The Exchange Server Troubleshooter - 10 Apr 2001

How can I see a list of the currently active SMTP connections?

You can use the Netstat command to obtain a list of current TCP/IP connections. If you want to see just SMTP connections, enter

netstat | find "smtp"

In this command, the pipe (|) symbol channels the Netstat command's output to the Find command, which searches the output and filters out the lines that contain SMTP connections.

I want to let our Macintosh users run the new version of Microsoft Outlook 2001 over our VPN, but I'm having difficulty finding a VPN client for the Mac OS. What product do you recommend?

You're not the only one who's having this problem. The new version of Outlook for the Mac is a huge improvement over its predecessors; it's faster, more stable, and much more functional. Understandably, Mac users want to use it instead of Outlook Web Access (OWA), Outlook Express, QUALCOMM's Eudora, or Microsoft Entourage. Therefore, you need a way to include Macs in your VPN.

Two common VPN protocols are in use: PPTP and IP Security (IPSec). PPTP is arguably the most widely used VPN protocol because Windows 2000, Windows NT, and Linux all support it. When you combine IPSec with the Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP), IPSec is more secure and more flexible than PPTP, but Microsoft supports the IPSec-L2TP combination only on Win2K. Depending on which VPN you're using, your Mac users will need one of the following clients:

  • A PPTP client—This client acts to create a new VPN connection in Win2K by piggybacking on an existing TCP/IP connection. The best PPTP client I've found is Efficient Networks' TunnelBuilder.
  • An IPSec client—I think the best IPSec client is the client included in Network Associates' PGP product. For about $40, you get PGP and a variety of ancillary tools. However, this product might not work uniformly with Win2K IPSec servers.
  • A proprietary client—Many proprietary VPN solutions are on the market, and most of the major products have Mac clients.

How can I create a new post with an attachment in a public folder in OWA 2000?

You can't create a new public-folder post with an attachment in OWA. This limitation is disconcerting because OWA shows the word Attachments next to the subject line in the posting form. For whatever reason, though, OWA has no attachment button on the toolbar, so you have no way to post an item with an attachment directly through the form. The Microsoft article "XWEB: 'Attachment' Is Displayed in Compose Post Form in Public Folders but Attachment Cannot Be Added" (http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q255/4/44.asp) acknowledges that this problem exists and suggests these two alternatives for posting messages with attachments:

  • Mail-enable the public folder, and use a mail client to mail your message (with the attachments) to the public folder.
  • Use Outlook to post the message, even though that method isn't always feasible because you might need to post from a location in which you can't run Outlook.

I installed the Win2K administrative tools on my workstation. Why can't I see the Exchange Tasks item or the Exchange-specific properties for user objects?

The adminpak.msi file included with Win2K Server and Win2K Advanced Server installs all the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins (e.g., Active Directory Users and Computers, Sites and Services, DNS) on a Win2K Professional machine. This tool is handy because it lets you administer your servers without logging on to their consoles. Unfortunately, it also leads to the problem you've identified.

To obtain Exchange-related functionality in the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in, you must install the Exchange System Manager snap-in on your workstation because Exchange System Manager installs the necessary extension DLLs for Active Directory Users and Computers. This operation is analogous to the Exchange Server 5.5 requirement that you install Microsoft Exchange Administrator on machines on which you want the Exchange-aware versions of NT Backup or User Manager for Domains.

Mail that we send to recipients who are on our UNIX Sendmail system always has an attachment called winmail.dat. How do I turn off this attachment?

David Lemson, an Exchange program manager for Microsoft, recently answered this question on an Exchange list so well that I'm reprinting his answer here, with his permission.

Here is a tip: Whenever you see Rich Text in an Exchange System Manager dialog or that box that says Use Rich Text Format on a contact properties, that really means SEND THEM WINMAIL.DAT. Rich Text means Preserve the MAPI properties by encapsulating them in WINMAIL.DAT.

To prevent this behavior from happening, go to your default Internet Message Format Properties and ensure that Rich Text is set to User or Never.

Why, oh why did we keep calling it Rich Text? It has NOTHING TO DO WITH RTF. NOTHING WHATSOEVER.

When I move a production mailbox from Exchange Server 5.5 to Exchange 2000 Server, the owner of the moved mailbox can't log on unless I either cycle the Information Store (IS) or wait a while. The event log shows event ID 1144 (a logon failure) for the moved mailbox. What's the problem?

Assuming you've set up the Active Directory Connector (ADC) properly, the only interesting modification that must take place when you move a mailbox from Exchange Server 5.5 to Exchange 2000 is changing the attributes that signify the server on which the Active Directory (AD) user object's mailbox resides. This change occurs when you move the mailbox. The problem in this case is that another attribute (msExchUserAccountControl) isn't being updated until the next time the Recipient Update Service (RUS) runs. Exchange 2000 Service Pack 1 (SP1) will fix this flaw; in the meantime, just perform the following steps from within Exchange System Manager to force the RUS to update itself:

  1. Expand the Recipients node.
  2. Within Recipients, expand the Recipient Update Services node. The right pane will list all Recipient Update Services in your organization.
  3. Right-click each Recipient Update Service, and choose the Update Now command from the context menu, as Figure 1 shows.

The RUS can take a while to run, so I don't recommend running it casually. A better option is to batch your mailbox moves and perform them when user activity is low. Run the RUS after you've moved every mailbox in a batch.

I need to connect two separate sites. Do X.400 connectors work over the Internet?

Yes, X.400 connectors usually communicate on TCP port 102 (although you can change the port number by following the instructions in the Microsoft article "XCON: Configuring MTA TCP/IP Port # for X.400 and RPC Listens" at http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q161/9/31.asp). Make sure that you have the appropriate ports open, and put the correct username and password for the remote end on the Override tab on each end of the connector.

How can I gather performance data for the Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server?

NT Performance Monitor includes about 40 performance counters that you can use to monitor performance of the Conference Management Service (CMS—which books and schedules conferences and handles joining conferences), the Data Conferencing Service (which implements T.120 data conferences), the H.323 bridge service, and the Video Conferencing Service. The Microsoft article "XCCC: Performance Monitor Counters for Exchange 2000 Conference Server" (http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q274/2/23.asp) explains what these counters measure.

We need to replace our existing Exchange server because of performance problems. We currently have one server running Exchange Server 5.5, and we intend to stay with that version. What's the best way to replace the server?

You can replace the server in several ways. The easiest way is to use the Ed Crowley Server Move Method, which I've talked about in past columns. (See http://www.exchangefaq.org/managing/0007.php3 for the full details.) Ed's method involves setting up the new server and moving mailboxes from the old server to the new one. Outlook clients don't have to do anything to their profiles because the old server will send a Messaging API (MAPI) referral that points clients to the new server.

A more difficult method for replacing the server is to perform a disaster-recovery drill: Back up your old server, unplug it, and restore the backup to a new machine. Ed's method is much easier and less error-prone.

How do I customize the default SMTP address that Exchange 2000 generates for newly added accounts?

Exchange 2000 uses recipient policies to generate addresses. This feature is useful because you can define multiple policies that implement exactly the set of addresses you want defined, assuming you know how to do it. By default, the recipient policy generates an address based on the account name. If Joe User's account name is juser, his default SMTP address will be [email protected] To change this default, you can use some specifiers that force the address generator to use a particular format, as Table 1 shows. You can also use a number with the specifiers to define how many characters of a name you want to use. For example, a specifier of %1g%s gives you one letter of the first name, followed by the last name (e.g., PRobichaux, GBush); %g%1s gives you PaulR and GeorgeB.

The IS (priv.edb) on our Exchange server has been 13GB for the past few weeks, even though we've enforced mailbox-size restrictions. Mailboxes' size has reduced dramatically since we've enforced limits because users have either deleted or archived old messages. Do I need to run a defragmentation utility or a utility to reclaim unused space?

If you've ever seen a glassblower work, you know how the IS expands, even if you don't realize it. When the glass is molten, the blower can expand it, but after it cools, the only way to shrink it is to melt it. Likewise, the IS grows when it needs more space, but if you then clean it out, it doesn't release any of the space it's using on disk. This unused space, called white space, is actually beneficial because when the IS needs space, it can reclaim white space before taking more disk space. However, anytime you've done something that dramatically shrinks the IS, it might be a good idea to reclaim white space by using Eseutil with the /d switch to perform an offline database defrag. Of course, (all together now) always make and verify an online backup before using Eseutil.

Can you recommend a book or reference that would explain how to set up the Outlook client? I'm looking for information about setting up shared calendars and schedules.

I admit to being biased on this topic; because I write for a living, I'm pretty finicky when it comes to recommending books. The two best Outlook 2000 books out there are Sue Mosher, The Microsoft Outlook 2000 Email and Fax Guide (Digital Press,1999) and Tom Syroid, Outlook 2000 in a Nutshell (O'Reilly, 2000). Sue's book is more task oriented, and Tom's is more of a reference. I recommend them both highly.

How can I install Exchange 2000 and OWA 2000 so that selected users can schedule conferences with Conferencing Server without requiring all users to be on Exchange 2000?

You can accomplish this task—with a few constraints on functionality. Microsoft designed Conferencing Server for use with Outlook 2000 or later, but you can use OWA 2000 to book conferences if you want to. Just create a meeting request that invites the resource mailboxes you want to use. When the CMS processes the request, you'll get a message either accepting or rejecting the conference request. The acceptance message will contain a URL for the meeting; forward it to the other recipients, and they'll be able to join the conference. Note that this method works only for public conferences; therefore, anyone who finds (or can guess) the conference URL can join the conference. The Microsoft article "XWEB: Creating an Exchange 2000 Online Conference with Outlook Web Access" (http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q263/2/60.asp) describes this process in detail.

Is a procedure available for moving Exchange databases from an Alpha server to an Intel server?

Fortunately, yes—otherwise, all the companies that spent big bucks on hot Alpha hardware would have no migration path to the x86 world. You can move the files without any special conversion, but you're still subject to all the same constraints you have when moving Exchange databases from one machine to another. You can perform a complete disaster recovery from the Alpha box to the x86 server, or you can take partial steps such as moving mailboxes and public folders instead of moving all the data.

Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish