Outlook message delay in SBS 2003

I have an SBS 2003 Exchange server with 3 pcs connected to it. We use Outlook on these PCs for email. We used to have POP3 accounts. Sice we moved to Exchange all emails are delayed. Not much, but something like 15 minutes. This is fine most of the time but it's not when:

a) I'm expecting something urgent. Like some commands from my girlfriend
b) I get 4-5 emails all at once and it's difficult to distinguish the temporal priorityof them because they all claim to have been received at 13:31.

Experts, what do you have to say?
airzaoAsked:
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techzterCommented:
Do you run a spam filter software?

Did you change you MX records to point mail directly to your exchange server or did you setup a POP connector that goes and grabs the messages from an external source. If that is the case it could be where your delay is. Perhaps the exchange server is only checking for new messages every 15 minutes.

Check the message headers of a message and find out where the delay is being caused. You should see one of the hops along the way with a 15 minute delay and that would give you a starting point of where to look.
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airzaoAuthor Commented:
Thanks Techzter,

We're not running any spam filter software, nor have we tampered with MX records. But I think you are right that we set up a POP connector although I'm not sure how to check this. The message header is:


Microsoft Mail Internet Headers Version 2.0
Received: from mail pickup service by purepotential.org with Microsoft SMTPSVC; Fri, 22 May 2009 15:46:01 +0100
thread-index: Acna7Aagwb85QuRnSKOZUibZIwT17w==
Cc: 
Return-Path: <noreply@experts-exchange.com>
Bcc: 
Envelope-to: marc@purepotential.org
Delivery-date: Fri, 22 May 2009 15:41:04 +0100
Message-ID: <7B0E645E75B24C889089EC809290848D@purepotential.local>
Date: Fri, 22 May 2009 15:46:01 +0100
From: "Experts Exchange" <noreply@experts-exchange.com>
To: <marc@purepotential.org>
Subject: Comment Added: Outlook message delay in SBS 2003
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/html;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Class: urn:content-classes:message
Importance: normal
Priority: normal
X-Mailer: Experts Exchange
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.3790.4325
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 22 May 2009 14:46:01.0710 (UTC) FILETIME=[06BF30E0:01C9DAEC]

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techzterCommented:
I think that may be the cause of your delay. The mail isn't being delivered directly to your exchange server. It is being delivered to a separate server, and than your exchange server checks every X minutes to see if there are new messages within the pop mailboxes. You could perhaps adjust the settings to have it check more frequently. Another option you may look into is doing away with the other mail server and changing your setup to deliver directly to your exchange server. This would speed things up for you, but at the same time it would put more burden on your IT staff to make sure that exchange server is configured properly and running.
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airzaoAuthor Commented:
Thanks! Yes, that all sounds true to me. I think I prefer the settings option. How do I change this please?
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techzterCommented:
I don't have a SBS Exchange 2003 server available for me to test this but it appears that the 15 minutes may be a hard coded time period and you might have to edit the registry in order to adjust it.

First check to see if you can lower it using the GUI. Open your server management, Advanced Management, and POP3 Connection Manager. Check under the scheduling tab to see if you can adjust it below 15 minutes.

If not here is a registry entry that claims to allow you to pop more frequently.
http://sbits.blogspot.com/2008/04/set-pop-connector-schedule-limit-less.html
-Just make sure to backup your registry first in case it causes any issues.

Another option you have would be to stop the exchange server from popping the messages for you. You could instead continue to use the local Outlook client to pop the messages and place them into your exchange mailbox. This would give you more control as to how frequently you would like to pop the messages.
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airzaoAuthor Commented:
Hello again Techzter and thanks again.

On your three possible solutions:

The first doesn't work I don't think because you can't reduce scheduling to below 15 minutes. (I changed it to 1 and the wizard automatically changed it back to 15)

My hunch is that your third solution will prevent us from using some of the functionality of Exchnage eg OWA which we do use.

So the second option sounds best but I get nervous about making changes directly to the registry. Would you mind holding my hand through this?
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techzterCommented:
Sorry for the delay in response. I was away for the weekend. You are correct that OWA would not work for receiving new messages in the third option.

I thought of another workaround that you could do in order to avoid editing the registry if that makes you somewhat nervous. You could setup a local account in your Outlook client to POP the message down when you wanted to check more frequently than every 15 minutes. This way when you had Outlook running you could manually force your Outlook client to POP messages more frequently. When you were not at your desk with Outlook running the server would do it every 15 minutes which would keep your OWA functionality.

If you feel that you can attempt the registry edit. You will first go to Start, and Run. Type in regedt32 to get into the registry editor. From there expand to the location mentioned in the linked article. You would do this by expanding HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, Software, Microsoft, SmallBusinessServer, Network, and than finally POP3Connector.

When you have POPO3Connector selected click in the screen on the right and go to New, DWORD Value. Set the name of the new entry to ScheduleAccelerator. Double click on this new entry in order to give it a value as explained in the link. If you give it a value of 3 the server will check for messages every 5 minutes. If you give it a value of 5 the server will check for messages every 3 minutes.

I think that once this entry is done you may have to restart the exchange services for the change to take affect. If it turns out that you do not want this entry to stay you can run the registry editor later, highlight the new key that you had made, and delete it. Just make sure that you only delete the key you had made ScheduleAccelerator, don't delete the entire POP3Connector registry entry.

I unfortunately do not have a server setup here to test that entry for you so I can't guarantee the results from the change. I expect that it will work fine, but proceed with some caution. Again if you are not comfortable making the change the workaround I listed above may be enough to get you by.
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airzaoAuthor Commented:
Thanks techzter! Right, I've followed your exceptionally clear instructions re: registry change and restarted the server. I guess I won't know if it's worked until I get a lot of emails at once and they are not all delivered *at the same time*. Actually, I've been monitoring this for a day now and I'm pretty sure it has worked! Thanks a bunch!
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