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Cleaning Up After Deleting an SMTP Connector

I administer an Exchange Server 2003 organization and I have a customer who has created an unnecessary SMTP connector—one with bad settings to boot. Now I have a ton of mail backed up in the connector's queues. I want to delete the connector and force the mail over another connection. What's the best way to go about this task?

SMTP connectors don't actually have any on-disk structures; they're logical entities that tie a queue of messages to an address space to which the messages will be delivered. If you remove the connector, the queued messages will remain on disk, in the SMTP queue directory on the connector's local bridgehead server. (If the connector has multiple local bridgeheads defined, each of these servers might be holding messages.) If you want to remove the connector, you can safely delete it, then move the messages from the queue directory that the connector used to another queue directory in the organization.

To get another machine to process these messages, you have to manually set a registry value to tell the Exchange SMTP categorizer to rescan queued messages and place them in the appropriate local or remote queues. First, stop the SMTP service on the target machine, then open a registry editor and add a REG_DWORD entry named ResetMessageStatus to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SMTPSVC\Queuing registry subkey. Set the entry's value to 1, then restart the SMTP service. The SMTP virtual server will process the queued messages. After the queues have all cleared, stop the SMTP service again, remove the ResetMessageStatus entry, then restart the service. (You can read more about this registry entry and its other uses in Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2000 Server in the Microsoft article "XCON: Adding a Registry Key to Re-Categorize Messages" at

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