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Store.exe CPU Utilization at 100% on Exchange 2003

ellisgolf
ellisgolf asked
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
We have an Exchange server for our company email; and just this week we've been having problems with the store.exe process running at 100% cpu utilization.  It's been a very stable system for many years, but it just started up this week and I'm at a loss for what could be causing the problem.  While the store is running at 100%, employees are unable to access email through Outlook or OWA.  Every now and then a few messages might sneak through, but they are usually delayed between 15 minutes and 2 hours.

I could use some assistance trouble-shooting the problem.
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Commented:
Here it is..
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/823440

I have used both switch's/USERVA=3030 and the /3GB and haven't had an issue again.

Author

Commented:
We do have Symantec Mail Security for Microsoft Exchange ---- it's been there for years and years, though, without any issues.  If that is the suspected problem, what can I do to test out that theory?  Our regular Systems Administrator is out for the weekend and I'm the lucky person who gets to fill in --- no experience with Symantec Mail Security or deep experience with Exchange; but capability and willingness to learn and learn quickly.

Author

Commented:
....i.e, how do I safely stop the Symantec Mail Security engine and eventually restart?

Commented:
does your boot.ini already have the switches?

Why would you want to stop the security engine?  All you need to do is add an exception so that it does not scan the store.exe file.

Author

Commented:
From what I understand, the Mail Security Engine only scans messages.  It isn't a file-scanner type of anti-virus.  I'll take a look at the boot.ini and report back...
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Here is your problem: "Symantec Mail Security for Microsoft Exchange"
I operate a simply policy with Symantec products. Anything odd going on with the server with Symantec installed, the problem is the Symantec product unless shown otherwise by its complete removal. In most cases removing it does in fact resolve the issue.

Disabling it is not enough, as the hooks remain in the system, it needs to be removed and rebooted.

If you go back through my posts both under this ID and Sembee, you will find I have been fairly consistent on this and fairly consistent on the cause of the issue being Symantec.

Oh and the fact that product has worked for years before without any issues does not mean it will continue to do so. AV is a living software product which updates frequently - problems with it are well known and will happen to all of them.

Simon.
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
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paulsolov - you don't know enough about the way that Exchange based av products hook in to Exchange. With the services disabled they can still affect things because the hooks are still there. The only way to show it isn't the product is to remove it. This is unique to the way that Exchange and AV products hook together. You can disable Windows AV and not see any problems, but Exchange AV is handled in a different way.

Simon.
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
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Commented:
I have installed a several hundred of these installs over the years and SMSE may cause issues but can usually be disabled via services.msc to test.  Local AV is different and needs to be modified so that EDB, STM, LOG files are not scanned which may cause issues.  

There were a few issues with Symantec Mail Security for Exchange with the older versions but the newer ones are a bit more stable.  With SMSE you can uninstall and re-install without a reboot btw.
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The only way to ensure that its hooks are removed is to reboot the server. There is nothing that Symantec can do about that, it is just the nature of the way the hooks in to Exchange work. Symantec may not prompt you for a reboot, but it will be required. The reboot is only required if something cannot be removed that would affect the system's stability.

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