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Blank attachments in Exchange Server

Posted on 2009-07-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
3 Weeks ago, the the server locked up and was rebooted. There was no apparent problem but now users are seeing that attachments that appeared normal before now are empty. When I examine them they have their contents filled with <<NULL>>.
There are also many emails with no body. All headers appear normal. The Attachments even show correct attachment size. What can cause this and what can be done to repair it?
Exchange Server 2003 SP2 on Windows 2003 Standard SP2
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Question by:Lazarus
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11 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:milikad
ID: 24856262
Hi,
Could you please tell me what antivirus and antispam softwares installed on exchange server?
MILIKAD
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:tmeunier
ID: 24856274
Do you have file-level antivirus scanning the filesystem on the Exchange server?  If so, you should make sure to exclude all directories touched by Exchange, and by any email antivirus/antispam programs.  Quick and dirty solution is exclude *.LOG, *.EDB, *.STM, c:\program files\exchsrvr\ (and children), c:\inetpub, c:\program files\your_antivirus_product\ etc., c:\windows\system32\inetsrv,  But there's a few more to touch, and that's covered in Microsoft KB article 823166. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/823166.
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LVL 20

Author Comment

by:Lazarus
ID: 24856400
Neither of the above answers are the problem as the Anti-Virus is set correctly and has been so for a very long time. It is more likely a dirty shutdown and corrupted EDB. which I am now checking. I'm not sure how to really fix it though if it's completely mismatched on the checksums
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Assisted Solution

by:tmeunier
tmeunier earned 200 total points
ID: 24856423
Well, it's clear that the most common cause of your issue is filesystem AV, so I'm glad you've double-checked that it hasn't been changed in the meantime.

At any rate, if you'd like to verify the dirty shutdown, then come back and rephrase as "I ran ESEUTIL /K per MS KB 825088 and here are the results..." then that would be a good next step.  We can't tell you what to do with corruption we don't even know you have.  :)

-tom
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LVL 23

Accepted Solution

by:
debuggerau earned 300 total points
ID: 24856527
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:milikad
ID: 24859571
Hi,
Yes. We cannot eliminate issue with database files.
In application log do you see any events which points to problem in database? Check the System log do you see any events which points to disk issues?
Do you see all mails as blank or only the mails which has attachments?
If you have decided to check with DB files first then Yes, possibilities of logical corruption cannot be ignored. So running isinteg will definitely help.
If issue continues even after isinteg and if we have to make sure that whether it is database issue or not we can always try to mount blank store (note: make sure to make copy of exisiting database and logs before trying to mount blank store)
If that still doesn't help, then I would recommend you to uninstall all 3rd party AV, ANTISPAM for test purpose and check.
Many a times some updates from AV or ANTISPAM software doesn't get applied correctly. By uninstalling these software for test purpose will tell us that if it related to  third party softwares or not.
Thanks,
MILIKAD
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LVL 20

Author Comment

by:Lazarus
ID: 24859815
I end up over the evening having to use ESEUTIL -p which would not complete, then went on to use it with -createstm as there were so many errors that it ran on forever. There were no indicates at all in the EVENT Log that there were any errors which is the strange thing. After running the ESEUTIL -d I did the ISINTEG -s -fix -test alltest which fixed everything in the database as far as errors, but did not resolve the missing body's or attachments. Cleaned the DB nicely though. So, now I guess I'm going to be running off an old copy of the DB and EXMEREGE to recover what is missing. Sort of a long way around things, but this is all I could to work.
I'll keep you posted.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:milikad
ID: 24860104
Hi,
Running hard repair (eseutil /p) is always a lost resort and that is also provided you don't have any latest backup copy of db files. As per your posting even after completing the complete process of hard repair i.e. eseutil /p, eseutil /d and isinteg you are still unable to see the attachments.
So it is eliminating issue with DB files. So I would like to suggest you as per my earlier posting once again to uninstiall all 3rd party AV and mail scanning software (antispam, disclaimer softwares), reboot the server and check.
Thanks,
MILIKAD
 
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LVL 20

Author Comment

by:Lazarus
ID: 24860870
MILIKID, I have already check into the Antivirus and that again is not the situation. I am able to uninstall it and reinstall it with no effect.  Still working on the OLD DB backup as we speak. Thanks for trying though.
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LVL 20

Author Comment

by:Lazarus
ID: 24864820
I was able to get everything up and running as well as possible. Clean DB no errors but missing a few Attachments. Debuggerau's sugestion to run the ESEUTIL and ISINTEG were helpful, but I still cannot see why there were no errors in the EVENT Log to indicate a problem, untill it was to late.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:debuggerau
ID: 24865301
I suppose robustness does not equate with bulletproof...
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