level since it involves registry entries.  However, the majority is probably more in the line of 200 level.

“Does the Best Practice Analyzer tool have any special features to fix ‘Cannot connect to port 25 of routing group master’?”

The Best Practice Analyzer does not “fix” anything. It will give recommendations based on our “Best Practices” and your current configuration.

“What do I do if my Server reports ‘Cannot connect to the routing group master over port 25?’”

See http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/Analyzer/6fa17f7e-2cce-4b87-8903-cbcce84fe9b9.mspx?mfr=true

“The most recent version is 2.6 and not 2.5”

You are correct, 2.6 was just posted April 5th.  This session was created and approved last October.  I missed that.

“How can I test connectivity to port 25?”

How about telnet? see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q153119/

“What should I try if after restoring a mailbox store from backup it is not mounting it through the Recovery Storage Group created.”

First, make sure you were successful in restoring the store to the RSG. Was the database in RSG set to allow overwriting?  Did the restore complete successfully?  Also, make sure you don’t restore the log files, only the database.

“How do I enable OWAADMIN ? ( OWA is currently working though )”

You need to download the tool and install it – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=4bbe7065-a04e-43ca-8220-859212411e10&displaylang=en.

“Is OWA Admin installed by default?”

No, you need to download the tool from the MS website: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=4bbe7065-a04e-43ca-8220-859212411e10&displaylang=en.

Sorry – I thought I mentioned that when I started demonstrating it, but I guess I wasn’t clear on that.

“How can I change the default route for the outgoing emails to my internet provider´s outgoing mail server in Exchange 2003 Server?  Thanks.”

In Exchange 200x, that would require an SMTP Connector to be configured see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/265293.  You’re welcome. 

“Do you have to have Ex 2003 sp2 installed to enable PW change?”

No, this was available in the original release as well.

“How can I find out how to enable password change in OWA?”

See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/297121

“Do you need to be using SSL Certificates to allow Domain password changes using OWA?”

Yes.  See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/297121

“If using a Dynamic IP address with your ISP, you cannot obtain a SSL Certificate for this purpose correct?”

You should be able to. The SSL Certificate is associated with a name, not an IP.

“What is full-text indexes?”

A full text index creates indices on all text, that includes message bodies and attachments, which makes searching the store very fast, but has overhead associated with it

“Is there a way to defrag/compress your Exchange DB w/o taking it off line?”

Exchange will perform an online defrag as part of its normal maintenance.  However, this only defrags within the database device.  If you want the actual file on the hard drive to be defragmented, then you will have to take it offline.

“Is ‘last Build time’ in the Full text indexing section in the ESM supposed to tell you the last time when the index got created or updated?  Otherwise how can I confirm that my index is being updated every night?”

It should be the last time it was rebuilt / updated.

“Is it Best Practices to Take if Offline and Defrag it? If so what are the tools available to do this?”

I wouldn’t say it is ‘Best Practices’ to do this.  If you want to, then you would use ESEUTIL to degrag and remove the empty space.  You could then use a tool like Diskeeper  (or just the native defrag tool in Server) to defrag the drive. Or the Contig tool from Sysinternals to defragment just the store files.  Please keep in mind that this may take a considerable amount of time depending on the IO subsystem you have and the size of the database.

“Where is the step by step guide for configuring Full Text indexing?”


“Concerning catch-all – is this possible to have a catch all email addresses located on another container/mail server in the same organization?”


“Would adding disclaimer create an issue with digital certs ? ( is that what Kevin mentioned about S/MIME?)”

Yes. Because the email is being modified after the signature is “applied”, so signing would get confused.

“I haven’t installed SP2 to my Exchange 2003 Servers. I have 8 servers. Is there a preferred “Order” to install the SP? i.e. Front End, Bridge Head, other servers…”

See the step by step guide http://www.microsoft.com/technet/itsolutions/mobile/deploy/msfp_overview.mspx

“I get a lot of ‘5.5.0 smtp;554 Relay access denied’ errors on outgoing email. Any thoughts”

Take a look at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=895853&SD=tech

“How can you check if Exchange is running a particular service pack?”

spcheck tool http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;279631

“What is the defualt time for TarpitTime?”

There isn’t one.  The default is that the error messages is returned IMMEDIATELY.  You need to add the registry key and define a value.  See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/842851

“Are there any issues with OWA form based authentication enabled and Mobile ActiveSync?”

“Will all Exchange tools work also on SBS 2003?”

Everything shown today will, yes.

“Excellent Presentation and offline answers!”


Here is my blog resource page for this session again: