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Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Assistants service will not start after installing SP1

Posted on 2010-09-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hey,

We just installed SP1 on our Exchange 2010 servers, and after that the MSExchangeMailboxAssistants service will not start. It claims:

The Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Assistants service failed to start due to the following error: The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.

Unfortunately I am very sure the file (MSExchangeMailboxAssistants.exe) is not in use (verified with Process Explorer).
I also tried to check what is causing the service to fail with Process Monitor, but it doesn't seem to do anything at all. =/
I know this can be due to a port being in use (re: similar problem with IIS http://support.microsoft.com/kb/890015), but the service uses Dynamic RPC !?
Rebooting the server does not help.
Thanks for any help :)
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Question by:Bereke
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Expert Comment

by:tspreeth
ID: 33616511
Event Log Ids are need  to check on this.
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Expert Comment

by:Mkris9
ID: 33616618
Can you try Test-AssistantHealth and report back the results ?
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by:Mkris9
ID: 33616620
Can you try Test-AssistantHealth and report back the results ?
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Expert Comment

by:Mkris9
ID: 33616720
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Author Comment

by:Bereke
ID: 33616792
Well I checked the events but they don't say much.
Log Name:      System
Source:        Service Control Manager
Date:          7/09/2010 13:07:36
Event ID:      7000
Description:
The Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Assistants service failed to start due to the following error:
The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.

And the process is not in use. (checked with process explorer and i can rename the file without in use errors).
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Author Comment

by:Bereke
ID: 33616810
The outcome of the Test-assistanthealth command:

[PS] C:\Windows\system32>Test-AssistantHealth | fl


RunspaceId : 509f95e5-3ab3-4a6c-8c02-7ff19a3d72d1
Events : {Source: MSExchange Monitoring MsExchangeMailboxAssistants Troubleshooter
Id: 5201
Type: Error
Message: The MsExchangeMailboxAssistants service isn't running on server Z-YUUBIN.zna.local, or t
he server couldn't be contacted. CurrentServiceState Stopped}
PerformanceCounters : {}
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Expert Comment

by:Mkris9
ID: 33616899
ok, dumb question, but what happens when you try and run MSExchangeAssistant.exe from explorer ?
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Expert Comment

by:tspreeth
ID: 33616910
Is the Service running under System Account or Network Service ?
Can you change this to  other and check.
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Author Comment

by:Bereke
ID: 33616936
Tried that as well but  I get a warning:
Cannot start service from the command line or a debugger. A windows service must first be installed (using installutil.exe) and then started with the server explorer, windows services administrative tool or the net start command.
 
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Author Comment

by:Bereke
ID: 33616992
It runs under the local system account and I tried your suggestion to change to network service but changes nothing.  So I put it back to local system account.
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by:Mkris9
ID: 33617010
With SP1, the calendar repair assistant runs all the time. Can you try Get-MailboxServer | fl *calendar* and see if it is runinng.
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Expert Comment

by:Mkris9
ID: 33617055
Also did you install all the hotfixes in the prereq's before installing SP1 ?
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Author Comment

by:Bereke
ID: 33617123
The above command gives me something but nothing usefull.  The service is still not running. (I know that this command doesn't start the service).

On our test domain I tried the same command.  I compared the output and it is exactly the same.  and the on the test environment the service it running normally.
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Expert Comment

by:Mkris9
ID: 33617153
I didn't want the command to start the service - because it just can't and will not. The Calendar Repair Assistant (CRA) is a configurable, mailbox assistant that runs within the Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Assistants service on servers running Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 with the Mailbox server role installed. How can CRA which is a part of MA service run ?

What i wanted to check was to see if the mailbox assistants service is 'just' showing as not running but is actually running in some form or the other. anyways.
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Author Comment

by:Bereke
ID: 33617425
okay, I don't really understand, so here's the output.
[PS] C:\Windows\system32>Get-MailboxServer | fl *calendar*


CalendarRepairWorkCycle                :
CalendarRepairWorkCycleCheckpoint      :
CalendarRepairSchedule                 : {}
CalendarRepairMissingItemFixDisabled   : False
CalendarRepairLogEnabled               : True
CalendarRepairLogSubjectLoggingEnabled : True
CalendarRepairLogPath                  : D:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Logging\Calendar Repair Assista
                                         nt
CalendarRepairIntervalEndWindow        : 30
CalendarRepairLogFileAgeLimit          : 00:00:00
CalendarRepairLogDirectorySizeLimit    : unlimited

CalendarRepairWorkCycle                :
CalendarRepairWorkCycleCheckpoint      :
CalendarRepairSchedule                 : {}
CalendarRepairMissingItemFixDisabled   : False
CalendarRepairLogEnabled               : True
CalendarRepairLogSubjectLoggingEnabled : True
CalendarRepairLogPath                  : D:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Logging\Calendar Repair Assista
                                         nt
CalendarRepairIntervalEndWindow        : 30
CalendarRepairLogFileAgeLimit          : 00:00:00
CalendarRepairLogDirectorySizeLimit    : unlimited


It shows both times because we have a database availability group.  This role is also responsible for sending out of office messages and for the moment this ain't working for at about 100 users.
Is this output usefull?
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Expert Comment

by:Mkris9
ID: 33617555
No actually - as repair work cycle and others are default values.. Very little info out there and also my lab doesn't help either. I'm shooting in the dark as well..

Increase the diagnostic logging level on Email_Lifecycle_Assistant category of MSExchangeMailboxAssistants service. To do this, follow the steps given here:
Caution   Incorrectly editing the registry can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Problems resulting from editing the registry incorrectly may not be able to be resolved. Before editing the registry, back up any valuable data.

1.Start Registry Editor (regedit).
2.Locate the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeMailboxAssistants\Diagnostics
3.In the results pane, change the Value data of Email_Lifecycle_Assistant to 5.
4.Exit Registry Editor.
Review other related error and warning events in the Application log.

Also Exchange Active Directory Topology service is started, right ?
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Author Comment

by:Bereke
ID: 33617770
yes the AD topology service is running on both servers.
I have the issue on both mailbox servers.

I change the eventlogging level but when trying to start I still get the error and nothing happens.  No entries in the eventlog.  But the issue is that it doensn't start the executable.  I monitored through process explorer and we the process just won't start.  file in use error ...  I don't get it.

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Author Comment

by:Bereke
ID: 33618370
is there a way to uninstall SP1?  

I checked the installer of exchange 2010 you cant seem to do a repair.  the installer of exchangen 2010 SP1 doesn't give me the option to uninstall neither to do a repair or anything like that ...

please advice.
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Expert Comment

by:Mkris9
ID: 33619323
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by:Mkris9
ID: 33619329
also did you install all hotfixes before you installed sp1 ?
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Author Comment

by:Bereke
ID: 33624471
yes we installed all hotfixes.  all windows updates, the last exchange fix installed before sp1 was RUP4.
The link you mention doesn't tell how to remove SP1 ...  I was thinking (since i'm out of ideas) to remove and reinstall sp1.  I don't want to mess with the roles ...
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Expert Comment

by:Mkris9
ID: 33625535
I'm sorry - didnt' read through it completely. hmm.... Really wondering what actually is the job for testers at MS. I'll try and replicate your issue on my test lab - will let you know if I'm able to.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Jhonnyla earned 400 total points
ID: 33625769
We had a similar problem.  Adding quotes arount the path solved the issue.
HKLM\system\currentcontrolset\services\msexchangemailboxassistants\imagepath
it contains C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Bin\MSExchangeMailboxAssistants.exe.  Putting quotes around it solved my case.
1
 

Author Comment

by:Bereke
ID: 33625804
Hi,
I already checked this on our test environment.  the service is running smooth there and it doesn't include the quotes.  Anyway I gave it try and believe it or not the service it started.  I did the same on the other server and he's working too.  Many thanks Jhonnyla.

But I don't get it.  Why does it need the quotes to be abble to start.  In our test environment it's working normally without the quotes.
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Assisted Solution

by:Mkris9
Mkris9 earned 100 total points
ID: 33625839
I agree - adding quotes shouldn't make any changes. but heyyyyy, its MS and somethings strage things starts working.. :) I've just tried it on my test Lab - SP1 installed wihout any problems (sorry bereke) and it doesn't have any quotes either. Tried it with quotes and stil starts up fine.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Bereke
ID: 33625955
Mkris9 didn't solve my problem but I want to award him for his effort and time he put in.
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Expert Comment

by:Mkris9
ID: 33626028
Thanks
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