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Exchange 2003 / store.exe out of memory

Posted on 2007-12-03
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
Hello All,
I'm having a problem with my Exchange 2003 server. I have Windows 2003 server standard, running Exchange 2003/SP2 and all relative hot fixes that I could find.

My problem is, after my Exchange server has been running for  3 or 4 days store.exe uses up all the memory. Now I understand that store.exe is designed to use as much memory as possible but it should relinquish it as needed. This just isn't happening. After a few days I get the following error:

Event Type: Error
Event Source: MSExchangeIS
Event Category: General
Event ID: 1160
Date:  12/1/2007
Time:  1:06:18 PM
User:  N/A
Computer: SERVER-NAME
Description:
Database resource failure error Out of memory occurred in function JTAB_BASE::EcRetrieveColumnByPtagId while accessing the database "First Storage Group\Mailbox Store (SERVER-NAME)".


And that's all she wrote. At this point the server no longer has enough memory to do anything and a reboot must be initiated to regain functionality. I believe the above error is the first actual event error log, there are many many more but they seem to be do to no available memory.

From the time that the Exchange server is started to the time it crashes you can look at the Memory and handles climb right up until the crash. I've seen the handles  hit 1.4 million. For instances right now it's been running for about 24:
Mem is at  1,026,236
Vm size is 1,022,116
Page Pool 7,293
Handles are at 909,139

This will continue to grow until all goes down. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Eric
0
Comment
Question by:bwask
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15 Comments
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
ID: 20398809
Have you got 2GB or more RAM, and if so have you set the /3GB and /USERVA startup options?  If you don't, memory leaks can occur.

You can also limit the amount of RAM that Exchange uses.

See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/815372
0
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
ID: 20398818
I recommend that you lower the limit, if you do not have much memory in your server.  1GB is not a lot for an Exchange server.

Also, consider increasing the size of your pagefile up to 2x physical ram installed.
0
 

Author Comment

by:bwask
ID: 20398877
Thanks for the quick responses,

There is 4 gig of Ram in the server and I set the /3GB and /USERVA  in the boot.ini file a couple of weeks ago. I also set my pagefile to 4096 the same time I edited my boot.ini.
Thanks
Eric

0
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Author Comment

by:bwask
ID: 20399060
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/896682 - My server is patched past the need of this update, I tried it last week.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/840504 - This one appears to have been added to Exchange SP2 which I am currlently running.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/887828 - This one I'm going to look at and see what It's about, I don't believe I've gone over it yet.

0
 

Author Comment

by:bwask
ID: 20399152
It looks like http://support.microsoft.com/kb/887828 updates the (Emsmdb32.dll). I looked at the server and it has a newer version of this file that the hotfix applies.

0
 
LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 20399289
The first thing I would suggest is running the Exchange Best Practises tool. http://www.exbpa.com/ 

The most common cause of store.exe running away with memory is third party software - AV software is the most frequent source.

Simon.
0
 

Author Comment

by:bwask
ID: 20399578
I ran a quick scan and it found a problem with the (HeapDeCommitFreeBlockThreshold) value so I changed it to the suggested value.

I'm running a 2 hour scan now. Only time will tell if the problem is solved but I appreciate the help given so far.

Eric
0
 

Author Comment

by:bwask
ID: 20403751
We run Trend Micro on our network. Is there a way I can tell if it's the problem short of killing my antivirus solution?

Thanks
Eric
0
 
LVL 104

Accepted Solution

by:
Sembee earned 500 total points
ID: 20404584
Due to the way that AV integrates in to Exchange, removing it is the only way to see if the problem goes away. AV is always the first thing I go after as it is the most common cause. In some cases removing it, rebooting and reinstalling it fixes the problem.

Simon.
0
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
ID: 20404648
One option is to exclude several folders from the Antivirus software, but not all A/V software provides this option.

See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/823166
0
 

Author Comment

by:bwask
ID: 20414674
Well the (HeapDeCommitFreeBlockThreshold)  doesn't seem to have worked, it crashed again today about noon.  So I've uninstalled my virus software, (makes me more than a little nervous) will see what happens.

Eric
0
 

Author Comment

by:bwask
ID: 20465626
Ok,

I ran it for about 5 days with no anti-virus (still makes me cringe) with no memory issues. So I reloaded my Trend Micro Server Protect and have let it run for about the last 3 days. I've noticed a slight increase in handles but nothing that looks like it might make the server crash.

My next step is to start Trend Micro's Scan Mail tool back up again and see what happens. It definitely looks like it was a problem with my Anti-Virus software not my Exchange Server.

I still want to watch it for another week before I decide for sure that all is OK.

I really appreciate all the help I've received so far.

Eric
0
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
ID: 20465971
If you need to look into an alternative A/V product, I installed Microsoft Antigen (now ForeFront) on an Exchange 2003 server, and it worked extremely well with scheduled updates at around every 30 minutes, for five different engines.

However, with Antigen, some of the downloads can be quite large.  Would recommend it though.
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:bwask
ID: 31412432
I wonder what it would be like to put on a resume: "you know that guy on Experts-exchange who goes my Sembee... that's me". Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it.
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