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Troubleshooter: Troubleshooting Message-Tracking Logs

How does Exchange generate message-tracking logs, and what would cause a problem with log generation for message tracking?

Exchange 2000 Server generates tracking logs when you turn message tracking on. This fact might seem blindingly obvious, but sometimes people forget to enable message tracking on particular servers, then wonder why they can't track a message from origin to destination. (Of course, you can track messages only from the point at which they enter or leave your organization, not to where they came from or go to outside your network.) When the SMTP service or the Information Service queues a new message, the action generates a tracking log entry; each time the message is routed to a server within your organization (including the final delivery hop), another entry is created. Every day, each server that has tracking enabled creates a new log file, which it stores in an automatically created share called serverName.log. You can use the Message Tracking Center to track messages from within Exchange System Manager (ESM). You can also write your own tools or macros to scan the log files, because Exchange stores them in a fairly straightforward text format. You can also use a commercial product such as Promodag's reporting tools. Removing the share or changing its permissions can make ESM unable to track messages through that server's logs. One other routine behavior to watch out for: If you turn on log-file maintenance, Exchange by default removes each log file older than 7 days. If you don't expect the files to be removed, this action can be surprising.

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