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Exchange Server 2003 Queue Getting "clogged"

Posted on 2006-11-03
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Last Modified: 2008-03-17
Hello,

I'm running Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition w/SP1 with Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition w/SP2 on an HP DL380 with (2) 2.8 Ghz Intel Xeon Processors and 2 Gb of RAM.  Exchange is installed on a seperate partition from the Windows installation and has 135 Gb of drive space with 75% free.  This is a dedicated server.

For the second time in the last 2 weeks, the server stops processing mail.  The mailroot\vsi_1\queue directory fills up with email messages and will not process them.  The first time I was able to get the server going again by booting into safe mode and renaming the Queue directory to Queue.old.  I then created a new empty directory named Queue and booted back into normal Windows mode.  I was then able to drag and drop the *.eml files to the mailroot\vsi_1\pickup directory and the server processed them.  It was like the original Queue directory had corrupted.  This whole this happened again today and I repeated the same process for resolving it, but about every tenth message I drag over hangs the mail processing again.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:swolfersberger
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15 Comments
 
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Sembee earned 500 total points
ID: 17868856
What else is on the server?
AV? If so, make sure it is configured not to scan any part of the Exchange directories.

Simon.
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Expert Comment

by:lollygagr
ID: 17868872
What antivirus programs are installed on that server?  If file-level antivirus and email antivirus attempt to scan files at the same time, you can experience behavior very much like what you have described.
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Author Comment

by:swolfersberger
ID: 17868993
I have a seperate AV and Spam filter running on a seperate box that looks at the emails before they get to the Exchange Server.

Also, I have Grisoft AVG 7.5 running on the server.  It was not installed before this happened the first time, I installed it as part of the troubleshooting process when I had the problem two weeks ago.  I did not put in exclusions for the Exchange directories, I'll do that now.
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Author Comment

by:swolfersberger
ID: 17869261
I put in exclusions for the Exchange server directories and nothing changed.

Then I uninstalled AVG completely, still nothing changed.

The messages just sit there and I see new ones coming in just piling up behind the existing messages.
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LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 17869468
Did you cycle the services after making the changes? If the applications are hanging on to the files then they will not have been released.
Just move them back in to pickup - if they will not move, then something is hanging on to the messages - which is why they are still there.

Simon.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:lollygagr
ID: 17869469
If you haven't done so already, I'd turn up your diagnostics logging to maximum for the following areas:  MSExchange MTA and MSExchangeTransport (all categories).  Restart your System Attendant, then replicate the "clogging" and see what errors are logged in Application events.  That can at least give you some avenues to pursue towards the cause.
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Author Comment

by:swolfersberger
ID: 17869560
I did cycle the services after the first change and then rebooted after I removed AVG.

I have started moving files into pickup one by one and it was working well until I reached a message with three 2 mb attachments.  It's been sitting in the queue for about 10 minutes now while smaller messages have processed around it.  

Shouldn't a server of this caliber be able to move this message faster than this?

I'll turn up the diags and give it a whirl.
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LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 17869617
You shouldn't see the messages build at all if the server is working correctly. Seeing messages build is a sign of a problem.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:swolfersberger
ID: 17869768
That 6mb email is still sitting there, been almost 20 minutes.  The server is still processing mail around it, but it is still in the queue directory.  What can I look for?
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Expert Comment

by:lollygagr
ID: 17869956
Look in the Application Event log for any Exchange warnings or errors that were generated after you submitted the "stuck" message.  If you want to paste the event descriptions, great, otherwise just the ID's can be helpful.  Also, for curiosity's sake, was this an outbound message or an internal one?  
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Expert Comment

by:lollygagr
ID: 17870091
One other option ... MS released the Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant tool a few months back, and while I haven't used it for "stuck" messages, it's got functionality that supposedly covers this kind of scenario.  Here's the link: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=4BDC1D6B-DE34-4F1C-AEBA-FED1256CAF9A&displaylang=en.
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Author Comment

by:swolfersberger
ID: 17881884
I am seeing a couple of things in the Application Event Viewer, but they don't look necessarily related.

Also, the 6mb message was incoming from the internet, but I had two other 2.5mb email that were internal that were delayed as well.

Event ID 3018
A non-delivery report with a status code of 5.4.0 was generated for recipient rfc822;jeanlouis.desvilles@orage-ft.com (Message-ID <88D77D32810C204890BE3BFE33A5D0784CBE02@pasws01.sepatriot.local>).  
Causes: This message indicates a DNS problem or an IP address configuration problem  
Solution: Check the DNS using nslookup or dnsq. Verify the IP address is in IPv4 literal format.
For more information, click http://www.microsoft.com/contentredirect.asp.

Event ID 1022
Logon Failure on database "First Storage Group\Mailbox Store (*******)" - Windows 2000 account NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM; mailbox /o=****** ****** *****/ou=First Administrative Group/cn=Recipients/cn=skelley.
Error: -2147221231

For more information, click http://www.microsoft.com/contentredirect.asp

Event ID 1000
Faulting application inetinfo.exe, version 6.0.3790.1830, faulting module reapi.dll, version 6.5.7638.1, fault address 0x00048e30.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.

These don't sound good.

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LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 17882548
The first one is an NDR - looks like a typo in the email address.
The second one is quite normal - I would expect that the account in the error is disabled. You can get rid of those by making a permission change, but neither would be the cause of the error.

Simon
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Author Comment

by:swolfersberger
ID: 17893246
Figured it out.

Our spam/virus filter on the other box apparently wasn't closing the files.  So they were in use when the Exchange system tried to process them.  We got an update from the other company and the issue has not come back since.

Thanks for everyone's help.
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