Sep 7 2016

There is currently no route to the distribution group expansion server

You see the error “There is currently no route to the distribution group expansion server” in a stuck message from your Exchange Hub Transport server submission queue.

To resolve this:

  1. Make note of the distribution group in the recipient information tab.
  2. Search for the Distribution Group in Exchange Management Console
  3. Right click on the group and choose properties
  4. Go to the Advanced tab
  5. Untick the box next to “Set expansion server”

You might have to restart the Hub Transport or SMTP service depending on your Exchange version.

We found this happened because the Expansion server was removed from the environment and not accessible. Another cause could also be the deletion of a routing group in Exchange 2003.


Feb 24 2016

Messages awaiting directory lookup – Queue Build up on Exchange

We had an Exchange 2003 server that had a queue build up. The messages were building up in the “Messages awaiting directory lookup” queue.

After investigation we found that the server had old DNS entries which were removed and new entries were added. The queue cleared almost immediately.

If you see build up in the Messages awaiting directory lookup queue then be sure to check DNS is working as expected.

Dec 17 2015

Exchange 2010 Queue Build up with Event ID 1035

We had an interesting issue with queues building up to remote sites. In queue viewer we noted errors sending mail to different remote sites as per below:

451 4.4.0 Primary Target IP Address responded with: “235 00000xxxxxxxxx”


And in the Event Viewer we noticed event ID 1035 , MSExchangeTransport


At first we thought the issue has to be on the specific Exchange 2010 server trying to send the mail as it was the only server in the DAG that could not send mail to the remote servers. However, the problem was still present after restarting the Hub Transport Service on the server experiencing the above issues.

As a shot in the dark we restarted the SMTP and Hub Transport Services on the remote servers (to where the mail is destined) and the errors disappeared and the mail was sent to the remote servers.

Oct 13 2015

Could not start the Microsoft Exchange IMAP4 service on Local Computer. Error 1058: The Service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it.

A while ago we had an Exchange 2003 server on which the IMAP service would not start. The below error was displayed after trying to start it.

IMAP Service error

We found that the Logon Profile was disabled. To resolve this do the following:

  1. Click on Start and in Run type services.msc then hit enter
  2. Look for the Microsoft Exchange IMAP4 service. Right Click it and choose Properties
  3. When the properties dialog opens click on the Log On tab
  4. Under Hardware Profile click on the profile (i.e. Profile 1) and then click on Enable
  5. Click on Apply and OK
  6. Right click the Microsoft Exchange IMAP4 service and click on Start.

The Microsoft Exchange IMAP Service should now start.

Mar 6 2015

Unable to expand a distribution list in Outlook – Exchange 2003 Environment

Have you ever receive an error stating that “There was an error while expanding the list. The list was not fully expanded.” when you try and expand a distribution list in Outlook? The error looks like the one below:


To solve this change the list to a Universal Distribution Group. Wait for replication if need be and you will then be able to expand the list and view the members within Outlook.

Jan 8 2015

Outlook Web Access stops working after renewing 3rd party Certificate

We had an interesting issue this week. We renewed our Exchange certificate with a 3rd party vendor. Installed the certificate on Exchange and ISA Server.

OWA access from the internet stopped working after we installed the certificates. We tested OWA internally and it worked which pointed to something on the ISA server. After a long investigation we found the issue to be ISA running on Windows 2003 which is not compatible with the Secure Hash Algorithm 2 (SHA2) family of hashing algorithms that the certificates from our 3rd party cert provider issues.

Microsoft has a hotfix available to get around this. We were able to access OWA from the internet after installing this hotfix on the ISA server running Windows 2003 Server.

The Microsoft article can be found below. You will find more technical detail within this article and have the opportunity to download the hotfix. Note that you need to restart your Windows 2003 Server after installing the hotfix.

Microsoft KB938397

Oct 29 2014

Exchange 2003 Services won’t start – Event ID’s 9175, 2114 and 1005

Exchange Server 2003 services does not want to start or takes a long time to start for all the Exchange servers in the same site.

We had this issue and found that the Exchange servers tried to authenticate with a domain controller in another site. I found that the Exchange servers had the local Domain Controllers configured in Exchange and could contact the servers using ping and telnet.

The application log showed 3 errors that were related to the Exchange Servers not being able to authenticate to the local Domain Controllers. The event ID’s were 9175, 2114 and 1005.


Add the “Manage auditing and security log” permission under “local policy – User Rights assignment on the local Domain Controllers.

For more on this please see this Microsoft Article.

May 18 2013

Outlook Web Access not displaying correctly when using IE 10 and Exchange 2003

Tonight I was busy patching my servers for the monthly scheduled patch cycle and tested Outlook Web Access from my home PC. I received the results below.




owa error with IE10





After almost having a miniature heart attack, I tested Outlook Web Access from my work laptop (IE 8) and home PC using Chrome. OWA displayed and functioned correctly as expected. I then checked the IE versions.
Home PC = IE 10 (Recently upgraded)
Work Laptop = IE 8

After a quick search on the internet I found an article by Pete Long who posted a work around on his blog. It seems like IE 10 is not compatible with OWA 2003. The work around needs to be done within Internet Explorer 10.
Here’s the link to Pete Long’s article:

My personal opinion: Time to migrate to Exchange 2010 or even consider 2013 as the benefits and improvements over 2003 is worth every Rand, Dollar, Pound, Pula etc. Not to even talk about the support costs to support 2003 and the ancient out of warranty hardware that it’s  probably running on.


Mar 29 2013

Changing the weather forecast location and temperature unit in Outlook 2013’s Calendar

I’ve installed Office 2013 a few days ago and tonight when opening the calendar I saw a nifty feature at the top showing the current weather forecast (including 2 days in the future) with the minimum and maximum expected temperatures.

I needed to change the location and temperature unit as the default was for New York and the temperature unit in Fahrenheit. To be honest I would have thought that Outlook should be able to pick a default city for my time zone but it’s not a big deal.

Below is a short video on how to change this if you are running Outlook 2013. (View the video in 1080p for best experience)

Jun 27 2012

How to reset IIS folders on an Exchange 2003 server

Sometimes IIS or IIS permissions go corrupt or just leave the planet for different reasons. When you need to delete and recreate these folders do the following…

  • Back up the IIS Metabase on your Exchange Server:
  • Start IIS Manager.
  • Right click the Default Website, choose All Tasks, and click Save Configuration to a File

Now delete the OWA virtual directories:
 Right click Exadmin and click Delete. When prompted if you are sure click Yes.

Now delete the below listed virtual directories:

    • Exchange
    • ExchWeb
    • Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync
    • OMA
    • Public
  • Close the IIS Manager.
  • Open the command prompt.
  • Change to (driveletter:)inetpubadminscripts
  • Type adsutil, and hit Enter.
  • Click Yes when prompted to register CScript as your default host for VBscript and then click OK.
  •  Click start, then run and type services.msc. Hit enter.
  • Right click on Microsoft Exchange System Attendant and choose restart.
  • Note that the MS Information Store and MTA Stacks will also restart. This will cause users to lose temporary connection to Exchange.
  • Make sure that all services (Microsoft System Attendant, Microsoft Information Store, MTA Stacks) have started.
  • I have found that a few times that restarting the System Attendant did not create the virtual directories but a server reboot did.
  • Now start the IIS Manager, right click on the ExchWeb virtual directory, click on properties and click on Directory Security.
  • Click on Authentication and Access Control then click Edit and then verify that Enable anonymous access is checked.
  • Check Integrated Windows Authentication, click OK, click Apply.
  • When the Permission Inheritance box appears, click on select all and then OK.
  • Now open Authentication and Access Control again. Click Edit and uncheck Integrated Windows Authentication.
  • Click OK twice.

Now your IIS Virtual Directories have been recreated. Test OWA. If OWA does not work reboot the server and after you logged in try OWA again as it should work like expected.