Exchange Server 2013 troubleshooting guide for administrators

mamelas used Ask the Experts™
Dear Exchange Experts,

I came across recently  with a problem with my Exchange Server 2013 which could not send/receive mails.
I was searching for a solution using various blogs, microsofts support and EE.

It took me more than 4hours to find that the DB was dismounted and the Exchange Logs where responsible for this issue.

So I was wondering if anyone could suggest me a Troubleshooting book that covers the common failures of Exchange as well as the way that the components are interact each other.

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Senior Solution Architect
Most Valuable Expert 2015
Top Expert 2015
I do not know of any books specifically for troubleshooting. However, troubleshooting is more of an Art then something you just read from a book.

It is good to learn the product and then with understanding and experience you get better at troubleshooting.

Even if you have all of the required places to look if there is an issue with exchange (or any other applicaiton for that matter) you still need to understand WHY it happend and also methods to prevent it from happening again in the future.

So the best advice I can give you is learn the product and over time when you have a better understaning how Exchange fucntions you will get better at Troubleshooting.

AmitIT Architect
Distinguished Expert 2017
First you need a good monitoring tool. SCOM from Microsoft is best for Exchange. Next troubleshooting starts by analyzing services/application logs for Exchange Server. If you focus on logs, that will be enough to find the cause and fix.

Also, keeping yourself upto date is very important. For that you can participate on Experts Exchange, where you will find real question and solution. That's what we EE do here. Answering user query help us to troubleshoot issue much faster.
Mohammed KhawajaManager - Infrastructure:  Information Technology
Below is what I go by:

1.  Check Event Viewer for any anomalies
2.  Check Services to ensure all services are up and running
3.  Download and run Exchange Troubleshooter Assistant from Microsoft (
4.  If you are not familiar with Exchange then I suggest you obtain Exchange Administration training
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Jeff GloverSr. Systems Administrator

I have to agree with the sentiments expressed here. There is no good "How to for Troubleshooting" out there. There are various experts who publish invaluable data on their websites and blogs but all in all,  your best bet is this. Learn how it works and why. There are any number of good books out there that can explain how it works. Once you understand how it works, then it makes it easier to figure out why it isn't working. Exchange is not for the beginner or the faint of heart but it can be learned, either through self study or through classes. If you have the resources, I suggest you setup a test network and play with it. It is the best way to learn, by doing.


Dear Experts,

I would say that you all agree each other.

Yes I usually follow the basic steps of checking the EventViewer, the Exchange Services, the Administrator's Console the event of a production Environment there is no time for checking "possible" solutions on the net or waiting for a reply from EE.

It is also true that each time that something fails will help you to learn and understand things better but this is not professional in my opinion.

Every administrator should be one step ahead. Therefore I assume that the training is the keypoint.

Thank you all for your contribution.
AmitIT Architect
Distinguished Expert 2017

Proactive monitoring is key for running healthy Exchange environment. There are several ways you can do it, First, by implementing good monitoring tool. Next writing few custom scripts, Which can give you detail overview about your environment every day.

As far as, troubleshooting during production hours. I agree, there is no time to check blogs etc. However, if you participate in blogs, you might know that issue well in advance.

Finally, key for troubleshooting any server issue, you should know the application flow. Like how you connect to your Exchange server, is there any HLB or TMG in between your Server. How your mail flow works. Is there any spam server etc.

Training also play key role, however almost with every service pack. Microsoft changes or adds new things. So, you need to keep yourself update by reading blogs like EHLO.

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