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SMTP queue folder contains a large number of files

[This topic is intended to address a specific issue called out by the Exchange Server Analyzer Tool. You should apply it only to systems that have had the Exchange Server Analyzer Tool run against them and are experiencing that specific issue. The Exchange Server Analyzer Tool, available as a free download, remotely collects configuration data from each server in the topology and automatically analyzes the data. The resulting report details important configuration issues, potential problems, and nondefault product settings. By following these recommendations, you can achieve better performance, scalability, reliability, and uptime. For more information about the tool or to download the latest versions, see "Microsoft Exchange Analyzers" at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=34707.]  

Topic Last Modified: 2006-10-06

The Microsoft® Exchange Server Analyzer Tool queries the Internet Information Services (IIS) metabase for the value of the QueueDirectory attribute of each Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) virtual server instance.

The Exchange Server Analyzer then counts the number of files in the queue folder that is specified for each SMTP virtual server.

If the Exchange Server Analyzer finds that there are 50,000 or more files in the queue folder for an SMTP virtual server, the Exchange Server Analyzer displays a warning.

If the Exchange Server Analyzer finds that there are 90,000 or more files in the queue folder for an SMTP virtual server, the Exchange Server Analyzer displays an error.

This warning or error means that there is a buildup of messages that the SMTP virtual server instance must process. The warning or error indicates a significant performance issue or outage on the server, because the server can no longer deliver the incoming mail in a timely manner. The following conditions can cause this delay:

  • The Active Directory® directory service is not being consulted quickly.
  • Messages are not being handed off quickly for local delivery or SMTP.

To address this issue:

  • Review the messages in the queue folder for legitimacy to verify that the server is not under abnormal load because of unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE), or spam, or a virus attack.
  • Verify the SMTP service is enabled and running.
To verify the SMTP service is started
  1. Open the Services Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in.

  2. In the right pane, scroll down to the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) service and double-click it. This will display the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) Properties dialog box.

  3. Verify the value in the Startup type drop-down menu is set to Automatic.

  4. Click Start to start the System Attendant service.

  5. Click OK to save the changes and close the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) Properties dialog box.

  6. Close the Services snap-in.

For more information about how to troubleshoot SMTP queues, see the following Exchange resources:

 
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