Our Inaugural meetings.

Hi All,

I thought I would take this chance to put together a quick note about our inaugural meetings.

In Reading on Wednesday 13th, we had 12 members for our very first meeting. From the feedback people certainly seems to get something out of the evening and we had a decent amount of interaction with the speakers!

On Thursday 14th, we had approx 15-20 participants. Again there were plenty of questions and it was certainly an enjoyable evening topped off by a visit to the local pub kindly funded by Eileen Brown!

So, a big thank you to all who came and sorry for those who couldn’t make it. I will be looking to put together an event in October and very much would like your suggestions about topics.



An overview of Exchange Database utilities

Take a look at the link below for a great overview of the eseutil Exchange DB tool:




Another useful troubleshooting tool for Exchange is ISINTEG. The link below is a good reference of the usage of the tool:




The basics of ISINTEG are:


Before running ISINTEG ensure that your information store is running and any databases to be checked are dismounted.

Then run:

c:\program files\exchsrvr\bin\isinteg -s servername -test alltests

A better solution for showing SCL ratings in Outlook

I have been doing some work with the IMF recently after we moved away from using Antigen internally.

One thing that was particularly irritating was allowing Outlook users to see the SCL rating a mail received.

Well now there is a better way.


ShowSCL for Exchange 2003 application allows you to place the message SCL score to the message category, so that you can easily find, sort, filter, or group the items by the SCL value.”


For more info see


Protecting RPC over HTTPS with ISA 2004 – problems!


I was called today by a good friend and colleague who is an SBS MVP. He was having problems getting access to Exchange using RPC over HTTPS. This had been working until MS support got their hands on things whilst fixing a separate issue!

So what to do. Well firstly we scoured the web to find a simple step by step document on how to set this up. Whilst there are certainly many resources out there which all touch on the issue we frankly didn’t find anything which simply ran through from start to finish. (Note to self – I must write something along these lines!)

Anyway back to the issue. Whilst looking in the logging section we found that traffic was being blocked and was clearly not authenticating properly. OWA was working fine so the certificates and authentication in that area were fine. After a little bit of tinkering and setting the listener to force authentication things were no better. So at this point we decided to simply start from scratch and blow away the existing rule.

This done we went through the steps to create a Mail Publishing rule. Having completed the rule we tested OWA and found that still worked. So then we tested the RPC over HTTPS. Again. nothing!

At this point we were both a little confused as having set things up from scratch we both expected success. It was then that I had a thought and checked the Path tab of the rule seen below:

What I found was rather interesting. The /RPC/* entry (highlighted in the red box) was missing. Having added it as can be seen, everything worked fine!

What is strange about this is we literally wiped out all Mail Pulishing configuration and set it up from scratch. The fact that this entry didn’t get entered by default certainly surprised both of us.

Anyhow, hope this helps someone else in this situation, it certainly made me happy especially as I got it fixed in time to watch the second half of the Grand Prix qualifying!




How to Remote control your WM5 device.

I have recently been investigating the best way to do demos involving WM5 devices.

Having looked into the Emulator briefly I didn’t have a great deal of luck getting it to work! (something else to play with when I get a minute!)

So I moved onto looking at other methods and discovered the Windows Mobile Devloper Power Toys one of which is a Remote Display app.

So, after downloading and installing, no luck! They don’t really support WM5.

So I googled a little more and then found that actually there is a work around!

Have a look at the article here:


Bascially the key section is as follows:

“It’ll only run on WM5 devices (all of them) if you copy c:\Program Files\Windows Mobile Developer Power Toys\ActiveSync_Remote_Display\devices\wce400\armv4\cerdisp2.exe to the \Windows directory on your PDA and, then, start it there. Then, you will need to manually start c:\Program Files\Windows Mobile Developer Power Toys\ActiveSync_Remote_Display\ASRDisp.exe (NOT cerdisp2.exe as described in c:\Program Files\Windows Mobile Developer Power Toys\ActiveSync_Remote_Display\readme.txt!) on your desktop.”

Thanks for this tip to Werner Ruotsalainen.

Troubleshooting 421 4.0.0 error


I hope this may be useful to someone. I have just spent a couple of hours troubleshooting the above error message which was occuring when we sent mail to our company banker.

I appears that others are having similar problems see the thread here:


Anyhow, I thought I would list my troubleshooting steps.

On being told that people couldn’t send mail to the recipient, I proceded as follows:

First I looked at the queues on the Exchange server and located the mail. It was set to retry and had been that way for a day or so.

I next checked the error message presented in the queue viewer which was as below:

“The connection was dropped by the remote host”

I then restarted the SMTP service to see if that would get things moving. As expected, it didn’t!

Having done this I then used nslookup to lookup the MX records for the problem domain. I did this by first setting nslookup to search for MX records using the command:

Set type=mx

then entering the domain.

Once I had the mail servers for the domain I new DNS was working so I then moved on and checked the SMTP logs by going to:

Start/Run/ and typing logfiles.

Then I located the SMTPSVC1 folder and copied the latest log to my PC

I opened the log using Excel and converted the log to columns using?a space delimiter in the wizard.

I then filtered the log to only show the domain in question. This showed that many connection attempts were made but all failed with a “421.4.0.0 Server error” message.

Having established this I tried to telnet to the mail server from my Exchange server and then from another box. Both connection were refused in the same way.

Given the immediacy of the connection drop either we were on a block list or connection filter, or perhaps we were missing a PTR record.

My next step is to get the relevant people to setup the PTR records which is not currently there. I believe it is likely that this will then allow mail to flow.

I have also changed the way the SMTP server announces itself in the advanced section of the delivery tab on the SMTP Virtual Server so that it now announces itself using the same address as the MX record.

I will report back soon with progress.