Exchange Me!

Nov 9 2007   11:38AM GMT

Q & A Corner…

B00M3R John Bostock Profile: B00M3R

Question: What Do I Do When An Exchange Store Won’t Mount?

When a store from your Microsoft Exchange server wont mount users cannot access data and mailflow is interrupted, the phones get hot and often panic can creep in. Having a systematic approach to troubleshooting this issue is very important. Here i will try and show you how to address this issue, but as with any trouble shooting situation begin with eliminating as many variables as possible and check the event log for clues to the failure.

Answer: Information Store – Is the Microsoft Information Store (MSExchangeIS service running? Can you successfully start the store service if it is stopped? If you cannot start the service is the Microsoft Exchange System Attendant (MSExchangeSA) service started?

System Attendant – Is the System Attendant service started? Can you start the service if its stopped? If you successfully start the system attendant service make sure to start the Information Store service as well.

Reboot The Server – I’ve often spent time troubleshooting this issue and forgot to try this one. Remember if in doubt reboot. The users will be offline for a while but they are offline anyway and if the store comes back up bingo back in business.

Anti-Virus Software – Generally not an issue if your Exchange Server has been already up and running for a while and working. But if you have updated the engine or you have a new install check this out. Exchange Av comes in two flavours, generic and Exchange aware. If you are using generic make sure you are not scanning your Exchange data directory. Try disabling your AV solution and attempt a mount then you know the issue. If it mounts after disabling check with the AV software provider and make sure there is no known issues with Exchange.

Mount a Blank Database (Enterprise Edition Only) – If you are trying to isolate the problem and are not sure if the problem is with a particular database, you can try to mount a blank database. If you can successfully mount a blank database, you know that your existing database has a problem. When mounting a blank database, do not move your current database files, simply create a new database.

Database Size – Are you running Exchange Server Standard Edition? If so, has the server reached the 16-GB store limit? If you are running Exchange Standard Edition, your mailbox stores will dismount when you reach the 16-GB size limit.

Problems With The Database – Is there a -1018 or -1022 error in the application log indicating a problem with your physical storage? If so search the Microsoft knowledge base re these errors

Back Up – Was a backup of the database restored? If yes, make sure it was restored properly in accordance with the Microsoft restore guide.

Shutdown Dirty – Verify that the database was shut down in a clean (consistent) state. Use ESEUTIL /MH. If the database is shutdown in a dirty (inconsistent) state, you cannot mount it and you must replay at least one transaction log file to bring it to a clean state.

Verify – Verify the integrity of the database. Use ESEUTIL /G, which will check the low-level integrity of the database. Were any utilities, such as Exchange Server Database Utilities (Eseutil.exe), run against the database? If so, what was done? Was it done correctly? Check against the knowledge base for confirmation.

Error ID’s – Error IDs can be confusing. The initial error you may see often has a generic message. If the error you receive does not tell you exactly what is wrong, the next step is to check the application event log. Once you find the errors in the event log, be sure to look in the error text itself for the actual error number. It is better to search for information about the error number in the text, than to search for the event ID.

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