Microsoft Exchange and Windows Small Business Server FAQs

  Small shops often choose to run Microsoft Exchange on top of Windows Small Business Server (SBS). This is a sensible setup for many SMBs, but it does introduce certain issues unique to this configuration. Below you'll find several frequently asked questions related to running Microsoft Exchange on Windows SBS. Whether you're troubleshooting a specific problem or you just want to learn more about running Exchange on SBS, you'll find the information you need here.


Frequently Asked Questions:


  1. Incremental Exchange Server backups on Windows SBS 2003
  2. Disaster recovery guidelines for Exchange on SBS
  3. Troubleshooting NTBACKUP failures on SBS 2000
  4. Configuring Exchange on SBS to retrieve email
  5. Troubleshooting mail delivery failure between internal SBS users
  6. Verifying MX records to track delivery problems to a specific domain
  7. Using SBS to cache email for Exchange 2003
  8. Creating Exchange profiles on SBS via a MAPI-enabled mail client
  9. Sending and retrieving email through POP3
  10. Viewing graphics in OWA on SBS 2003
  11. Saving users' mailboxes as .PST files on Exchange and SBS 2003
  12. ISA configuration issues for SBS and email delivery

  Incremental Exchange Server backups on Windows SBS 2003

I am managing a Windows Small Business 2003 server. I need to do incremental Exchange Server backups to keep the size of backups down (as we are copying these backups offsite over DSL). Using NTBACKUP I can copy and do normal backups fine, but when I try an incremental or differential backup, I get the following:

Backup Status
Operation: Backup
Active backup destination: File
Media name: "MFP1-WK Exchange Diff 22nd.bkf created 6/22/2004 at 1:00 AM"

Error: MFP1-WKMicrosoft Information StoreFirst Storage Group is not a valid drive, or you do not have access.

I get the same error message if I try to do the backup job manually or schedule it. There are no errors in Event Viewer at all -- any ideas?

Check the circular logging setting on MFP1-WKMicrosoft Information StoreFirst Storage Group.

If circular logging is "on" then turn it off and recycle your Microsoft Exchange Information Store service.

If circular logging is "off" then turn it "on." Recycle your Information Store service. Then turn it "off" and recycle the Information Store service again.
—David Sengupta, Server Administration Expert

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  Disaster recovery guidelines for Exchange on Small Business Server (SBS)

I had an Active Directory corrupted, and the name of the domain in the store was recorded with the name "." (dot). I have a Windows 2000 Small Business Server SP3 with Exchange SP2. I don't have the Exchange logs or backups, only its databases. Is it possible to write the correct domain name in the Exchange databases and mount them again?

You might be able to recover your data if you follow general disaster recovery guidelines for Exchange Server. The high-level steps are as follows:


  1. Install a "recovery server" in a new Active Directory forest. Do not install it into your production forest.


  2. Install Exchange on the recovery server. Make sure you use the same organization name as your production organization.


  3. Recover the database to an administrative group (AG) in which the legacyExchangeDN values match the legacyExchangeDN values from the original production AG. Have a look at Microsoft Knowledge Base 324606,  XADM: How to use Legacydn.exe to correct Exchange organization or Administrative Group names.


  4. Name the restore storage group and database to match your production storage group and database names.


  5. Export the data to .PST files, and then import the .PST files into new mailboxes after you've rebuilt your production environment.

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  Troubleshooting NTBACKUP failures on SBS 2000

We have Small Business Server 2000 including Exchange 2000. We use NTBACKUP to back up First Storage Group, system state and data. It has been fine for months. But now, every day the backup log is empty. NTBACKUP is still showing as a process and has to be killed, at which point we get an ESE information Event ID 222 then error Event ID 215.

I can run an NTBACKUP of First Storage Group on its own and it's fine. I can run an NTBACKUP of the data on its own and it's fine. Then I can run both together and it's fine. But when both are then left to run on the overnight schedule it doesn't work.

This issue can occur because of hardware-related issues on the Exchange server, or because of issues with the third-party applications that are installed on the Exchange server. In certain database operations, including, but not limited to, an online backup, the backup routine makes a call to Windows to read a 4 KB page of data from the database on disk and write the data to tape. Before the online backup process writes the data that is returned from the Windows call to the tape, the online backup process compares the checksum value in the page header (recorded when this page was written to disk) to that being returned from the READ call.

If the checksum values do not match, the Exchange Server database engine detects this and returns error -613. When error -613 occurs, events 222 and 215 (along with other related events) will be logged in the application event log.

Error -613 translates to JET_errSLVReadVerifyFailure (checksum error in SLV file during backup). JET_errSLVReadVerifyFailure is similar to a more common error (1018 - JET_errReadVerifyFailure). Exchange 2000 logs error -613 for checksum errors on the .STM database file and logs error 1018 for checksum errors on the .EDB database file.

For additional information about the underlying cause of these errors, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 314917, "Understanding and analyzing Exchange Server database errors." For more information on this issue, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 318429, "Error -613 message and you cannot back up Exchange 2000 Server or Exchange Server 2003."

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  Configuring Exchange on SBS to retrieve email

We are currently using Exchange 2000 on our Small Business 2000 server for internal email. Our outside email is received by Microsoft Outlook connecting to our mail server at a third-party Internet service provider (ISP). How can I configure Exchange Server to retrieve the email for users and then configure Microsoft Outlook to retrieve them from Exchange instead of the Internet?

Small Business Server (2003, 2000 and 4.5) includes a component called the POP3 Connector that can be configured to connect to your ISP and retrieve mail for the users in your organization, and then move it to the appropriate mailboxes. It is tied into the Small Business Server Internet Connection Wizard. Check out the Help on your system, or you can access it directly inside Exchange System Manager under Connectors. Microsoft has a TechNet guide that examines important considerations when connecting a Small Business Server network to the Internet, including the types of available connections and the Small Business Server Internet Connection Wizard.

After you have the connector set up, you can remove the account from your Outlook profile. Depending on the version of Microsoft Outlook, you also might want to change the Outlook Mode from Internet/POP3 to Workgroup/Exchange.

There are also a number of add-on products for POP3 connector functionality (search for POP3 Gateway Exchange). If simple and inexpensive is what you want, I particularly like Mail Redirect from Helexis Software. As the Microsoft POP3 Connector only works with SBS, this is a great solution for someone running full Exchange and needing a POP3 gateway.

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  Troubleshooting mail delivery failure between internal SBS users

I manage a Small Business Server with 10 users. Intermittently, email does not get delivered from one user to another user inside the network. I enabled message tracking and it appears as though the message is delivered properly, but the recipient never gets it. I checked for any rules on the client and there are none. Any clues why the messages go into never-land?

Have you checked the views to see if perhaps the message is being hidden because of a view configuration? Also, have you tried opening the mailbox with a different mail client (e.g., Outlook Web Access) to see if the messages appear in that client?

Are you by chance running antispam or antivirus software that might be intercepting the message for some reason and deleting or quarantining it? If so, check the log/archive files for that software and see if the messages are present.

One other option would be to turn on diagnostic logging and then check the event logs for message and transport-related events.

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  Verifying MX records to track delivery problems to a specific domain

We are running Exchange 2000 SP3 on Small Business Server 2000. Windows 2000 is SP3. About a week ago, a user told me that he couldn't send messages to a certain address. He was trying to send a message to his personal email address at the ix.netcom.com domain. I looked at the queue, and sure enough, it was in retry to the ix.netcom.com domain.

We are not having any trouble sending to any other domains, nor is he having trouble receiving messages at his personal email account from people not on our domain. I tried sending several test messages, and I was successful in getting two to go through, but I have not figured out why some go through and some don't. Any suggestions?

If you right-click the queue for this domain in Exchange System Manager (ESM) and select "Properties," you'll see the reason for message delivery failure listed toward the bottom of the dialog box. This will tell you why the mail has not been delivered. Some of the more common problems are DNS-related (e.g., "Unable to bind to destination server in DNS") and connection problems ("The remote server did not respond to the connection attempt").

Once you determine why the email remains in the queue, you can then pursue the appropriate troubleshooting steps, such as using Nslookup to verify the MX records for ix.netcom.com. When I check those records from my location, I get the following:

ix.netcom.com MX preference = 10, mail exchanger = mx04.earthlink.net ix.netcom.com MX preference = 10, mail exchanger = mx05.earthlink.net ix.netcom.com MX preference = 10, mail exchanger = mx06.earthlink.net ix.netcom.com MX preference = 10, mail exchanger = mx00.earthlink.net ix.netcom.com MX preference = 10, mail exchanger = mx01.earthlink.net ix.netcom.com MX preference = 10, mail exchanger = mx02.earthlink.net ix.netcom.com MX preference = 10, mail exchanger = mx03.earthlink.net ix.netcom.com nameserver = itchy.mindspring.net ix.netcom.com nameserver = scratchy.mindspring.net mx04.earthlink.net internet address = mx05.earthlink.net internet address = mx06.earthlink.net internet address = mx00.earthlink.net internet address = mx01.earthlink.net internet address = mx02.earthlink.net internet address = mx03.earthlink.net internet address = itchy.mindspring.net internet address = scratchy.mindspring.net internet address =

Your Nslookup query results should match this.

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  Using Small Business Server to cache email for Exchange Server 2003

Is it possible to use Exchange Server 2003 just for caching email and centralized contacts? My company has 20 people. We used our Web hosting company email servers (POP3 and SMTP) and not a static IP address for the company. If this is possible, can you explain how?

I recommend you look at Small Business Server, which includes Exchange Server 2003. There is a POP3 connector that you can configure to pull down mail for your users, and this doesn't require you to have a fixed IP address.

You should also configure the "reply-to" addresses on all the mailboxes within Exchange to point to the SMTP addresses that correspond to your users' POP3 accounts. Once this is set up, Exchange will be able to send outbound Internet mail even without a static IP (it'll just need a reliable DNS server to point to -- presumably the one configured by your ISP) and anyone replying to these messages will send those to your users' POP3 accounts. Once all that's configured then you can absolutely use Exchange Server 2003 for messaging and collaboration -- specifically storage of mail and centralized contacts as you suggest -- within your company. Don't forget to get some good backup software that is Exchange-aware to make regular backups of your server.
—David Sengupta, Server Administration Expert

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  Creating Exchange profiles on SBS via a MAPI-enabled mail client

I am running Small Business Server 2000 (SBS 2000), and need a MAPI-enabled mail client to create Exchange Server profiles. I read one of your articles about using the Exchange 5.x client. Where can we get it? Is it on the SBS 2000 CDs? Thanks.

I don't have the SBS 2000 CDs on hand to examine, so I don't know if you can find it on there. But I think the latest Exchange 5.0 client was Exchange 5.0 SP2. If you don't have the Exchange 5.0 SP2 CD on hand, you should be able to get it from Microsoft's FTP site. This is the Windows NT-based Exchange 5.0 SP2 client for x86 systems.

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  Sending and retrieving email through POP3

I have an Exchange 2000 server that I installed to look at and learn more about it. I would like to use it to retrieve my ISP (POP3) email so I can access it without having to depend on one computer. I don't want to use a different domain name since I want the email to come from my ISP account. Is there a way to set up Exchange 2000/2003 to retrieve/send mail through my ISP account?

There are basically three options that come to mind.

If you've installed the versions of Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003 that ship with Small Business Server (SBS) 2000 or SBS 2003, respectively, then you have access to a "POP3 Connector" that will allow you to download mail automatically from your ISP account.

If, however, you're planning on using the non-SBS versions of Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003, then you'll either need to find a third-party POP3 Connector or work with your ISP to implement a workaround using TRN or ETRN. If the former approach interests you, fire up your favorite Internet browser and search for "POP3 CONNECTOR" MICROSOFT EXCHANGE or similar and review the different options returned by your query. If you'd like to try the latter approach, then you'll need to contact your ISP to see if they would support queuing your mail until your server connects and issues a TRN or ETRN command. If the ISP's server supports either of these verbs, then mail will automatically be dequeued and delivered to your Exchange server on whatever schedule you have defined.
—David Sengupta, Server Administration Expert

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  Viewing graphics in Outlook Web Access (OWA) on Windows SBS 2003

We installed Outlook Web Access (OWA) on a Small Business Server 2003 server and can access it from the outside, but it will not send any graphics back, just text. The graphics are coming across with a box and a red X. Internally, it works fine.

Use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) on the OWA Web site to encrypt the HTTP traffic so that your firewall cannot determine what HTTP verbs are being sent.

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  Saving users' mailboxes as .PST files on Exchange and SBS 2003

My company has Windows 2003 Small Business Server with Exchange and 10 users. I want to take all users' mailboxes as .PST files from the server. Is this possible?

The simplest way to perform this operation is using the ExMerge utility, which can be downloaded from Microsoft Web site.


  1. Place the ExMerge utility in the \Program Files\Exchsrvr\bin and execute to perform an ad-hoc export.
  2. Select Extract or Import (two-step procedure).
  3. On the next dialog, select Step 1.
  4. On the next screen, supply the name of your Exchange server.
  5. To make additional selection restrictions, you can click Options (for example, if you only wanted messages from a specific time period).
  6. On the next dialog, select the Exchange database from which you want to export data.
  7. Next, choose the mailboxes you wish to export data from.
  8. Select the Language and pick the destination folder you wish to export to.
  9. Make sure you have sufficient disk space.
  10. Save these settings in the next dialog, so that you can run the program later in batch mode. The export process will begin.

When finished, you will have exported all of the mailbox data into .PST files. You can automate the process by running ExMerge in batch mode. Review the ExMerge documentation for more information.

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  ISA configuration issues for SBS and email delivery

I am doing some work for a relative who owns a small company. They are using Windows 2000 Small Business Server (SBS) on one server platform and host six clients locally. The clients are going through the (proxy) server for Internet and email access. They are using Exchange for local email and also use an Internet service provider (ISP) for Internet mail.

I recently added a laptop but have not been able to successfully send email from the office (behind the server), though I can receive outside email without any problems. The server is running ISA Server as a firewall add-on; I disabled this at one point and nothing changed. What is wrong?

This is an ISA configuration issue. You need to make sure that ISA Server is configured to allow port 25 (SMTP) from the internal network (Small Business Server included) to the Internet. ISA Server can be tricky to configure, and when it is integrated on the same server as the applications it is trying to protect, you are talking even more complexity. I would suggest, as a best practice, you use a separate server to set up ISA or simply use an inexpensive firewall device instead. I think you will have better luck.
—Richard Luckett, Microsoft Exchange Security Expert


With Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2000/2003, you also need to be a member of the BackOffice Internet Users security group or ISA Server won't let you browse the Internet or send email out. If the other systems are not having problems with email or browsing, only the laptop, then ISA Server is not going to be blocking port 25 outbound.
—Alan C.

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  Bradley Dinerman
Bradley Dinerman
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This was first published in July 2005

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