Default SMTP Virtual Server instance would not start after System State Restore

The Default SMTP Virtual Server instance was failing to start after recovering from a System State Backup.  Because this was a Domain Controller the server had to be started in Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM) in order to do the ntbackup restore.  When booted into DSRM, Chkdsk kicked in and did a scan before launching into Safe Mode.  What I didn’t know initially was that Chkdsk had gotten hold of the Exchange ‘Queue’ directory.  Here is what we did to bring it back and recover the previously queued mail.

When the Default SMTP Virtual Server was failing to start, the application log reported event id 429 which mentioned that the specified mail queue directory is not valid.  We checked the ’vsi 1’ folder and found that the ‘Queue’ folder was missing and in its place was a file with the name ‘Queue’.  We deleted the file and created a folder named ‘Queue’.  Once this was done, we were able to start the Default SMTP Virtual Server instance.

Now that Exchange was running again with its new ‘Queue’ folder that was great, but what happened to the messages that were previously in the Exchange Queue before the System State Restore had been done?  We found that checkdisk had placed them in the ‘Found.000’ folder.  We replayed the messages by putting them back into the ‘Pickup’ folder.  Mail normally flows into the Pickup folder first and then will automatically move to the Queue folder before moving into individual mailboxes.  There ended up being a couple corrupt ones that would just sit in the Queue folder so we deleted those in Windows Explorer.

7 thoughts on “Default SMTP Virtual Server instance would not start after System State Restore

  1. Steve,
    This was good info. All though not exactly the same issue it helped point me towards a resolution when our Brightmail Server stopped working. The C:\inetpub\mailroot\Queues folder was corrupt. Running ChkDsk /f /x and then rebooting was the first part in solving the issue. Then I deleted the queue “file”, created a “folder” instead and mail started pouring in.

    Thanks- Steve F.

  2. Thanks Steve for adding the information about your Brightmail Server. Also, great job on getting your three letter domain. Ah the good ol’ days of 1996 when there were still some short domain names to go around. 😉

    Thanks again for adding your resolution.

  3. this all started for me on a Sunday morning, server is virtually doing nothing.   Folder was renamed to file.

    On my 1st reboot after issue, I did notice that the server was reindexing..(but was spelled wrong in message)

    I run GFI ME, dont see how that may or may not have played into this issue.   After fix, reinstalled GFI ME and all running

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *