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PERSJWM
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Exchange Server behaving erratically

At my organization, updates have not been run regularly on the servers, including the Windows 2003 / Exchange 2003 server.  This server runs GFI Faxmaker and has been virtualized.  On 6/23/2012, I ran all of the outstanding updates (about 140 of them - yeah, I know... ridiculous).  The following Tuesday everything started going wrong.  We have a server that has the modem card for fax and Faxmaker is loaded on that.  Faxmaker is also loaded on the Exchange server.  Since that time, here is a list of the items that are broken:

1. The system will only receive incoming faxes but will not send outgoing faxes
2. There seem to be intermittent "lock-ups" of the mail server.  When this happens, everyone's Outlook client prompts them for credentials.  Once it clears up within a few seconds, closing Outlook and re-opening it restores the connection.
3. Backups are failing with the error from ARCserve that says E8602 "Failed to read from database. (DBNAME=First Storage Group, EC=)
4. Backups using NT Backup fail with the error "The device reported an error on a request to write data to the media.  Error reported: Unknown Error.  There may be a hardware or media problem.  Please check the system event log for relevant failures".  I'm attempting to backup the first storage group to a mapped drive on another server.  

The event logs don't reflect anything usable towards all of these problems.  Any assistance with this would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!
ExchangeWindows Server 2003

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PERSJWM

8/22/2022 - Mon
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FDiskWizard

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PERSJWM

ASKER
The .NET version is possible.  I'd have to drill down to find out.  App / System logs aren't giving me a clue.  No updated NIC drivers.  Didn't see any connections offloaded.  Most are established with some in close_wait.
PERSJWM

ASKER
Actually, I'm seeing Time Server messages such as the following, now that I think about it:

Time Provider NtpClient: No valid response has been received from domain controller after 8 attempts to contact it. This domain controller will be discarded as a time source and NtpClient will attempt to discover a  new domain controller from which to synchronize.
FDiskWizard

Is there a time difference between your servers? It should not be more than a 5 minute difference between any two servers.
Also, when having one issue, other issues will cascade along with it....
The real issue may be the Domain Controller.
As an example if you were to pull the network cable out of a server, you would probably get quite a few errors within a few minutes.

You're gonna have to dig and try to reach that ROOT CAUSE.
it could be something as simple as the time skew. Or something more trouble on the DC.
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William Peck
PERSJWM

ASKER
I added a 100GB volume to this server and just tried a local NT Backup.  The backup succeeded which indicates to me that it's a network issue.
FDiskWizard

Yes. and a time difference will break your security between two servers.
But the Time server issue could be secondary...
Name resolution HAS to work. So does AD, and your domain controller.
FDiskWizard

I meant to say that a NETWORK issue can be many things in itself. DNS, Drivers, security, etc...
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PERSJWM

ASKER
The time is actually consistent between the mail server and the DC.  Now, on the same day I raised the Forest Functional Level from 2000 to 2003.  The Domain Functional Level was already at 2003.  I doubt that would be causing an issue though.
PERSJWM

ASKER
Looks like I'm going to open a Microsoft incident on this one.  I just don't have a clue what's going on with this server.
PERSJWM

ASKER
Well, it appears that Microsoft rejected the incident because Exchange 2003 isn't supported in a VMware environment.  This situation just keeps gettin' better and better.

I'm revisiting these prior posts regarding DC's and directory services.  I've just been advised that Microsoft Updates have not been run on the DC's in months so they are not up to par with the Exchange server.  I will be running those this weekend.  Many thanks for all of the input regarding this issue up to this point.
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PERSJWM

ASKER
So far after syncing up all of the patches on the DC's and mail server, the backups have succeeded and it's been stable.  I'll continue to monitor.  Thx for your help, FDW.