Friday, April 27, 2007

Exchange Server 2003: Is Yours About to Crash?

I don't want to scare anyone but networks where Exchange Server had been running for a while might have a potential problem. Basically the store databases are dismounted without warning or users cannot log on to their mailboxes in Exchange Server 2003 or in Exchange 2000 Server, because the Exchange uses transaction log files that are numbered sequentially. The first file name in the transaction log file sequence is "E nn 00001.log." The file names increase sequentially to "E nn ffff0.log."

Microsoft udpated their Knowledgebase Article 830408 on March 9, 2007 advising for this problem. Furthermore, just yesterday (April 26) they released the latest version of the debugging tools - which are used to correct the problem, if it happens to you.
Basically stores dismount but a defrag and scan of Exchange show healthy state - but the stores refuse to mount.

To work around this problem, reset the log sequence. To do this, you must move all existing transaction logs to another location. After you do this, a new sequence of log files that starts with 0x00001 is generated.Important Before you move the transaction logs, you must verify that all databases in the storage group are in a Clean Shutdown state. To do this and to reset the log file sequence, follow these steps:
1. Mark all the databases in the affected storage group to not mount on startup. To do this, follow these steps:

2. Kill the store to dismount the database that could not be dismounted.To download the latest version of the Debugging Tools for Windows package, visit the following Microsoft Web site: (

3.Restart the store so that other storage groups can be mounted.

4.Run the ESEUTIL recovery on all the databases that are in the affected storage group.

5. Verify that the databases were in a Clean Shutdown state.

6.Move logs and checkpoint files to another location in case a recovery is required from an old database. The log files have the .log file name extension. The checkpoint files have the .chk file name extension.

7.Mount all the databases in the storage group.

8.Click to clear the Don't mount this store at start-up check box for all the databases in the affected storage group.

9.The storage group must be backed up when delivery settles down on this computer because you cannot recover log files past the new log file generation point.


Monday, April 23, 2007

TrialWorks Version 9.36 is now available!

The long awaited version 9.36 is now available. To get the latest feature information, your best choice is to go to Help > Check for Updates directly in TrialWorks. We have added many new features and fixes, but the biggest is what this blog is about.

Microsoft announced last year that Exchange Public Folders are being phased out; initially it was going to be in Exchange 2007, but that did not happen (although they are now optional). Fact is, starting with Exchange 2007, public folders are not useful. So to prepare for the future, we too changed our integration to deal with the lack of Public Folders.

As you may already know TrialWorks version 9.36 supports the ability to save e-mails as .MSG files. These files are stored in the E-mails folder in CaseFiles instead of using Exchange Public Folders. To use this feature a few things need to be done.
  1. Check the box “Store E-mails in CaseFiles” in the ”E-mail/Fax Settings” tab in Global Settings
  2. Save the TrialWorks Public Folder to a .pst file for backup and save it to \\\\MSGConversion\ (Manually create the folder MSGConversion)
  3. Back-up the SQL Database and save the .bak file to \\\\MSGConversion\
  4. Convert existing E-mails to .MSG files by running “Admin > Recreate Items > Save E-mails to .msg files for All Cases” . (This should be done after hours when no new e-mails are being filed. FYI this process took 6 hours on our system TWPDC01\TWCustomers which had a 3.4 GB public folder. The e-mails in the public folder will remain since we only save them to an .msg file without modifying the original e-mail )
  5. Save the log file from %appdata%\TWLogs\TrialWorks.log to \\\\MSGConversion\
  6. Search the log for entries that read “WARNING! Not all emails where saved as msg. (This entry means that for that particular case not all e-mails where saved to an msg file and there are more e-mails in the Public folder that in the new E-mail Folder in CaseFiles)

/jc + kj