Exchange Unavailable each morning

I have a SBS 2003 Server fully up to date on patches.  This server has Symantec AV Corporate edition 10.2 and Symantec Mail Security for Exchange v 6.x

For the last several months and everyday this week, when the users arrive in the morning their e-mail is not working.  They cannot open Outlook as the information store is not available.  The server does not show any service as stopped but if we try to restart the information store it hangs.  Any service we try to restart (including the SMSMSE service) it hangs.  We end up having to restart the server to get things flowing again.

Any thoughts as to this issue?  I have another server same setup with the same issue but not as frequent.

Who is Participating?

[Webinar] Streamline your web hosting managementRegister Today

CBSHQConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
I was in descussion with MS about the issue and they had me change the following registry entries which seemed to fix the problem.  I have not experienced the issue since changing these settings.

3. Go to the following registry branch:


4. Highlight the key "Enabled", modify its value to 0.
5. Highlight the key "BackgroundScanning", modify its value to 0.
6. Highlight the key "ProactiveScanning", modify its value to 0.

In questioning them on what impact these changes would have on the effectiveness of virus scanning their answer was:

As for your concerns, registry keys we have changed are to disable
Antivirus programs to scan the Exchange Information Stores (i.e. Mailbox
Store and Public Folder Store) on the Exchange server. I would like to
explain that when antivirus programs are installed on the Exchange server,
generally we recommend to exclude Exchange related file from Antivirus
scan. Otherwise, these antivirus programs will affect Exchange server from
running. You can refer to the following article to obtain more information:

Overview of Exchange Server 2003 and antivirus software

However, antivirus program is just one of the possible causes to our issue.
In this case, please continue to monitor this issue on the SBS server.

At this point I consider this issue closed since I have not experienced the problem in over a month.

Thanks for all your help.
What is the size of the database ?
See the app log and check whats the error you get every morning there?
Problems using Powershell and Active Directory?

Managing Active Directory does not always have to be complicated.  If you are spending more time trying instead of doing, then it's time to look at something else. For nearly 20 years, AD admins around the world have used one tool for day-to-day AD management: Hyena. Discover why

Try and narrow down the time at which this happens overnight this will be the key to solving this, it could be to do with the Anti-Virus file protection scanning the exchange MDBDATA folder but that wouldn't explain the other services acting up. You could disable the desktop/file  protection on the server for a couple of days to rule it out. You can write a couple of batch files to start/stop services and schedule them after hours e.g information store. I know stopping the information store overnight might cause a couple of bounce backs but it's worth it to get to bottom of this. I'd be interested in the app/system logs , you may have to up the logging levels in exchange.
CBSHQAuthor Commented:
I got a message about the virus definitions on the smsmse being corrupt or not available.  I've run live update successfully.  There are some other app logs for exchange.  I've attached a zip with several txt files of the event logs.

Thanks for your help
CBSHQAuthor Commented:
The size of the exchange database and log files are both under 4 GB
From the event looks like your backup is schedule at 4 AM onwards and also SQL is doing some sort backup/ Exchange Database also has online maintanence schedule at 5 AM (default)...this might be causing some issue. Please make sure two activities are not clashing with eachother...this might help.
XCHIExpert is right, you've got backup issues. I would be tempted to disable or reschedule backups for 1 night and see if your mail store is working in the morning. Work backwards from there, check the scheduled tasks for volume shadow copying, you could temporarily disable this too.
CBSHQAuthor Commented:
I'm checking in to these and other items and will post back when I have more information.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.